Lenten Devotion, Thursday, February 25, 2021: By JT Spoede

LENTEN DEVOTION 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

 
By Dr. John T. Spoede, LPC-S

When we talk about healing we sometimes picture it as a journey to a destination. We think if we go through the process of healing, we will arrive at a place where we are healed. While this is sometimes true, it is not always the most helpful way to deal with loss, hardship, or grief. Sometimes healing or restoration to our “before” state is not possible, or it is too overwhelming a prospect to actually work toward. That is why, in dealing with my clients and in my own healing journeys, I prefer to focus on wellness.

Wellness is the integration of physical, mental, and spiritual activities, choices, and lifestyle that lead to holistic well-being. As a concept, it recognizes that many different areas contribute to our overall health, and those various areas need to be cared for and balanced for us to thrive. When we increase our overall wellness, we are in a better place to weather the storms of life. 

I encourage people to focus on wellness because, by God’s grace, it is something we can work toward even while our trauma or challenge is ongoing. This concept removes the pressure of trying to achieve a particular state of being “healed” or “well” and instead adapts to our circumstances. Wellness also lets us focus on things we can control.

There are many models of the Wellness Wheel, but they all contain similar components. The Princeton University version references seven broad categories of wellness. 
The OT Toolbox has another version of the Wheel for kids and families that demonstrates only six general categories with some expanded explanation within each category
 

God is multifaceted. Being made in His image, we are likewise multifaceted. When I introduce this concept to clients, I ask them to consider the different components of the Wheel and identify one area where they can increase their wellness. I encourage you to do the same, or to take this brief personal assessment, and complete the associated self-reflection questions.

As we walk through this Lenten season, I cannot help but think that Christ gave His all on the cross so that we could have life abundant in Him. Let us use the gifts of God’s strength, grace, and mercy to live the healthiest and most balanced lives we can. Doing so, we honor Christ’s sacrifice and live into the prayer of 3 John 1:2: “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” And, I encourage you to meditate on healing and wellness as you listen to the SMBC choir bless you with the hymn “It is Well with my Soul”.

About the Author
JT Spoede is a husband, dad of three, an educator, and therapist. In addition to his Ph.D in Educational Psychology and his counseling credentials, he has a Doctorate of Ministry and has been a minister of the gospel for more than 20 years. He’s been a member of South Main since 2017, and he currently serves as an adult Sunday school teacher and a member of the Nominating Committee.

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