I remember a season where I was struggling with depression. In that same season, I was also serving as a small group leader. There were many times when I just didn’t want to show up.
I’d rather stay in my room, alone.
I’d prefer to be in a quiet place.
I didn’t want to have to make small talk with others.
Yet I had made a commitment, and I was going to follow through, by golly. It’s that Responsibility strength of mine (StrengthsFinders).
And so, I showed up, week after week. Usually, I found myself uplifted simply by being in the loving presence of friends, but other times, I really faced the challenge of how to reach out to my students when I was in need of encouragement myself.
Maybe that describes you, too. You’re in a season of depression, grief, job loss, divorce, miscarriage, betrayal, or any other number of things that can make life challenging.
So when do you press pause and take time to heal, and when do you press through and keep showing up to help others?
I’ve written a guide to help you navigate this season, called Tips for Encouraging Others When You’re Still Healing. You can grab it here. But I also wanted to dive into one of those tips with you.
Guilt is Not From God
So here is my first truth for you: God will not guilt you into reaching out to someone else. He might convict you. He might invite you. But He will never guilt you. That’s not how He works.
Guilt is heavy. It weighs you down. When it’s time for you to start taking steps to encourage others, God will let you know in a way that affirms the work He is doing in you, not make you feel worse.
There’s a point in the journey of the Israelites where they are at the end of their time in the wilderness, and God clearly tells them that it was time to move on.
When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, “You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on…”Deuteronomy 1:6-7
Similarly, I believe God will let you know when it’s time to move on. Though you might still struggle with depression or be in the midst of grief, you’ll also be able to come alongside others who are having a hard time, too.
If you’re in a place of hurt and heartache, I invite you to grab the free guide so that you don’t rush into serving again, but enter back into caring for others with wisdom and when the time is right.
Grab our free guide, Tips for Encouraging Others When You’re Still Healing