Moving Toward Wholeness


This morning’s daily Enneagram email that I received had this teaching…

For real change to occur, you will always need awareness, dedication, and perseverance.

February 23, 2022 – Enneagram Institute Daily Email

This teaching is so timely as four years ago today was one of the most significant personal days I’ve had.  I was just a few days past my final day at my previous congregation and very unsure of what was to come.  My time at that congregation did not end as I had hoped and there was a lot weighing upon me about what was ahead.  My parents gave me a trip to Colorado to just get away from things and I spent my first day in the mountains from before sunrise until that evening.  I hiked over 10 miles in the snow, I finished Kate Bowler’s book Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I’ve Loved) while eating pizza in Estes Park, I soaked in the beauty of a Colorado day that started sunny and cold and ended with heavy snow falling.  By the end of the day I was exhausted but it was a good and necessary one.  I needed that “walkabout” time to begin to exorcise some of the pain and hurt that had been building up and to begin to make the transition from what was to what was going to be.  

I find it, well, interesting, that just a few days ago, I took a photo at the Manassas Battlefield while we were away visiting family that spoke so much of who I have been growing to understand myself to be.  It was a moment where I didn’t realize all that was before me until after I looked at the photo later.  There was so much in there that spoke to the growth and change that God has worked in me and I have stuck with through not only the last four years but also in the years before that time.  It spoke of the awareness, dedication, and perseverance that has been there in me.  

In the photograph, I saw my heart for seeing the beauty in the world and the moments around me.  I saw my deep and abiding love of this beautiful creation that reflects the Creator’s hand.  I saw a shepherd’s crook in the sky which speaks of what I feel is one of my gifts as a pastor – to shepherd and guide people on their journeys of faith.  My shadow is at the center of the photo, created by the low morning sun and I’m reminded of how much of my work was about working to understand my shadow side in my life and not hiding it or ignoring it but instead working on how to integrate it and live it.  The photo is one of perspective – something that a friend commented on about this photo on social media.  Another friend noted the cross that is in the center of the photo where the horizontal beam comes from something I am unsure of the source in the scene.  It speaks to the power of God that is outside of me and beyond me but still impacts and centers my life.  There are beautiful colors and beautiful light which fill my heart and renew my soul.  Finally there is the big sky which fills more than half of the photo – I am reminded of what a spiritual director shared with me back in 2013 about how my soul needs that sense of the largeness of life and connecting me to something far bigger than myself.  

I don’t know if I could have seen all of this four years ago.  Four years ago, I was hurting, angry, worried, unsure, hopeful, grateful, and trusting, among many other emotions.  As I look back at the photos and experience of that day four years ago, I am so grateful for what has stirred in me – in the healing and transformation brought by God’s Holy Spirit, in the companionship of people who have helped me along the way, and feeling so much gratitude for where I find myself now.  I am not complete at this time – I am not there yet and I don’t believe that I ever will be.  But I have a greater sense of wholeness than ever before and for that I am so grateful.  

Categories: HealingTags: , , , , ,

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