Self Care Saturday: It is Well / by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

It’s amazing how sometimes we don’t know what we need until we get it and we realized that THAT is what our souls have been hungering for. On this Self Care Saturday, God showed up in a way I certainly needed but didn’t know I needed. God is amazing like that!

I’m preaching tomorrow, so I should have spent all of yesterday preparing. But I couldn’t. I did everything but. Laundry. Grocery shopping. Cleaning the refrigerator. A six mile walk. Researching camps. Making a budget. Participating in the Women of Color in Ministry National conference call. I just couldn’t bring myself to put meat on the sermon outline. I had an angst present that I could not put my finger on. From time to time I feel this during the preparation process. It’s not a great feeling, but it no longer scares me because I trust the faithfulness of God.

Anyway, this morning the angst was present and my avoidance continued. I slept in. I made homemade chocolate chip waffles with the girls. I sat in an über long line at Costco for gas (even though I know hubby would have filled up my tank later in the day). I ran an errand that could have waited. I went to the gym.

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At the gym the angst was persistent. I knew the elliptical machine was the final avoidance tactic I could employ before having to get to it. Instead of listening to music, as is my custom, I decided to catch up on stuff I’d saved to watch later on Facebook. The first thing I watched watched a Facebook Live video recorded yesterday by Rev. Courtney Clayton Jenkins, Pastor of the South Euclid United Church of Christ in Ohio. We’ve never met personally, but I admire this sister because among other things, she is a dope preacher and she is transparent about ministry, marriage and motherhood.

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Her Facebook Live, focused on Self-Care brought me to tears. Not metaphorical tears. I mean I was welling up on the elliptical machine and had to pause the video because of how much it was speaking to me and because I didn’t want to go into a full on ugly cry. Her transparency reminded me that I need to employ the self-care practices that work for me, including making a call to my longtime massage therapist because I need the tension I am carrying to be worked out. After I finished the video (which I would encourage everyone to view. Follow her on Facebook so you can see it because it WILL bless you!) I had a few more minutes before my workout would be complete, so I opened the link that one of my sister preacher pastors sent to me of Richard Smallwood. I was not ready. I WAS NOT READY.

The angst that I was feeling started to be broken up as I listen to Pastor Courtney and dissolved as I listened to the Maestro Richard Smallwood play a a rendition of It is Well/Come Ye Disconsolate. In a moment, I could feel the presence of God with me at the YMCA. In a moment, the tears returned and I let them have their way. Whatever my soul was struggling with was soothed as he played It is Well. And I was strengthened knowing that earth has no sorrow (or angst) that Heaven cannot heal.

On this Self-Care Saturday, be encouraged. And if you find yourself discouraged, I invite you to take a moment alone and watch the video below and let God minister to your heart, mind, and soul.