From Holeness to Wholeness

holeness to wholenessFrom Holeness to Wholeness

I teach English.  I can make up words, can’t I?

If you look at any word long enough, it just starts to look weird. Take ‘whole’ for example. We all know the ‘w’ makes no noise—someone just tacked it on to distinguish it from ‘hole.’ Which is a good thing, actually, because ‘hole’ without the ‘w’ holds the opposite meaning.

‘Whole’ means ‘entire’—all of it. Not one part missing that was intended and created to be present. ‘Hole,’ on the other hand, signifies an empty space, a lack, scarcity.

All too often I find myself acting from a place of holeness instead of wholeness. I think I should do something that I don’t really want to do (does anyone else get this feeling when someone from the nominating committee at church tries to corner you in the women’s restroom or trap you between the pews after the service?), and without thinking it through my brain goes to autoresponder and I say, “Yes, I’ll lead out in the children’s classes” even though I have no talent in that area nor desire to add a weekly commitment to my already overbooked life.

And so I serve out my term from a position of holeness and feel guilty because I can’t find it in me to serve wholeheartedly. It’s a lose-lose situation. This happened a lot during my caregiver journey (a time in life when our biggest temptation is to prove we actually are Wonder Woman).

This year I made a commitment to allow God to constrain me. Constrain has a double, opposite meaning—to compel and to hold back. I want him to make up my mind (which means I need to keep listening). In order to allow God time to speak, I have to create space between the question and my answer.

I have uninstalled the autoresponder feature on my mouth and installed WaitTime 4.9. When opportunities arise, I can answer one of two ways. “Let me pray about it” works when dealing with Christians and those who know me well enough to know that my relationship with God comes first. “Let me check my schedule” suffices when dealing with anyone else.

I have uninstalled the #autoresonder on my mouth. #LivingForward Click To Tweet

It helps to have a Life Plan backing me up (something that I invested a lot of prayer and study in) so that I have an actual framework for my prayer (“Father, you helped me come up with a Life Plan, is this an opportunity that you want me to take? If so, please show me how it fits in with what you want.”) The Life Plan also helped me see the importance of filling in time slots for the most important events first—the ‘big rocks’—so that my life doesn’t fill with little things.

I want to say with Caleb that, “I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.” (Joshua 14:8 NIV).

What about you? How do you make decisions so that you can serve with your whole heart?

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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