Dealing with emotional pain and struggles isn’t easy for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for Small Group Leaders. It’s a challenge to carry both the weight of our own worlds and the weight of the world for our students. When we’re working so hard to help our few deal with their emotional stress and struggles, we can sometimes lose sight of our own. At the very least, we often make the choice to push our issues aside so that we can better focus on and lead our groups. While that may work for a moment, it will eventually cause us to crumble under the weight of all the emotional baggage we’re carrying.
In the same way that you’ll guide your students this week to find healthy ways to pay attention to and care for themselves emotionally, you have to do so for yourself. When life feels heavy and circumstances are challenging, we can’t push what we’re feeling down, ignore it, or distract ourselves from it. In order to heal and help ourselves, we have to deal with our issues. The good news is that we don’t have to do it alone.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.
—Psalm 34:17 (NLT)
Find a way to care for yourself this week. In fact, one of the best things you can do for your students is to care for yourself, because when you do, you’re presenting them with a healthy, whole version of who you are: a person dealing with emotional stress by God’s grace. If you’re not sure where to start, simply begin with the above verse. Ask God for help just as the psalmist said in this verse. Know that when you ask, He will rescue you and help you carry the weight of what you’re facing in your life.