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We do not experience wholeness by trying to experience everything to an equal degree—or by trying to experience exactly what everyone else is experiencing. There is no one size fits all plan. Wholeness does not happen because we add one part work, one part play, one part relationships, and one part personal time. Wholeness doesn’t result when we try to make another person’s lifestyle our own. Christ-centeredness leads to a wholeness that is always more than the simple sum of our parts. We never gain it by following a generic formula whereby we add exact amounts of this and that and come up with wholeness. In reality, our wholeness may derive from what seems to others to be a lopsided compilation.

At certain points our lives may appear out of balance to others because we have a particular focus. Fortunately we can experience balance and wholeness even if others cannot perceive it. This is why it is not always helpful to compare ourselves to others. The things that contribute to another’s balance and wholeness at this moment in time may not contribute to ours at the same moment. That is why one woman can experience balance and wholeness in Christ while staying home with her children, and another woman can have an equally strong sense of balance and wholeness in Christ while pursuing a career. What may seem like completely different commitments can actually produce the same result.

The strange but wonderful thing about being centered in Christ is that it looks and feels different for each of us. Though the circumstances and pace of our lives may be different, we can find balance in every season of life by keeping our focus on Christ and being flexible to follow his lead.

Christ’s call is radical, requiring our full commitment and our very lives, yet it comes to each of us in the context of our own lives. For some of us, this may mean using our gifts and passions to serve others in other lands or in full-time ministry, but for others of us it will mean connecting our gifts and passions with what God is doing right here in our midst, right here at home, right here in the unique circumstances of our lives.

Are you ready to stop comparing yourself to others and accept that one size does not fit all?  Have you found a formula that makes you feel most balanced and whole for your current season of life?

This post is an excerpt from Finding Balance in a World of Extremes: Reflections from The Christ-Centered Woman by Kimberly Dunnam Reisman, coming this Fall.