May 29, 2018

Pursuing wholeness
This blog post was inspired by the book Wholeness by Toure Roberts and some of the thoughts and ideas listed come from ideas from that book.

There are a million things right now longing to be your wholeness. They scream at you, telling you “I can make you whole!” knowing that they can only give you a temporary high, at best.

From social media to relationships, to entertainment, to sex, to food, to friends and family – these are all things that, when not put in their proper place, can attempt to fill your voids. The problem is that none of these things will bring you true, sustaining wholeness. They will give you distractions, destruction, false hope, and temporary happiness on a silver platter — but what they won’t do is help you become whole.

True wholeness comes ONLY from God. He is the giver of purpose and fulfillment. When the world devalues us, He decrees that we are still priceless. When the world shames us, He washes off all our mess. God is the giver of life, wholeness, purpose, and meaning. To truly walk in wholeness, we must first understand our identity in Christ and know Him more closely.

Overcoming Brokenness: My quick testimony

Pursuing Freedom Story

When I was in my lowest place spiritually, I was broken in so many ways. I used sex, pornography, relationships, drinking and partying to fill those voids. Until, of course, they could no longer mask my deep brokenness and they just about ruined my life. At that point, I had no other choice but to turn to the God of wholeness to help make me new. And I’m so glad that He did.

My question for you is what are your areas of brokenness? What things do you use to fill voids? They may not be inherently bad things, but it doesn’t mean you’re not using them to fulfill a void that only God can.

What does it mean to be whole? Nothing missing, nothing broken, nothing lacking

If something isn’t whole, it typically means that something is missing that would ordinarily make it complete. A whole piece of pizza is not a “whole” piece of pizza if there is a slice missing. A broken piece of glass is no longer whole when it’s shattered into tiny, dangerous little pieces. A gift basket is not whole if a portion of the gift is lacking.

Do you see how human wholeness mirrors the examples above? To be whole means that nothing is missing, lacking or broken in your mind, soul, spirit or body. God has replaced every missing piece, mended every broken place, and provided for every area of lack. He has replaced depression with unspeakable joy, bondage with immeasurable freedom, and emptiness for amazing fulfillment.

Wholeness is the state of being content, at peace, taken care of, and healed from the inside out. You’re no longer victim to the things of your past. The stains of regret have been wiped away. The worries of the world have grown dim. To be truly whole means Jesus is the center of your world and you’ve allowed him to mend the cracks in your soul, spirit and physical body caused by hurt, pain, sin and just life.

“To be whole you have to first be in Christ.”

Being whole doesn’t mean that you won’t experience pain; it doesn’t mean that your life is perfect; it doesn’t mean that you’ve “arrived” and will never need to start on a journey of wholeness again. It simply means that Jesus makes you complete and whole in every single area. He fulfills every longing, He causes every ache to subside, and He comforts you during all pain and heartache. To be whole you have to first be in Christ because He is wholeness.

Wholeness in Christ

I wish I could say that wholeness was a goal to be achieved, but I think it’s actually a spiritual and mental state to be maintained. Wholeness is not perfection, it’s the result of knowing who you are, and walking in that confidently and consistently.

Wholeness is not a goal to be achieved; it’s a state to be maintained. - @azanishelise, Pursuing Wholeness Click To Tweet

Wholeness comes from an inner assurance of who you are in God. When you know who God says you are, you are wiser about your decisions, which lead to a healthier life. When you have inner assurance, you reject negative thought patterns because you know they don’t align with who God says you are. When you’re whole, you are careful about who you allow into your life, because you know that bad company can create brokenness. When you’re whole, you’re careful not to step outside of God’s word, because you know that being outside of His word makes you susceptible to the unhealthy ways of thinking, living and believing.

Do you see how your relationship with God and your identity in Christ can directly impact your wholeness? Becoming whole starts first with uncovering your identity in Him.

So to recap… Wholeness is:

  • Nothing missing, nothing lacking, and nothing broken in any area of your life
  • Allowing God to fill the voids and emptiness in your life
  • Not a goal to be achieved, but a state to be maintained
  • An inner assurance in who God says you are
  • Found in your spiritual identity in Christ and who He says you are

The first step to becoming a whole person: Uncovering, discovering and self-awareness

The first step to becoming whole is allowing God to uncover hidden areas of brokenness. You must develop a healthy self-awareness of your patterns, motivations, thoughts, and actions, and know where they stem from. Some things you do or think may be rooted in a place of pain, hurt, pride or rejection. Sometimes figuring out what these things are is difficult, so we must allow God to uncover our areas of weakness to us. If we allow Him in, God will show us who we are in our current state, and who we have the potential to be once we are made whole. When we get a glimpse of what our whole self looks like – us without the walls, without the barriers, without the pride, without the pain, without the sickness – then we can begin to seek after wholeness.

