label for blog title "Water in the Wilderness"

Ebony’s Guide to Self-Care (especially for those with anxiety)

This blog post series is written by Ebony West, our Ministerial Intern 2021-2022

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to make this blog series to be centered around. I knew I wanted it to resemble my term here at First Church and what I have discovered in school. So why not combine the two! This series is going to be called “Ebony’s Guide to Self-Care (especially for those with anxiety)”.

This first blog post entails my journey of writing and delivering my first sermon here at First Church while also finishing up midterms! My first time writing a sermon and delivering it was in undergrad and it was only in front of 10 people! However, during the spark of the pandemic, I also got to give a mini sermon for my soldiers. Writing my sermon for FCC gave me some…well a lot of anxiety as this was a much larger congregation than what I am used to. I was also not used to being led by a lectionary and a given theme. I was always given the responsibility of finding my own theme and scripture. More anxiety began to settle in as one of my professors decided to add in a late midterm around the same time my sermon needed to be completed. You would think the military would aid me in ways to alleviate anxiety, however you have thought incorrectly. During this time, I began to really explore what self-care in a ministry setting looks like for me.

For every hour I worked on an assignment or my sermon, I would pray for peace or take a walk outside. Sometimes I would even longboard (skateboard) for a couple of blocks to restart my process. I realized that when I became too tired to function properly or my words were no longer coming from God or my spirit, but a place of tiredness, I would take my hands off of the sermon or assignment and take a nap, eat a snack, or simply just leave it for the next day. Much of my anxiety came from ensuring my tasks were done in a timely manner. Yet, I came to the conclusion that as long as I am working towards completing the task and it is something God has helped me with, it is completely alright to slow down and take a break while giving God your anxiety. In return, you receive peace and a completed task. For me, it was a completed sermon that was received greatly by an amazing and patient congregation and a very satisfied professor.

Until Next Time,

Ebony West