I’m a helper by nature.
Literally. If you aren’t familiar with the Enneagram, look it up. I’m a 2—The Helper. I thrive on nurturing and expressing empathy and compassion. In my time outside of work, you can find me serving with the youth group, babysitting my friend’s kids, and lending a helping hand or listening ears. I love it. It fuels my soul and brings deep purpose to my days.
Recently, a pastor was talking about how Satan attacks our strengths, not our weaknesses. I love how I get to help people, and it brings so much joy to my days, but I’m in a season of feeling quite physically tired. This week, a doctor sat me down and told me that on the outside I don’t look exhausted, but that my physical body was telling him otherwise. My helping spirit is a strength, and without specific boundaries, Satan is attempting to use that strength to defeat me.
Not today, Satan! I never want to lose my serving and giving heart, but there are some changes I need to make in my life to stay healthy and be effective in the helping.
This summer, I attended Mercy’s MPower workshop. As a Mercy graduate, it is always encouraging for me to attend Mercy events, because it reminds me of how grateful I am for my freedom, and what I need to focus on to keep walking in that freedom. The workshop walked through the 7 Keys to Freedom—the same principles God used to save and redeem my life. The focus was on how you can help introduce those keys to others, so that they can walk in freedom too.
My takeaways from the workshop were powerful and important, and as I recognize my need to slow down- they are even more so! My three takeaways were:
I ask myself the questions “What steals my affection from God?” and “What feeds my affection for God?”
To be honest, Netflix, social media, and busyness are all things that steal my affection. If I’m not careful with it, I can become numb and apathetic to the voice of God.
As far as what feeds my affection for God, hands down worship music and nature. There is something so majestic and wonder-full about nature that gets my heart on fire for God. This is what I need more of in my week, not more of the last season of Law and Order. (Sorry, Detective Benson!)
Schedule two times per week that are about rejuvenating and self-care.
I’m 50% of the way there, and some weeks I do better than others. Once a week I go to a Christian yoga studio, and that one hour is precious to my soul. I leave my stress at the door and focus on Jesus and His rest. As I make more room in my life for rest, I know I’ll be empowered to love others at a deeper and more genuine level.
Lastly, I realized I need to be in regular communication with “my support team”.
They are a few women in my life that can help hold me accountable- right now specifically with setting healthy boundaries with my time and giving myself space to recharge.
I LOVE helping. I LOVE serving. I LOVE giving. And to fully be that helper God created me to be, I need to take care of myself! I’m not going to stop serving because I’m tired, but I am going to establish healthy boundaries that will allow me to get the rest God is showing me I need.
If you’re exhausted too, I challenge you to ask God what you’re needing to be fully who He created you to be, and act on what He shows you!