But we first must see and acknowledge our brokenness so that we can begin confronting and praying about our healing process.

Not being broken by your brokenness: Seeing yourself through God’s eyes

Sometimes facing the reality of your sin, your flaws, your mistakes, and your brokenness can be extremely uncomfortable and terrifying. For this reason, many people avoid it.

They avoid digging into the depths of their soul and questioning themselves. They avoid searching out their hearts, their motivations, and their lives because they are afraid of what they may find. What if I uncover something that shocks me or brings me shame? What if I learn heartbreaking things about myself? How will I handle that?

Well, the key to handling your brokenness is to see yourself through God’s eyes and know that your brokenness is not a project for you to work on. It’s your job to give your brokenness, weakness, failures, hurt, and heartbreak over to God and allow Him to fix it. It’s your job to see yourself through His eyes.

God doesn’t look at your weaknesses and flee from you, nor does he become disappointed in you. Instead, He looks with compassion and love; grace and mercy. He desires to give you the gift of wholeness! And that’s why it’s so important that we allow Him to uncover our broken areas and, then, give all of it over to Him. He’s not disgusted or appalled by any part of you, He simply desires that you be whole.

Similarly, rather than looking at ourselves with disgust, disappointment, shame, and regret, we must look at ourselves as a beautiful, but broken, piece of art that God is so graciously making whole in His time, with His power, by His spirit.

Here are a few scriptures to help solidify who God says you are (this is NOT contingent on your perfection, but HIS goodness!!!)

You are the righteousness of God in Christ.
“21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[e] so that we could be made the righteousness of God in Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

You are cleansed from all sin and unrighteousness
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:8-9

You are more than a conqueror.
“Now, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37

You are healed and whole.
“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

You lack no good thing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. – Psalm 34:10

You are justified and redeemed.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” – Romans 3:23-25

You are delivered from all your afflictions.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” – Psalm 34:19

You are created in God’s image.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27

You are a new creation – made whole and made new only by God.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Are you whole?

Now, let’s dig a little deeper. When you think about your level of “wholeness” you’re likely in 1 of 3 categories:
1. You know that you’re whole and you’re loving and living life in the freedom of your wholeness
2. You’ve been whole before but can sense inside that something is off; you’re not that same whole person you once were
3. You don’t know if you’re whole or not or you know for sure that you aren’t whole but desire to be.

Now, before you leave this page because you’re overwhelmed by your brokenness or you don’t think you have any area at all in which you could use more of Jesus’ wholeness, continue reading.

Being broken is not normal to God: Treating more than just the symptoms

Brokenness is so common in our society that it has become normal. But might I suggest that being broken, hurt, bitter and sick is not God’s plan for your life. It does not align with His word. He desires to look down and see a people who are genuinely whole and filled with joy because they’ve looked to the word of God to come and transform them.

We live in a world that treats your symptoms of brokenness, without digging deep to truly heal the disease or brokenness itself. These days, the more sick you are, the more medicine you’re prescribed. The problem with the increase of pharmaceuticals is that they only treat the SYMPTOMS of your problem, they don’t attack the problem itself. So because people have found alternatives to make them feel okay, they mistakenly think that they actually are okay, when, in fact, they’ve only masked the symptoms of the problem.

There is a solution to every single one of your problems

Think about those things in your life that you’ve always just written off as character flaws or just a part of who you are.

Anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, sins, bad habits. You name it.

These days, everywhere you look, you find people with spiritual hindrances that they’ve taken on as part of their identity. But I want to compel you today to look at every single part of your being — even those tough things that have become a part of who you are and have been there your whole life — and challenge yourself to fight against them with God’s help and His word. I am not trying to undermine or belittle the impact and reality of things such as mental illness or trauma, but I am here to provide you hope of a God who has the cure for it all. What the world says is incurable, my God has already cured by the power of His Word. You just have to believe it, receive it, walk in it, and whole-heartedly follow Him to experience the fullness of that power in your life.

