Worthy of Soul Care

“We are worthy of soul care.” (S.G. Willoughby)


A couple of years ago, I burned out spectacularly. Friends and mentors had warned me. They said I needed to slow down (I had been chronically ill for years.) and that I needed to take a break. However, for the first time in years (due to a new treatment), my body was well enough to do so many things I had longed to do!

Instead of simply dipping my toe in, I launched into projects, relationships, and activities. I ignored the advice of those who loved me . . . until the burnout. I didn’t burn out from trying to do “all the things.” I burned out from not knowing how to rest. As a chronic illness warrior, I felt I already had my share of resting. However, I did not know what it meant to truly rest or practice self-care. The very words “self-care” are so vague, and definitions come from all over:

“Self-care is selfish.”

“Self-care is vital.”

“Take a bubble bath and binge your favorite show.”

Then, I was introduced to the concept of soul care. Resources like Chronic Joy’s Trauma Soul Care printable began to help the concept take shape—both theologically and practically.

My two biggest questions about soul care have always been “Why?” and “How?”


There are so many reasons that we hesitate to practice soul care. Some of mine have been:

  • There is so much work to do.
  • No one else is practicing soul care.
  • I don’t know how.
  • There are better uses of my time.

Then . . .

  • A pastor mentioned that resting is being productive.
  • God started to show me that productivity was an idol in myself and my culture.
  • I discovered that “sabbath-ing” was a commandment right up there with “Do not murder.”
  • I saw lamenting modeled in the Bible and by people around me.
  • I experimented with boundaries and realized that they don’t keep people out; they help people connect in a healthy way.

Ultimately, I realized I was not practicing soul care because I thought my worth was in what I could do and how I could hold myself together. Forgoing soul care meant that I was relying on myself, not God.

What changed that was beginning the lifelong journey of realizing my intrinsic value. God created me (and you!) with intrinsic worth, and there is simply nothing we can do (or not do) to change that.

This means that we are worthy of soul care.


However, knowing that soul care is necessary and that you are worth it is only half the battle. Putting it into action is the challenge.

What does it practically look like to practice soul care? Does that mean

  • exercise and face masks?
  • solitude retreats and Bible studies?
  • Does it look the same for every person?

Just like our bodies need food, water, and sunlight, our souls need certain basics, too. Yet just like my body cannot handle tomatoes, and yours might need ten hours of sleep, soul care sometimes looks different from person to person or season to season.

I love Chronic Joy’s printable resource, 15 Practical Tips: Trauma Soul Care, which offers fifteen practical places to start with soul care today. Check it out and join me on my soul-care journey.


Lord God, thank You for how You delight in nurturing your children and caring for their souls. You created them, and You know exactly what they need. Would You please guide me today in caring for my soul, stewarding what You have given me? Help me to humbly trust You by giving up those things that harm my soul and experimenting in soul care with curiosity and consistency. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Yellow Bubbles
S.G. Willoughby

S.G. Willoughby

Sara is the author of He’s Making Diamonds: A Teen's Thoughts On Faith Through Chronic Illness and host of the annual Diamonds Conference for chronically ill Christians. She loves to write and adventure - be it a new board game with her family, trying a weird food, or diving into a fantasy book. Sara is a TCK, a Lymie, and a Young Life Leader.

15 Practical Tips • Trauma Soul Care

These 15 practical tips can help us develop healthier ways to navigate everyday life.

Self-Care • Kindness Multiplied


Kindness Multiplied

When we are kind and generous with ourselves, we can pour kindness and love overflowing into others. Take time and take care of you, because you are God’s beloved.


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