Living Whole: Introduction

When I was a kid, I expected to learn how to tie my shoes, ride a bike, and swim. As I grew older, I expected to learn how to cook, buy insurance, and someday raise children of my own. But life is also full of unexpected learning. For example, I never imagined I would learn to crochet, run on my toes, or to love classic fiction. More deeply, I never thought I would learn to be content without competitive running as part of my life. As you think of your own story, I’m sure there are many examples that come to mind—both of things you expected to learn, and things you never dreamed you would have to.   

Sometimes, part of this unexpected learning includes learning to live in wholeness. This is especially true if you’ve experienced a difficult past and/or trauma. Things like mental, emotional, or physical abuse greatly impact how we see ourselves! Because of these experiences, one or both effects may occur: 1) Identity becomes intertwined with brokenness and 2) The gospel becomes difficult to accept.   

If someone has had a difficult past, it’s likely they feel irreversibly damaged or broken. Even when a degree of healing is experienced, the horror of trauma often sneaks into the very identity of a person. “I’m the broken one, the damaged one, they might think. Worse yet, they might believe that the gospel is for everyone but them. “God can love others, but not me.”  

I believe it also goes without saying that someone need not experience abuse or trauma to wrestle with the thoughts just mentioned. Our fallen natures, and our enemy, would love us to believe that we are beyond repair and that we are nothing more than our brokenness. And so, if we are to live in wholeness, we must learn how to do so. This we learn from God’s Word.  

Before we go on, let’s talk briefly about wholeness. In the eternal state, we will be completely whole—perfect in physical, mental, and emotional health. But even better, we will be completely sanctified! Although we will not be perfected until we are at home with the Lord, through Christ, we can share in a degree of this wholeness even now. The Scriptures have told us that this is so…   

700 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed the Messiah would bring good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, open the prisons to those who are bound, and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Isaiah 61:1). When Jesus read this very passage aloud in the synagogue, he proclaimed, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18). He was the One they had been waiting for. A few chapters later, John the Baptist, from his prison cell, asked the disciples to report back to him Jesus’ answer as to whether he was the Messiah who was to come. In response to John’s question, Jesus said, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.” (Luke 7:22).  

Truly, he is the One who was to come; the One who saves us from our sin; the One who gives us new life. By him and him alone, we are restored, healed, and made whole.    

In the following post, we will look at 4 qualities of this wholeness here on earth: a sound mind, joy in the Lord, confidence in God’s love, and peace that passes understanding.  

Published by Nicole Byrum

Hello! I have been a therapist in the community mental health field for the last 13 years. During this time I have worked with numerous women in recovery from substance abuse. It was this work, along with my relationship with Jesus, that inspired me to write my first book, Remade: Living Free. I have found writing to be a joy and it is my aim through this website to continue to share my faith, insights, and hope with my readers. Some fun facts about me: I have been married for 15 years and have 2 children; I love to read, run and cook; Even though I have lived in Ohio for most of my life I am not a fan of cold weather!

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