Is it ‘well with your soul,’ Intentional Christ Follower?

Shelly Ullrich - Women’s Director | Real Life Ministries Texas, Tomball, TX

Unusual, intentional invitation accepted.  Three days of silence at a retreat center nestled in the woods of north Texas.  I’d know no one attending. There would be no agenda other than to meet in stillness and quiet with King Jesus with my Bible and journal.  My soul was craving this like an ice-cold drink of water on a hot, humid day.  I needed intentional alone time with the King I love and serve.


In my office at Real Life Ministries Texas hangs a gifted sign in honor of Horatio Spafford’s lyrics from the famous hymn, ‘It is well with my soul.’   This gift I look upon daily provides both an encouragement and a challenge to stay anchored to the lover of my soul who purchased me as His own, no matter what I am experiencing.  Through the accomplished work of Christ, my Spirit is always ‘well’ and fully alive, yet sometimes I must admit that my soul is not.  My ministry partner and friend; Men’s Pastor, David Nelson uses the phrase ‘soul tired’ to describe the weariness that sleep alone cannot fix.  This was how I was feeling heading into this silent retreat. I was soul tired from the demands of ministry. (And yes, fellow disciple makers, I was still faithfully having abiding time with the Lord. I was not out of daily fellowship with God.)  I simply needed more intentional time with Jesus alone, for my weary soul. I was soul tired.


How about you?  Yes, you, Christ Follower and ministry leader…  Is it ‘well with your soul?’


In Mark 6:30-31, “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And (Jesus) said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while”  Believing that Jesus’s life holds both a message and a method for discipleship, notice the rhythm of rest He was intentionally inviting them to experience.  Jesus was showing his beloved apostles what works well in ministry.  Rhythms of rest are needed for our souls.  Our King invites us to honor the limitations of our humanity, as we love and serve Him and others in His Name.  This is a holy invitation that comes with the gift of Himself as the prize.  Perhaps you may need to create intentional space to encounter the Lord and retreat for a bit… maybe even for just one full day.  Inquire of the Lord for yourself what that could look like.  How might you be intentional with your First Love, and spend creative time alone as simply His son or daughter?   


On my three days of quiet retreat, I intentionally invited God to search the deepest parts of my soul. It was holy space.  I celebrated with joy, grieved losses, loneliness, shed tears, journaled a ton, walked through the woods smiling in awe of God’s creation, took some naps, plus pondered questions, and dared to dream again with my First Love.  Like the entirety of Psalm 139 inspires, I let the One who knows me best intentionally “…lead me in the way everlasting,” giving His eternal perspective to me afresh. What a treasured time “away by myself…resting a while” per Jesus’s invitation.  I drove home gratefully singing, ‘It is well with my soul,’ again.


Shelly Ullrich
Women’s Director
Real Life Ministries Texas
Tomball, TX