The Bible offers us a wonderful story about self-care. We read about a man named Elijah, one of the most prominent figures of the Old Testament.
“Elijah was afraid…Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life’…Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, ‘Get up and eat!’ He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you’” (1 Kings 19:3-7).
Like Elijah, many times I prayed that I would go to sleep and not wake up. I too, had enough. Basic self-care like eating wasn’t on my mind. Maybe, subconsciously, I was hoping lack of food would hasten my escape from this world with its cruel twist of circumstances. I spent many days in a fog, struggling to accomplish even the smallest of things. Being hypoglycemic, I’m sure my lack of proper nutrition didn’t help my clouded mind. To my disappointment, I continued to wake up each day. Apparently, God had other plans for me, though it wasn’t evident to me at the time. God has a plan for you, too and it starts with basic self-care, like consistent healthy eating.
In 2016, 72 year-old Ann Rodgers spent nine days wondering in the wilderness near Phoenix, Arizona after her car ran out of gas and she left it to find help. Desperate to survive, she ate plants and a turtle and drank pond water. She didn’t know how long it would be before she was rescued, but she knew she had to eat to survive.
You’ve found yourself in a wilderness I’m guessing you never planned. This road to recovery is a difficult journey and like Elijah, it will be too much for you if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Like Ann, you will need to eat if you are to survive. You will need a clear mind and every bit of strength you can get to make it through. But as in stories of Elijah and Ann, God will provide everything you need for the journey. So get up and eat. I doubt you’ll need to resort to eating turtles. But I have found an occasional piece of chocolate to be helpful!
Action Step: Eat three healthy meals a day even if you don’t feel hungry. Avoid junk food and excessive alcohol and sugar.