Psalm 103:1-5: Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

This is one of my favorite scriptures that I’ve constantly clung to my entire journey of wholeness. When God says He will heal you and redeem your life, He is speaking quite literally! He is the ultimate physician!

Knowing who you are: Tearing down mentalities that hinder your wholeness

Before you draw a conclusion on your current state of wholeness, I want you to really be honest with yourself about where you’re at.

Coming from someone who often thinks I’m stronger than I actually am, here are 11 different ways of thinking I’ve found that, if not addressed or put in their proper place, could be stopping you from becoming whole like you desire (even if you don’t realize it).

  • I don’t need to be vulnerable (with God or with people)
    Vulnerability with God, people and yourself is the only true way that God has access to change you. Your heart must be open to being honest with yourself, God and people.
  • I’m already whole
    Because you’re already whole, does this mean that there are no other areas at all that God may potentially be trying to work on you in? Are you claiming wholeness because that’s comfortable, or because that’s what you truly are?
  • I need to become as close to perfect as possible
    Wholeness is not about personal perfection. True wholeness cannot be achieved by doing all the “right” things. It is only achieved by the God of Wholeness being the center of your life.
  • I can become whole on my own/ I don’t need any help
    If you can become whole on your own and you desire to be whole, then why aren’t you?
  • I was made whole last year, so I don’t need to be made whole now.
    You cannot base your current state on yesterday’s move of God. It’s great that God made you whole…. But are there areas now that maybe aren’t whole like they used to be? Has anything happened between that time and now that may have created areas of brokenness in you? Being made whole is not a one-time event. It’s a continual process of allowing God to make us new again.
  • I can’t see myself being whole. I’m way too broken and messed up.
    There is NOTHING too hard for God! Your brokenness is an easy fix for God and he’s always willing to help mend you and make you whole, no matter how far you think you’ve drifted or how broken you think you are. Don’t let shame dictate your freedom — you deserve to be whole!
  • I can’t admit that I need help because I have to remain spiritually strong.
    Needing God’s help does not make you weak. We ALL desperately need God’s help. Our goal should not be to remain strong by our own power, but to lean on Him so that He can be our strength. Asking for help or admitting that you can’t do everything on your own does not make you weak.
    • I’m not whole, so I must be weak, inferior and without the love of God
    God loves you in spite on your weaknesses. And He wants to prove His love for you by taking your weaknesses and making them beautiful.
  • Everyone around me is whole. No one understands where I’m at and what I’m going through.
    People have a way of masking who they really are and how they really are. Don’t limit your freedom to become whole because you think no one understands or that they’ve already “arrived.” Every single person is a work in progress and needs God desperately, whether they act like it or not.
  • My situation isn’t serious enough for me to ask for prayer about
    The BEST time to share and ask for prayer is right when you sense that your wholeness is under attack! Don’t wait until you’ve reached rock bottom to ask for help, ask NOW! Those minor situations can turn big if you don’t address them prayerfully – by yourself and/or with others.
  • I’m fine. I’m just going through a rough season.
    Sometimes “rough seasons” birth brokenness, distraction and hurt. Take your rough season seriously and ask God to protect you from any area that would attempt to steal your wholeness or increase your brokenness. Ask for prayer and support if need be. But don’t write off a rough season and think you don’t need God’s help to maintain or attain wholeness.

All of these mentalities are things that could possibly be masking your brokenness. Now, I want to address one mentality a bit more in-depth. It’s something that I found myself saying not too long ago, and had to humbly admit that it was not the case…

“I’m already whole”

I want to address this particular mindset more in-depth, because I think this way of thinking is one of the biggest hindrances to people who have been walking with God for awhile. This may not apply to everyone. You may truly be whole – and I rejoice with you about that! – but I believe there are many believers who “think” they are whole, and really are not.

This mentality was one of the biggest things that slowed down my journey to wholeness! I thought that because God made me whole two years ago, that I just had to still be whole now. I felt weak and silly to be in a place of brokenness when I know that God had already done miraculous things in my life previously. I convinced myself that I was okay when I wasn’t. And I kept making myself believe that I was whole already. Because I believed I was whole (even when I wasn’t) God couldn’t move in my place of brokenness.

One of the biggest hindrances to becoming whole is pride… thinking you’re in a better place than you actually are.

