From hole to whole

Don’t forget to fill out the Christmas boxes in the Dick Building for the volunteers! | PC: Sterling Cornwell

Don’t forget to fill out the Christmas boxes in the Dick Building for the volunteers! | PC: Sterling Cornwell

The familiar thought mostly flashed through my mind, but I say mostly because it’s so familiar the understanding of it was complete even in the blink of an eye.

"I'm alone."

Oh mercy! Even as I was praying, somehow my mind wandered back to the place of unreasonable hopelessness.

The hole in my heart bled a little. This familiar thought has led me to many vices, especially stress eating and chocolate, video games, YouTube until 4 a,m., etc. Escaping from reality, in essence. I'm sure some of you can already guess what "alone" means.

It's basically pitiful. Alone means (read the rest with a southern accent and you'll really get the laugh) “I ain't got no woman to beee mah one an' ownlay!” I know, I know! It's really sad, isn't it?! Please restrain yourself! Stop those feelings of pity and "Awww! Poor boy"!

I'm not writing this so people will feel bad for me but rather because I think certain, probably most, things in my experience are shared by all humanity and we all have the opportunity to learn from each other.

I sat there thinking about what just went through my head and what to do about it, my man-mind basically blank (we can do that, you know), digesting the leftovers of this dilemma. Then God gave me a shove and I started praying again. I believe God leads us in our prayers; the answer came to my mind.

"Jesus, YOU are my Wholeness."


"Hmmm..." I thought as an impression of revelation and comfort set in. "That works pretty well! Yeah, God, You ARE my wholeness! Thank You for being my wholeness!"

Just now I realized there better be some Biblical backup for this theme and indeed, there is.

"For in Him we live and move and have our being...." from Acts 17:28. This world often tells us things like: Find yourself within, stay true to who you are, and things like that. And although I’m grateful for the way God made me, the talents and unique individuality He has put in me, my weak, sinful nature always seems to come through.

I don't want to be defined by selfishness. I don't want this alone feeling to rule over me, over the good things God has given me. I must find my wholeness in something greater than myself. The good in me which is there from God is not crowded out by Him. He completes it!

As I’ve been in Kenya, God has been trying to teach me to expect that He will use the unexpected to teach, grow and prepare me for the future He has for me.

His plan means I’m not in control of my circumstances and this is incredibly hard to accept. But the thing is, when He brings something unexpected into our lives, the only real way to thrive through that situation is by surrendering control to God, by turning to a greater strength outside of ourselves.

Just think about Paul and Silas in chains, in prison at Philippi (Acts 16)! Even in their situation they found security in something greater than circumstances. If we find our wholeness in God, He makes us a pillar, a tower of strength and influence to those around us. The love and acceptance we find in Him will be found in us when we rest our identity in what is the Infinite, Unchanging, God.


Sterling Cornwell is serving as an international volunteer at Maxwell Academy in Kenya.