Dr. Jeremiah Johnston welcomes Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley, a physician and author known by many as “Dr. Carol.” They discuss the emotional health and the value of life. Dr. Carol Ministries reaches people with a holistic approach gained through her experience as a physician and her theological education, earning her the moniker, “Doctor-Doctor.”
Rather than viewing people as comprised of different facets, Tanksley views humans as holistic beings. “The way some groups in Christianity talk about our humanness is that I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body. Not that that’s wrong, but God didn’t create us as separate pieces,” she says. “You can’t separate the different parts of our humanness from each other – the physical, emotional, relational, spiritual parts – any more than you can separate the flour, sugar, eggs, and salt in a loaf of bread. We are baked together into an integrated whole. Because we are integrated, whole human beings, God’s best for us demands that He has access to all these other areas of our lives.”
Christians find that their physical actions, their relationships, and their mental focus all play an integral role in their faith walks. When facing anxiety, Christians do well to remember that they can choose their focus to a great extent. “If you want positive resilience, it’s important to keep the bad stuff out and keep the good stuff in,” Tanksley says. “We have a choice about the food our minds take in. We have a choice and it makes a difference.”
Since grief is unavoidable in life, people are served by learning how to manage it. “Healing doesn’t just drop on you. For me, I didn’t want to work on the grief, but I realized that was the thing that would help me go through it,” Tanksley says.
In helping others through their pain, Johnston and Tanklsey emphasize the ministry of presence. Johnston recounts a time when he simply read in the Psalms and prayed over a suffering person. “I want to say this to those who may be suffering: know that your profound grief is never wasted. God will and can bring good from it. God will restore your joy,” Johnston says.
Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley (MD, MDiv and DMin) is an OB-Gyn, a speaker, and an author. Her books include, “Overcoming Fear & Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare,” “Live Healthy, Live Whole: Your Prescription for Healthy Living, Loving Relationships, and Joyful Spirituality,” and the recent, “The Christian’s Journey Through Grief: How to Walk Through the Valley with Hope.”