One of the biggest hindrances to becoming whole is pride. Pride is a word and state that we quickly reject, but whether it’s in our life or not can largely determine what the outcome of our brokenness is… so it’s important that we be honest about the pride that may be lingering in our hearts.

Pride masks your weaknesses from yourself. It makes you seem better than you actually are. Pride turns your brokenness into minor imperfections. It tells you that your pain is bearable in your own strength. It tells you that you’re okay just as you are.

But humility does just the opposite. It opens your eyes to your weaknesses and shortcomings. It reveals to you how broken you are and how much you need God’s help. It compels you to take every hurt and imperfection seriously and to put it on the altar before God. It tells you that you’re not okay just as you are.

Please. Please don’t let pride be the reason you don’t become whole. Please don’t let pride delay you from becoming the whole person God has created you to be.

Now. Let’s stop and rethink…. Are you whole? Understanding and Acknowledging your Current State

Now that we’ve identified some things that may be masking or hindering wholeness in your life, have you thought about yourself a bit differently? Do you think maybe (just maybe) you need Jesus to come in and heal some hidden, broken places a little more than you anticipated when you clicked on this page? I sure hope so!!

Now, this is the time in the post where I want you to really take it all in. Sit back and take a second. Ask yourself…

“Am I whole?”

But wait, before you say yes too quickly, really think about it. Pray and ask God:

“Lord, am I truly whole? Am I as whole as I think? Show me the areas in which I still need your healing power in my life. Uncover those hidden places of brokenness that my pride tries to hide. Help me to be vulnerable in this moment.”

Regardless of which category you fall under, I am here to encourage you to evaluate and re-evaluate your current state; discover areas where you are not whole; press deeper into God to encounter a new level of cleansing and healing in your heart; and discover what it is to be (and remain) whole in Christ.

Accepting the fact that maybe you’re not as whole as you think can be difficult because we often want to think of ourselves as better and stronger than we really are. Realizing and admitting when we’re broken requires you to admit some of these things:
• I’m actually not okay
• I need help
• I am broken
• I am not whole
• I cannot do this on my own

If one of these phrases describes how you feel, great news… You are in the perfect position to experience the transformative and healing power of God! Why? Because He helps people that are not okay. He helps those who are broken. He makes the broken places whole again. He’s a guide to those who can’t do it on their own.

The great news about being broken is that God does his best work with imperfect people.

Enjoying yourself on the journey: The process should not be depressing

Freedom and joy in wholeness

I know that thinking about all of the things that appear to be wrong with you can be a bit… tiring, taxing, draining, depressing… to say the least. But I want to reiterate that God takes you on a journey not to make you miserable, but to bring you joy! You may not be exactly where you feel you should be, and you may feel that you have a longggg ways to go, but remember to enjoy the journey. Embrace yourself, flaws and all, and embrace your God who loves you in every state.

Some days may be easier than others. But begin to shift your outlook on the journey from being burdensome, to being freeing! You’re on an awesome journey that is going to make you a better you and that’s a GOOD thing, even on seemingly bad days!

Encouragement while pursuing wholeness: It’s okay to not be okay

You may be reading this blog post overwhelmed. You want to be whole, and you feel stirred that there is a deeper level of fulfillment, contentment, and healing that God has for you, but you know that getting there requires sacrifice, surrender and a whole lot of humility.

Don’t worry, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone, and it’s okay if you don’t feel “there” yet.

Being broken is okay. Not being okay, is okay. Falling down, is okay. As long as you don’t stay there!

Being broken is okay. Not being okay, is okay. Falling down, is okay. As long as you don’t stay there! -@azanishelise, Pursuing Wholeness Click To Tweet

Know that your current state of brokenness is not a bad place to be, it’s a place where opportunity and grace meet. Your current state of brokenness gives God the opportunity to show himself strong in your life and in your weakness. And that’s something to rejoice about! Even in your broken moments of weakness, God still wants to use you to get the glory!

Be grateful that you don’t have to have it all together because we serve a God who does!

The Power of People in Becoming Whole

The biggest barrier for me in my journey of wholeness is realizing, accepting and inviting other people into my journey (the right, God-ordained people, of course). I’d love to say that my journey to wholeness and freedom is a walk with only me and God, but it isn’t, wasn’t and probably will never be. So much of my inner healing and wholeness comes from the company, wisdom, love, impartation and encouragement of other believers. Even if it’s just one person that God strategically places in my life, God almost always uses people to help us in our areas of growth and restoration. Not gonna lie, sometimes I wish he didn’t because it’s way easier to be broken and imperfect in the quiet place where no one sees or knows but you and God.

