Wholly Healthy: Physically - Mentally - Socially - Spiritually


Debbie Cox, Health Ministries Director





"I wasn't going to see 24. I wore a smile to hide the pain of existing, the emptiness of taking up space. Nothing I did mattered. Just an overwhelming sense of my nothingness. A fog I couldn't see through, a night with no end.
I had plenty of distractions, plenty of destructive coping mechanisms. The things I would use to distract me from myself just made me hate myself more. No amount of anything would fill the void. Being full but feeling empty is a weird place to be.

I had known my problem though. I had walked away from my Father and expected to find happiness everywhere else. Year after year I'd say, "this is it, I'm going to get it together. Fitness, finances, family and faith!" Yet, somehow with all the gusto I had going in, I'd fall right back into the same trap. Failing again and again.
That's where my problem was, I suppose. No supposition really, the problem was that I thoughted I needed to clean myself up before I could come home. I thought cleaning up the pig sty would make me less of a pig. What I had forgotten is that I was a son.
It took a pandemic and a week or so alone to understand what my trajectory was. I didn't want to die, but existing without meaning was just as bad. As I lay in bed the question, "why are you here?" repeated in my head with a growing intensity. There was an urgency behind the question and I didn't have an answer. All I could do is cry out and say, "I don't know why I'm here but I want you to show me."
I remembered that I was a son. I remembered that I had a loving Father waiting to welcome me back home. With all my failures and flaws, He still loved me for who I was and who I was meant to be. The only way I would have come home is if I gave up the fantasy of cleaning up my pig pen.
From there, it's been a journey of learning how to live like a son again. There are times when I doubt if I've been truly accepted. My Father is always there to reassure me of His love. Times when the pig pen feels more like home, but He keeps reminding me that He is home. Learning to live like a son again is hard, but every step is worth it. 
I just wanted to share some of my journey; I'm not at the finish line, but I'm still in the race. I've lost 140 lbs. with 50ish to go. My whole lifestyle changed, only one normal sized meal a day, mainly vegan diet and a job that keeps me moving a lot. 
My progress should be more, but I'm extraordinarily blessed by the progress as it is."

Derryl, a NY Conference youth

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