how many times has our health held us back? whether it be from having fun and simply living life, or from something bigger? from a purpose? maybe we felt too fatigued. we had migraines. our anxiety or depression felt too great. we let the outward manifestations of our health dictate our worth or ability to pursue a calling.
while to some of you it might feel like a stretch, to me, it’s not. health is a mission field. and I can say this because I can think of specific situations in my own life where I was too focused on my own “unwellness” that I let myself be held back, both in life and in my faith. I let it dictate my worth instead of the Lord. I let a selfish way of thinking distract me from things that were bigger than myself.
I’ve been reading the devotional 100 Days to Brave (an incredible and easy read, by the way!) which ultimately talks about pinpointing your passion and using it as your platform, whatever that may be. not many people really think of health + wellness – more specifically a preventative wellness approach – as being that type of platform (it might be if you’re a surgeon and perform miraculous surgeries). but I have a passion to help others see the best in themselves when they feel like their best is hidden by what they see in the mirror or what they were told in their last doctor’s appointment. I want to help others see the version of themselves that God sees.
I’m not saying you have to be a size 2 or free of illness to be able to “see your best self.” I am simply a firm believer that our health has a way of consuming us from the inside and out that it can become an obstacle. so many times I see people experience feelings of self-loathing, disappointment, physical and emotional burdens, and unworthiness in the midst of poor health.
perhaps not everyone feels this way – but I know when my health was at its worst, these are the thoughts than ran through my mind. and if there’s anything I’ve learned through vocalizing my struggles with anxiety + panic, I know I can’t be the only one.
so how do I see it playing into a “mission,” exactly? truthfully, it’s taken me a long time to be able to find the words to explain how I view it.
to me, there is something in the act of obedience and self-discipline with our health that follows so closely to what God calls us to do in all the other areas of our lives. I think when we are disciplined with our health and see physical, tangible results, it serves as encouragement for the other areas of our life that require a little bit more faith.
diet and exercise, or anything else related to bettering our health, definitely require self-discipline. it’s not always easy – we want to have cheat/rest days. sometimes even when we are being obedient to the guidelines we set for ourselves, we don’t always see the results we want or as quickly as we want. but, when we stick with it despite the discouragement or even loss of hope, we eventually start to overcome the obstacles we once saw and start to see things become pieced together.
the growing pains and self-discipline associated with bettering my own health have shown me the importance of staying strong and staying true to the trials I face in my faith. the tangible experiences of my health has helped me see that action and obedience breeds results. additionally, when I feel at a stand-still in my circumstances, that things have a way of coming to fruition with a little perseverance.
not only that, but I find that my time spent running or walking have provided me with time to spend with God, whether it be spent praying, in worship, or even in self-reflection – spending time with myself to be able to take note of how I feel, how life is going, what I like, what I don’t like, what I want to do about the things I don’t like… clearing my mind to be able to hear what God might be trying to tell me.
I just know when I’m active and nourishing my body the way I was intended to, my thoughts are less self-focused. when I feel better, I’m not left thinking about my headaches or fatigue, how I don’t like how I look, or even about my anxiety (maybe some day I’ll talk about how detoxing immensely decreased my mental health struggles). instead, I feel more in tune with others, I feel full of life and ready to go.
illness and pain weren’t an issue until the garden of eden when sin entered the world – therefore it is my firm belief that the enemy can (and will) use our health against us, no matter how acute or chronic our conditions may be.
thank you, readers, for letting me share my heart. I acknowledge that this idea of “health as a mission” might feel like a stretch to some, but I know that this passion to help others be healthy and feel like their best selves has been laid on my heart for a reason and is my motivation behind everything I do.
what’s your passion? let me know in the comments!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
— HEBREWS 12:1-3 —