Principles of wholeness: Things to remember on your journey

Wholeness is for everybody

God desires that every single person be made whole in Him. It doesn’t matter how broken you are, wholeness is for you, so don’t count yourself out. The reality is that life happens to all of us. Even the strongest of us go through things that cause tremendous pain and anguish; that affect the depths of our soul and stirs our inner man in painful and uncomfortable ways.

Each new season brings different experiences and emotions that should cause you to press deeper into wholeness through your pursuit of God. It’s okay to be hurt. It’s okay to be disturbed. It’s okay to be broken. It’s okay to not be okay. But the journey to wholeness decrees that’s not where you will stay.

You can’t live in yesterday or tomorrow’s wholeness

Being whole is not permanent. Being whole is something that must be fought for in every season. You can’t live in yesterday’s wholeness. Nor can you idly wait for wholeness to just “arrive” in the next season. The journey to wholeness is an active one.

Your level of wholeness in your next season is predicated on your preparation, humility and proactivity in this season. People who are whole understand that their completion comes only from Christ and that each season of life brings different trials and obstacles that threaten to break you and steal your wholeness. Because of this, whole people realize that they may be okay in the now, but understand the need to fight for grace and wholeness in the next season, right now. Once you become whole in the now, begin fighting and praying for your future self.

Becoming whole is not comfortable, and should look like something you’ve never seen before

What God wants to do through you should not (and likely won’t) be comfortable. Take off the limitations of how you think God should make you whole and allow Him to freely move in your life. Your journey may not look familiar or be comfortable, but if you want to be completely whole, it’s imperative that you completely yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to do His work in you, His way.

Wholeness is a journey, not a destination

Being and becoming whole is not a destination, it’s a moving target. What whole looked like 4 years ago is not the same as what whole looks like now. Why? Because as you walk out life, new hurt, pain, and experiences happen. These things can cause new cracks in your soul and new pain to grow that impact your former level of wholeness.

As God calls you to new things, He will always uncover areas in your world that need surgery — and that’s good! When he reveals those areas that need surgery, he is not attempting to shame or degrade you, He is simply calling you to a deeper level of wholeness — to be and become more like Him!

Wholeness is not something you attain, it’s something you become

Wholeness doesn’t happen without personal transformation and change.

Wholeness is not a destination, it’s a state of being. It changes in different stages of life. That’s why you can never get content with where you’re at.

Wholeness comes through obedience to the Father. Once you’ve done what He’s asked to aid in your wholeness, He gives you more instruction to make you even more whole. The more we listen and obey, the more whole we become; because the instructions of our Father only build us up.

Wholeness is not perfection. I repeat, wholeness is not perfection!

Being whole doesn’t mean being perfect. It means there is a sustaining Hope that you run to complete and fulfill you amid your imperfections. Don’t aim to be perfect, just aim to always chase after God. As you chase Him, he will sanctify you and make you whole.

A final prayer for those seeking wholeness

AHHHH. My heart is full for you. I want you to encounter God in a new, living, fresh way. I pray that every broken place, every hidden place, every area of hurt, pain, disaster, dysfunction, and brokenness God begin to mend right now.

That the stains of sin, regret, hurt and rejection be removed and cleansed in the mighty name of Jesus. That your past has no power over you; no person has control over you; and every evil, demonic and ungodly thing that would attempt to block you from your wholeness be destroyed and driven out right now. Every good and Godly thing WILL be grown and resurrected in your life so that you can experience the fullness of who your God is, and who you are in Him!

I pray that as you pursue wholeness, you’ll encounter His peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray for divine connections… That God would put you in the right place at the right time to meet the right people who will aid on your journey of wholeness. I speak healthy friendships and relationships birthed from love, wholeness, joy, vulnerability and authenticity. I pray that any thought or mentality that would tell you don’t need God’s help would be silenced and demolished right now and that out of your brokenness a new hunger and thirst for God and His righteousness be birthed.

I want to encourage you to completely open your heart, mind and spirit to what God wants to do in, to, and through you! That no barriers of pride, familiarity, comfort, or false perfection block God’s wholeness from completely overwhelming your life and identity. I pray that God impart every good thing to you, that you lack nothing because you seek after Him and His wholeness.

AAMMMMEEEEENNNNNNN!

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