The Surprising Secret to Becoming Whole

The Surprising Secret to Becoming Whole

Dear friend,

It scared me just a bit to type out that title. It’s somewhat of a bold statement with the promise of the secret sauce to becoming whole. Yikes!

Since this is quite a tall order, I’ll let you know I don’t have all the answers. However, in case you’re like me and you’re longing to feel whole, here’s a recent journey of mine that you might find interesting.

This week’s been hard …emotionally hard. There are several key reasons for that but the bottom line is that it left me crying most days, feeling near anxiety attacks on others, and afraid I might be having that Humpty-Dumpty breaking for sure this time.

Maybe you can relate.

Writing in my journal each day, as Julia Cameron describes, has become a “brain drain” exercise to release all the thoughts ping-ponging around in my head that often take up an enormous amount of precious space.

I’ll share a little snippet with you of my journal entry on Thursday, January 28, 2021:

“One day, I will go on to be with You (Jesus) and finally be whole …complete …lacking nothing; yet there is promise of that to some extent here. I need that today. All day today! Just found the verse…”

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything!” (James 1:4, NIV)

And there it was, the answer to my longing to be whole, complete, lacking nothing and I wasn’t sure I wanted it.


The irony of something making you whole that ends with letters that sound more like something was “severed” from your body seemed a little painful. I wasn’t sure I liked the direction this was going.

By definition, perseverance means: “…the quality of those who persevere—continue to do or try to achieve something despite difficulty or discouragement“– (from ). Maybe this picture helps it make a little more sense.

Those who struggle with any degree of anxiety or depression know that we are some of the most courageous people in the world. I mean that. To get up and get out each day — especially in an unprecedented, cataclysmic pandemic — takes super-hero kind of fortitude.

Making sure the mask is on, the hands washed (repeatedly), the hand sanitizer at finger-tip reach, temp checks in some areas, and maintaining social distancing …whew! It’s enough to throw any OCD, anxious ridden person over the edge. Bless Humpty Dumpty!

Let’s all take a minute and cheer ourselves on for getting out the door today!

I’m not sure I like the idea of persevering but I’m pretty sure I need it if I’m going to be whole and complete …lacking nothing.

Ahhhh…but how do you develop perseverance?

Funny you should ask. James has a way with words and if you look more into his first chapter, you’ll find these earlier words:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

James 1:2-4 (NIV)

Trials. Testing of your faith. Unfortunately, these are the main ingredients to persevering. James said to “consider it pure joy!” These months we’ve experienced an enormous amount of stress while trying to live whole and complete in a world with a pandemic and political pandemonium, haven’t we!

This not only has affected us as a country, but also greatly changed the landscape of our every-days lives with family and friends. Life is just not the same anymore and the light at the end of the tunnel still seems vague and distant.

The New Living Translation uses the word, “endurance,” for perseverance. These words give another view to this challenge.

“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (from James 1, NLT)

Endurance. Perseverance. What does that look like for you these days?

For me, it means —

~Keep going …even in difficult circumstances and uncertain days ahead (COVID-19, grief and loss, uncertainties, isolation from family, division in church and country, add your own here …).

~Continue being about my Father’s business (loving Him …loving others …encouraging those God brings into my path with His Spirit’s strength and power).

~Discipline myself to rest and count my blessings, naming them one by one so sadness and loss don’t overtake me.

“Sabbath time assumes that if we step back and rest, we will see the wholeness in it all. We will naturally apprehend the good in how things are, taste the underlying strength, beauty, and wisdom that lives even in the difficult days, take delight in the gift and blessing of being alive.”

Wayne Muller,
Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives
Random House Publishers

~Remember, this world is not my home . “I’m just a passin’ through.”

~Look for ways to create, live and inspire others.

~Make space for beauty.

~Soak up the daily bread of God’s presence and His word like my life depended on it.

My dear friend, we’re in this together. Life is tough but we can at least walk it together so we’re not alone. “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again,” but our Father in heaven works wonders with broken and cracked people.

Let’s keep hanging on. Being held by the Father, He’ll see us through.

Featured Image by Mabel Amber from Pixabay

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Joy3

    You inspire me!!! Beautiful words of a transparent heart!!! 💛🦋

  2. Gail

    I love this Joy! It’s been a hard few weeks and this made me feel so much better and gave me hope! Thank you!! I also love the photo you chose to go with this post.

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      I’m so glad this was encouraging to you, Gail. We all need to help each other have hope to see beyond the anxiety & stress we’ve all been going through this last year. May you feel God’s presence with you in a special way today.

  3. Gail

    Thank you so much!

Go for it! Leave a comment. :-)