For the past several years, I have choosen one word in January—a mantra to live by, an ideal I feel called to change. This year, my family joined in on the idea. I chose the word WHOLE. Joseph chose DEEP. Owen chose HUMBLE and Finley chose JOY.
I’ve come to realize that the words chosen are a foreshadowing of a challenge in my life, a trial to endure, a situation or opportunity that forces me to fully embrace my word. By providence, it comes sometime during the year and with anticipation (and sometimes trepidation). 2019 has been no exception. In fact, the trial began right away.
My definition of whole is, “finding unity between mind, body, spirit and passion.” There were several accomplishments I wanted to complete or master:
Reading the WHOLE Bible in a Year alongside my son, Owen
Complete the Whole30 food program
Master a Whole mind Meditation practice
Commit to a Whole body workout - running, weightlifting and swimming
Seek emotional Wholeness through counseling
Learn to live in Whole step with the Spirit
So, here we are beginning the third month of the year.
Owen and I started the Bible plan at the beginning of the year and we are loving it. Check!
Whole30 came and went successfully, an unbelievable feat for this non-diet, cheese-loving soul. Check!
On January 12th, I crossed the finish line of a half Marathon. Check!
And then, I broke.
I came down with bronchitis and it progressed as the weeks painfully passed, despite antibiotics and steroids. On February 6th, I was diagnosed with three broken ribs due to the intense coughing. Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with an additional four fractures for a grand total of lucky number seven broken ribs. My soul was aching as much as my body over this ailment I couldn’t fix. I was emotionally and physically broken, the very opposite of Whole.
As I laid in bed after six intercostal nerve blocks, resting my little broken bones, I was thinking, How in the world can I be whole when I am very much less than half?
I am unable to do all that life requires of me.
I have not been able to pick up my youngest son.
I have not been able to work at my normal pace.
I cannot exercise.
I cannot attend girls Zumba night as planned.
Sometimes, because of the pain, I cannot even finish a sentence.
In my frustration, I am challenged to reflect on why I began this journey in the first place. In order to become more Whole, sometimes there are many pieces that have to be mended, and that takes strength. I have a choice: to throw in the towel and give up on Wholeness or lean into the patience and grit that ultimately provides beauty, grace and growth.
I am reminded by the children I see on a daily basis at ESP who may never be functioning as a Whole. What makes them Whole? It’s what comes from within—the joy they bring, the simplicity of life and who they are surrounded by. What makes them Whole is the One who made them.
So while my cells focus intently on healing my broken bones, I’ll take some notes from my friends around ESP and look intently on filling gaps from within. Wholeness, I am seeing, comes from the idea that we are broken, and He fills the gaps. Wholeness comes when we choose to focus on the things we can control, and work to be patient with the things we cannot.
Are you broken? Are you feeling less than Whole?
Find Wholeness in this,
“Do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 1 Corinthians 4:16
Today I will be walking, instead of running.
Today I will asking for help, instead of doing it all.
Today I will be focusing on the wholeness of my mind and soul instead of the brokenness of my body.
Today, and every day, there is a choice. To focus on the outward brokenness—the pain, the things we cannot control. Or, seize the moment, let Him fill the gaps and use the outward brokenness to strengthen on all that is within.