On Wholeness and Healing


“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”” ~Revelation 21:5

This week, I wrote three terrible poems, stalked my littlest big kid and her friends via Find My Phone while trick or treating, fought with my husband, contemplated whether or not I’m depressed, packed for a trip, made up with my husband, recorded a podcast in which I couldn’t unearth anything worth saying, and accidentally got a new puppy. Throw in some laundry and errands, and you have what feels like the longest week in a very long year full of long, hard months.

I’m not depressed, although my feelings seem to speak to the contrary. I am tired. I am disappointed. I am grieving this year before the crystal ball countdown and champagne toasts and midnight kisses. When January began, I named 2016 my “Year of Restoration”. In a twist of irony even I couldn’t have predicted, February to October proceeded to mock me with their middle finger.

On Monday, I reminded God that there are only a few weeks left for a successful finish to the Restoration Project. Which means I’d like a sense of peace, a bold voice, joy, meaningful work, a tricky relationship, and a good night’s sleep restored to me. I want the backside I had in my twenties, motivation to keep running the race of faith, patience for parenting, creative inspiration, and hope for the troubled state of humanity.

Is this too much to ask? Probably. But, I’m asking anyway because I am tired of penning poor poetry. I’m weary of stuffing down my desires, of hiding the longing for wholeness and healing for every part of me. Desire is rarely seen as something holy, but I believe it can be. Brokenness in our relationships, emotional health, and calling can masquerade as something to be celebrated. I have brokenness in my life, but I won’t waste time bowing down to it when my deepest need is healing.

I fell in love with Amsterdam when we visited years ago. Marijuana and red-light district aside, it is a lovely city hallmarked by ever-present bicycles and criss-cross canals. The two appear to be mutually exclusive, one is made for traversing cobblestone streets, and the other made for gliding swans and scenic sightseeing. In a city of nearly one million bikes, 15,000 are discovered submerged in the canal every year. It’s become a tourist attraction of sorts: a “fishing” company pulling bent frames, rusted spokes, and flat tires out from the murky water daily. No one knows how the bikes end up there, whether through negligence or more nefarious means.

This submersion and hidden brokenness brings to mind a baptism of sorts, only in Amsterdam, when the hydraulic claw draws the bicycles up from their watery grave, they are broken beyond fixing. In contrast, baptism is an agent of change and healing. What enters the grave, comes out redeemed and renewed. I believe in this wholeness and healing. I have hope that, with two months to go, restoration of my desires is still possible. I can choose to focus on what is still broken in my life, or I can choose to submit my desires to a baptism. I can submerge them in Living Water, and trust they will break through the surface renewed, revitalized, and holy. All things made new.

Restoration Project is a go.