The Unwell Christian: Shouldn’t it be Well?
When I accidentally discovered I was a writer, I knew that Jesus and I would have to go into the deep and figure out why I was not “well.” What is that thing that all the unwell Christians chime?
It is well with my soul.
I don’t think I was lying, maybe the melody just got stuck in my head. And that fake barn wood sign hanging in the hall, professing this poetic scripture looks so lovely, Chip and Joanna style. Plus, it was on clearance at Hobby Lobby – with just the tiniest bit of damage to the upper right corner. Still, I sit in pews that are lined, but for a moment with the brokenhearted, desperate to believe this time the sermon will stick, the worship will mend, and the promises we’ve cut our teeth on will finally line up with the Good News we were promised.
No, I am not a liar. And goodness, I do like Jesus.
But the term “wellness” has been hijacked by the media. I knew for sure, to truly profess it was well with my soul meant that much of the struggle had to do with the unpleasantness I saw on the outside of me that mocked the wellness on the inside of me. And all the world has a suggestion or 9,000.
An unending chorus of, “It is well with my soul… but girl, fix yourself,” is loudly sung by the unwell Christian.
And the media is quick to criticize. Although there are the occasional accolades too. There is someone who likes big butts and cannot lie.
There are others who are brazen enough to share their hatred for the curvaceous or the painfully thin. As if their crude opinion on Facebook is the driving force that one needs to make healthy changes.
Then there are the lonely bachelors scouring the interweb looking for their perfect mate. I woke to one of those “love letters” this morning. Were I to respond to Dave, a “good Christian man,” in Overland park, I think I would say:
Dear Dave, well, I need a hot minute to stop swooning. Your offer to run off to Kansas with you and have free housing in your mother’s basement, with you and your 4 cats is quite appealing. And, while I have never considered the luxury or lucrative benefits of assistant-managing a thriving angora goat farm, it did give me pause. Unfortunately, I have two or more issues. One, I am married with six children.
And while my husband does have a degree in range management and animal science, I noticed that he and the children were not invited. Furthermore, obviously you did not see past my “voluptuous smokin’ hot bod” to read that I am a writer of freedom words for women, women who are so much more than a bra size or tiny waist. This to me is a deal-breaker. I feel like communication would be a huge struggle for me, you, the cats, the goats, and your momma. Thank you for the generous offer, at this time, I see no need for us to communicate ever – no never – again. Respectfully? Jami
Isn’t this the whole truth, what we see on social media, television, and magazines gives the illusion of wellness according to the eyes, but there is no telling what is really going on if we were to know (or actually read) the whole story or bio.
The whole story of wellness is not from without, it is from within.
Outside of a girl, there is the loud clamor of praise and criticism. And from outside there are vitamins, prescription solutions, chaos, lack, and want. This is the place where we operate from without. From within, the truth of the “unwell” is but a lie.
Girl, you are well.
Don’t give up on this yet, I swear there is more.
I understand about chronic illness, food allergies, tragedies, financial struggle, loss, stress, depression, anxiety, hopes dashed, delinquent children, misguided decisions, confusion, oppression, and spilled apple juice. Truly, it is impossible to clean up. The stickiness is relentless.
And this is the space that the unwell Christian begs reprieve.
But from within, that is where the magic sits unattended.
That is what I discovered or uncovered when I wrote a “wellness” book. It was not about what we should or should not eat, drink, or rub on the fleshy part of the back of our arms or under our chins. It was this great mystery, Christ in us, the hope of Glory.
And when I left my family for nine days to write my book, “Well, Girl,” I prayed I would get THE ANSWER. The one instant download that would have all the solutions for every woman who begged to finally be well. I prayed and journaled, I poured out my heart, which was humiliating and cathartic and I waited for Jesus to say, “Okay, here is what every woman needs to do to be well!”
Still, nothing occurred to me and then, in a flash, I realized, “Why would God tell me what to tell them to do, I don’t know them?”
The answers to wellness are not found in a one size fits all program. We are created as individuals. Our stories are uniquely ours and our design is like a snowflake, delicate and intricate, none like another.
This is grand.
And this left me in a place where I felt completely seen and known, entirely understood. I have said about another human, “they get me, they know exactly what I need or feel.” But that isn’t even possible. There is not anyone on the planet that could begin to fully understand the complexities, fears, hopes, desires, and oddities that make up me, Jami Jo McKelvie Amerine.
Not even my doting husband who brings me coffee, exactly as I love it, without me even asking. Justin knows me and loves me, and I, him… and it is a special thing. But it is also a human thing. And humanity has its messes. Were all the eggs to be in the basket of humanity, when the basket topples, worlds are shattered.
Aside from the occasional marriage proposal, I get the emails from the broken and unwell, sisters in Christ who are in desperate need of THE ANSWER. And, while I feel better than I ever have, and I love to minister and teach, I am not the answer, nor do I have a program for you to follow that will fix every issue you find yourself facing.
But, I know who does. And I know if I know, this thing, this answer is not evasive or impossible to experience. It is in you, with you, for you and you are His favorite.
The world has told the unwell Christian woman to take heed, beware the false teacher, and do this and never ever do that. Seriously don’t do that, are you crazy? And I believe this has only added to her unwellness. She is bombarded with solutions that worked for that gal and when it doesn’t work for her… she is left feeling less than favored. Separated from the One who was supposed to lead and protect her. The One who told her all would be well.
Why doesn’t she get it?
Well, perhaps because it wasn’t for her. And everything is permissible, but is it beneficial for you? The snowflake, the one and only, the beloved favorite with whom He cannot be displeased?
From without she searched for a solution but had she searched from within, it would be entirely perfect, and the struggle would have been a stranger to her. Fear is not at home in perfect Love and you – dear one, who was created by Love hold everything within you for peace.
Wait, what? You want tangible change and concrete answers to all that holds you in a state of unwellness? I get it.
However, were I to give you a simple answer that helped me divide and conquer, it would be my answer. I have found a peace that surpasses all understanding. Simultaneously, I have met with solutions to issues that I personally have dealt with for years. But those only occurred when I stopped looking at my trials from without and met them head-on from within.
It sounds quite cryptic. Maybe it is supposed to.
For if it wasn’t I would just be another guru or savant that may or may not get you into that cocktail dress before January first, or help you wrestle your anxiety into submission. There are helps that He might ordain, for you and others He might direct you to refrain from. But who better than He who adores His creation, who knew you before you were born, knit together in secret with all the care and craftsmanship that He took when He invented the platypus and daisies?
Who better than Love to tend to His love?
Oh, but there are so many words I could write in the hopes you would buy my books and read my prose. Yet, I know they would pale in comparison to that which was already accomplished and lies in wait, patiently ready for you to recognize. “It is well Beloved – I am right here.”
I wrote a book on wellness. It is not what you might think. I believe it holds much truth, some humor… and some things you might really need to read. Still, Girl… please know, He waits. Always, He will answer.
It is indeed… well.
Jesus be all over you. Love, Jami
To whom God did will make known what is the riches of the glory of this secret among the nations — which is Christ in you, the hope of the glory. Colossians 1:27
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