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Reflections on Being WHOLE

When my wife asked me if I would consider writing a blog reflecting on the “WHOLE” conference I was adamant that I would only do so if I felt inspired to share. I did not want it to be a “chore” or an “assignment”. After prayer and soul-searching, the Lord convinced me that sharing about the conference and how it spoke to me would be enjoyable and even cathartic. Consequently, the Lord began to help me formulate a plan to share just how the conference impacted my life.

I must confess I initially agreed to attend the conference more out of a sense of duty than anything else. I desired to support my wife and wanted to share in her ministry endeavors. But as the conference evolved I was ministered to and found myself being reminded of some very important truths. The process began with renewing a relationship with a Godly couple who are very involved in ministry and a delight to be around. I was reminded of just how valuable Christian friendships are and how the common bond of Christ’s love energizes and motivates us.

As the conference began to focus on mind, body and spirit and how the three are inextricably linked, the Lord pricked my heart about a trial our family experienced a couple of years ago and the parallels that experience had with the focus of the conference. Our middle, adult son began to exhibit some very uncharacteristic behaviors that put our whole family in a tailspin and a sense of bewilderment. To fully appreciate the situation, you have to understand our son’s personality. Since he is the middle child he is a “fixer” of family conflicts. He is very conscientious and pretty much a perfectionist. He is very easy-going for the most part but can be a worry-wart. Thus started the process of a downward spiral in his life which took our whole family to the battlefield of spiritual warfare with the enemy—Satan. We claimed the promises in 1 John 4:18, that “Perfect love drives out fear” and 2 Chronicles 20:15 “for the battle is not yours, but God’s”. Praise the Lord for His truths, but the eventual victory took a while to come to fruition.

Our son’s journey began with concerns he had for his health and the fear that he would not be around to help raise his precious family. This is how the enemy works. He gets a foothold in our lives and gets us to focus on fear and not the victory we have in Christ. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). As our son began to lose sleep, the imbalance in his life began to take its toll. He would pace back and forth in a small room for hours only to get more frustrated and more tired. He and our whole family were under spiritual attack and in a big way. Continually we prayed for deliverance for him and claimed the victory through the truths found in Ephesians 6:10-14 i.e. “putting on the full armor of God”.

As his faith strengthened, and ours as well, we were all able to look back on the battle and recognize the Lord’s provision through it all. We all experienced growth from the trial and knew that the exhortation from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8 to “think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – and anything excellent or praiseworthy” will continue to help us be victorious in Christ. Our son takes this to heart and has scripture posted on the dash in his vehicle, in front of the speedometer, for a constant reminder of 1 Timothy 1:7—“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

As I reflect back on the “WHOLE” conference, God’s goodness reverberates in reinforcement, affirmation and praise. It is critical for our well-being and our witness that there be a balance between mind, body and spirit; and in that balance we are truly WHOLE.


 

Rick Bandermann, from Cape Girardeau, MO, has been a Christ-follower for over 55 years. He has been married to his best friend, Pam, for 45 years and they have 3 sons and 7 grandchildren. Rick is a financial advisor and his passions are traveling, fishing, hunting, enjoying the great outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. He is active in ministries of his local church.

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