I was recently reading I Declare War by Levi Lusko when I came across a few words that grabbed hold of my heart. I connected with the phrase so deeply that I knew there was something more to be found within it.
It was just three simple words, and I've heard them each a thousand times. But something about reading these adjectives back to back to back struck a chord with me.
The book mentioned something about being the most "healthy, healed, and whole" version of yourself. So simple, yet oh so complex.
To be healthy - emotionally, physically, and mentally.
To be healed - from past wounds, present trauma, and future worries.
To be whole - spiritually sound, relationally connected, and confident in our purpose.
Isn't that what we're all striving for? Healthy. Healed. Whole. Three words so linguistically straightforward, yet requiring a lifetime of practice to accomplish. Three words equally daunting and inspiring.
There's a whole spectrum of success when it comes to these three words - maybe you feel far from all three, or maybe one area is easier for you than the others. Do your levels of feeling healthy, healed, and whole shift with the situation? Perhaps you feel kind of healthy and kind of healed and kind of whole, like I often do.
When I think of these three words, my mind often drifts to my own shortcomings. I remember the ways I'm almost healthy, almost healed, and almost whole -- I ate too much of that cake last night, and I let those negative thoughts rule my mind AGAIN, and I keep avoiding vulnerability even though I promise myself I won't. When words as pure as "healthy, healed, and whole" enter my conscience, I focus on all the ways I don't deserve those lovely titles.
But the self-loathing lingo won't push me closer to achieving a life that feels like those precious words. If I continue to dwell on the ways I'm not yet healthy, healed, and whole, I'll never move forward.
Sometimes this life feels so broken and messy that I mistake my situation for my identity. I call myself healthy when I eat less sugar, and healed when I'm no longer anxious, and whole when I'm finally content with what I have -- but I believe God sees me as those three words right here, right now. The Bible calls us words like holy and blameless and pure, in the midst of our imperfection and shortcomings - in the process of becoming.
On my best day and my worst day, my name is still Victoria. In the same way, I believe that no matter how far or how close we all feel to being healthy, healed, and whole, our identity lies within something bigger than these temporal states. We are God's unique and intentional creations. His masterpieces. His vessels to shine His glory on earth. It's just up to us whether or not we believe it. We can either own that identity and make positive choices to become the most healthy, healed, and whole version of ourselves on earth; or we can find our worth solely in our physical state and live with the constant fear we aren't doing enough.
Let me say it louder for the people in the back - our physical state does not determine our worth or value! Yes, we can and we should make the choices that lead us to health, healing, and wholeness on this earth. Read all the books, talk about your feelings, go on runs, eat the kale. Go to counseling, or a workout class, or a coffee shop, or whatever environment pushes you toward the best version of you. To treat our bodies and minds with respect is to be good stewards of the things we've been given.
But even as our bodies and minds transform to reflect the way we treat ourselves, God still sees us as His beloved creation. Holy, blameless, and pure, right here and right now. How crazy is that? Our worth isn't determined by our works (thank goodness, because I make A LOT of mistakes!)
So, instead of stewing over our shortcomings, what if we chose to find our identity what lasts? You aren't the miles you've run or the relationships you have or the hardships you've overcome. I believe God knows every single part of us, every single way we fall short - and He still pursues relationship with us. I think that testifies to the fact that our actions don't equate to our identity.
The words healthy, healed, and whole shouldn't shake up shame inside of us, nor should they be impossible standards we give up on reaching for. Those three words - healthy, healed, and whole - can simultaneously define us today and encourage us to be better tomorrow.