After Pouring Yourself Out

Have you ever served, poured out, and helped others to grow spiritually, only to feel like absolute dog poo the next morning? 

I don’t want to give the devil too much credit with this, but I think he might have ordered a massive headache for me following a splendid day of art ministry. Our art team had helped 70 students and faculty at a local university paint a project together in a day of art, reflection, and worship. People were moved to tears. God did amazing stuff.

So waking up with a pounding headache the next day was disappointing and frustrating after a day of beauty, freedom, vulnerability, honesty, and artistic collaboration – and yet, I’ve learned that to feel crummy afterwards is not unusual at all.

After spiritual breakthroughs and profound ministry, it’s good to be prepared for any lows — just in case you’re suddenly overcome with crippling insecurity, doubt, and the enemy’s favorite trick: shame. That thing you shared was so stupid and obvious; everyone knows you’re a fraud. Nope, you’re not crazy — it’s just a spiritual attack. Breathe easy, relax, and gear up. Paul wrote Ephesians 6 for you because attack is real, not in your head.

Rubbing my own head on this day, I realized with dread:

This one feels like it might turn into a migraine.

Then, another thought intruded:

It always does. Every time you minister, a migraine afterwards is EXACTLY what you can expect. 

And I immediately muttered: NO.

It’s one thing to know the realities and be prepared. It’s another thing entirely to wait on negative outcomes and feel resigned to inevitability.

If I expect ailments or troubles to cut me down after serving people with kindness and gladness for Christ, well, that’s no different from waiting for the other shoe to drop, as the saying goes.

Life is not some good-evil equilibrium. The King of the universe is good, and he has no equal. He’s also my dad. Making his daughter feel better is one of his favorite love languages.

So I mumbled to my husband: “Hey honey, can you pray for my head?”

Dom placed his hands gently over my ears. Then, stroking my hair, he whispered his prayers over me. I love this guy.

It helped. A lot.

“Wow. Can you pray again?”

You can see some of the words my husband used in the illustration I sketched later that day.

After his second prayer, the pain suddenly lifted. My headache was gone.

Better than that, it was replaced with peace, joy, and excitement to go to VineArts Open Studio, where I got to pour into a dozen studio guests in the afternoon. I brewed coffee, welcomed folks, gave tours to new guests, encouraged people in their art, and even prayed for two people who asked for prayer.

…and I’ll tell you what, for the rest of the day, it felt like I was floating. 🙂