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  • Writer's pictureS Oliver

Refreshing My Soul in Chaos

Updated: Sep 28, 2023


I know I skipped another month again. See, what had happened was… the Coronavirus. No seriously! It took a minute to get over this lockdown and all the bad news I was getting. It was challenging to care for my own soul and the souls of those call on me for spiritual care. Believe me, I was walking a tightrope between my own stress which was showing up as anger and the stress of others which was often showing up as depression. It was a heavy load. So, I wanted to share with you the three things that refresh my soul during chaos and hope they might be helpful to you as well.

1. Turning off the news. Why? Because it is depressing! Journalism jargon says, “if it bleeds it leads”. Who wants that in their spirit all day? The number dead. The number who tested positive. Warnings about this and warnings about that. Look, I’m no fool. I know I need some basic info, like wear a mask and gloves, what the experts are saying about reopening, but I don’t need to know how many are dead, how many are sick and how many they are burying in mass graves. Nope! I want to know how many are living. Period. Lessening news is not just for this corona crisis but always. The same thing goes for social media. It is just as harrowing as the news, but a tad worse because everyone has a doggone opinion! Can we just keep scrolling when we disagree?

Lessening the news, has made room for gratitude. I’m so thankful that I am well enough to care for others and walk with them through disaster. I’m grateful each day the sun shines and I can go for a walk or work in the garden. I’m grateful for the ReVision Women Pandemic Support Group. Yeah, it’s those “little” things that are making a big impact on my well-being.

2. Prayer and Journaling. Starting each day with thanksgiving and casting my cares on Jesus, sets up the tone for the entire day. Sometimes I pray out loud. Other times I don’t. Sometimes I quietly listen for the voice of God. Other times I write my prayers, praise, and petitions. Sometimes I listen to my favorite soaking worship music and other times I listen to the gospel according to India Arie, Ms. Badu, Aaron Neville, Vivaldi, or Bach. Sometimes I sing out loud though I’m not a singer. Other times, I dance till I drop. I’m not a dancer. The point is this. Do whatever brings you joy! Revel in it. If it’s your offering to God, it’s prayer. It’s worship.

3. Read. Read the Bible and read other books. The Bible because it’s so alive. It refreshes in a way nothing else can. The promises of God are not just heart-warming but an assurance that whatever I am facing, I am not facing it alone. Even when I get to the parts I don’t particularly like (yes, I said it). You know, stuff like love your enemies and all the other stuff I should or shouldn’t be doing. Just when I’m ready to throw in the towel, I am reminded of Romans 8:1,”Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior]”. Which means, I can always turn it around and try again.

Read other books, too. Mysteries and comic books. Biographies and romance novels. Whatever suits your fancy. Whether you want to challenge your intellect or escape your reality, you can do it with a book. Reading allows us to understand humanity in new ways because each book’s characters are rich and deeply complex. Often quite different than we are and those we know. Books allow us to travel even during restrictions. The settings can take us places we may never have an opportunity to visit in our real lives. Who knows where you might find yourself! Benin? Belgium? Brazil? A book can take you wherever your heart desires. So, read and enjoy the journey.

I’m sure there are many other things you can do to refresh your spirit and maintain your sanity in chaotic times. Some do yoga. Some run and exercise. Some find TV and movies relaxing. What works for you? Whatever you choose to do, though, look up and be reminded that God is in control… even in chaos.

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