Hi! My name is Katelyn Hargrave,
and I am the founder of Wholly Good.
I grew up in a Christian culture that told me my body was sinful/evil and did not really talk much about “spirituality.” Any “spiritual formation” that was taught focused mostly on Bible study and prayer, and any conversation around the body focused on “the flesh” being something that causes temptation and would cause me to sin or would prohibit me from connecting with God. In light of that, much of what was communicated taught that only way I could be made good is through Christ once I "get to heaven," and that the best way(s) to become a better Christian was through church attendance, Bible study, and prayer. While these methods can be helpful ways for people to connect with God, they are not the only ways. In fact, this message was kind of harmful as it inherently (and sometimes directly) told me to ignore my body in my spiritual formation. I have found this message to be not only harmful, but false. God works in our lives in a variety of ways, not simply through the more “traditional” avenues previously listed, and most certainly not by ignoring a part of who God made us to be.
I do believe that God, through Christ, has shown us the best way to live in our bodies as God came to us in flesh and set an example for us to follow.
I do not believe that we are inherently “bad” or “evil.” We are made good.
In fact, Genesis 1 tells us that God created us as very good and as beings made in God’s image. If these things are true, which I believe they are, then that means that we are still good. Goodness does not mean perfection, but it does mean we are more fully who God created us to be, and more reflective of who God is, when we live into that created goodness.
When we treat our bodies with love and respect, we are living into that goodness.
When we work to grow ourselves holistically (mentally, spiritually, and physically) we are living into that goodness.
When we are intentional about our spiritual formation as a whole person practice, we are living into that goodness.
This is why Wholly Good exists.
Bachelors of Science in Christian Ministry
Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual & Missional Formation
Hazelip School of Theology, Lipscomb University
D.Min. Project: Embodying the Image of God: A Call to Holistic Spiritual Formation
Masters of Religious Education in Missional Leadership
Why This Matters To Me
Over the years I have found a love for spiritual formation practices. I have also worked hard to form a positive relationship with my body and unlearn some harmful messages I had learned about myself.
Shortly after my 28th birthday I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In a time where I was the most physically strong and eating healthier than ever had before, I was diagnosed with a disease I never expected. A disease my own body created.
I had already come to realize that I was made good, yet I battled with myself as I now faced a cancer diagnosis. As I went through treatments and began to relearn my own body, I pressed into the fact that I believed I was made good and this illness was not what God intended for me. Throughout the process I watched for God to reveal what I could learn through the experience, even as I struggled.
As a result, I have found a passion for sharing spiritual formation practices in conjunction with sharing that our bodies are good.
Toxic Christian culture, the media, and many other sources try to tell us that we are broken, that we are too fat or too thin, that our spiritual formation is just meant for our heads and not our whole selves, the list could go on... but I have found, time and time again, that God has made us good. This is an exciting and liberating realization and I want to share it with others. I firmly believe that when we approach spiritual formation as a holistic practice we are able to more fully live into who we were created to be.
If you are interested in growing spiritually and engaging your spiritual growth through whole person wellness, reach out! I would be honored to walk with you as you step into this journey for the first time, or as a partner with you as you continue down this path.
May we reflect the Imago Dei as we step into who we are created to be, and as we find community with others in the process.