By: M. Charlotte Oliver 

This week starts the last leg of the thing, which has drained me, brought me joy, imprinted in my heart so much knowledge on human nature. The thing, which has broken me, made me cry, offered me intense laughter. The one that has revived my spirit, which provides me much hope. I do not believe there is need to say what this thing is. In fact, I just will not 🙂  

The last three weeks have been days filled with preparation to defend this thing. I am brave and I am scared. I do not know why the feeling of scaredness is upon me since I honor the construct of fearless leadership in everything I do. I think mostly these complex comportments of myself, stems from the notion that I am getting older. My left knee has been a challenge lately. I cannot rise from my bed without hearing it crack. The right one hurts on colder, snowy weather. The right knee hurts so badly this morning. I know my body and what it takes to heal. I am also brilliant enough to realize that getting on skis right now would not be a source of primary intelligence. It would be quite the opposite, for sure. But, taking a supplement to rebuild the cartilage around the area of my knees, and upping other supplements such as Vitamin D and K, could help. Daily stretches seem to ease this burden too.

Team members depend on me as I on them, and the way forward for all, is filled with much purpose and truth. We often say to each other that there is so much we must do to lessen the pain certain groups face. I am also thrilled to know and to recognize, I can really see that of God in everyone. Now, this genuinely, is an amazing place to be. The eyes, the smiles, the gestures, the needs, the wants…all of them! In all of them, I see God’s words and expressions, as His daily essentials of compassion. Compassion, which should be displayed through me at the very moment He places me in these, His environs! My attention is practical purpose, which begins the journey of help and toward healing.

Fear takes me on a roller-coaster journey. A journey where antiperspirant is useless on a 10-degreed day. A journey that imaginarily encompasses the deserts of Arabia, right in the roof of my mouth. One where I can breathe out foolishness and inhale in peace. A journey that takes me back to the heart of Christ. A journey, which repeats this sequence, until finally, I am home. Fear takes me out of my comfort zone. But with fear I understand so much more on the imperative of love. Jesus’ love allows me to craft my future. Love paves the way for me to chart my own reality. The thing I mentioned above, was attempted out of love for myself and those around me. As complicated as the journey with this thing has been, I have finally managed to decode its complexities.  

In research studies there are three primary questions assessors must ask.

  • What is the problem we are trying to solve?
  • Why does the problem exist?
  • How can this problem be solved?

In many pages later, we acknowledge how to solve the problem. 

Life functions on anecdotes as well as scientific measures. I contend, we need both. It is from anecdotes we discover how problems can be solved. Anecdotes lead us to truth. Anecdotes took Jesus to the cross, but nails produced through clearly defined scientific measures of His time, saved us.

The Apostle Paul wrote: “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (KJV 2ND Timothy 1:9).”

With Jesus as my constant companion, I am absolutely certain of my way forward. In my core faith, during times of difficulties, it is often said way will open! In moments where the thing caused me such shocking grief, my brethren often said these words to me. Fear is seductive and create filters of why goals, dreams, and desires are not possible. It is never led by the collective classroom of God. Unlike research, fear takes hostage of finding the solutions of problems embedded in aching hearts, while offering no solutions. Dissimilar, to what is written in the Bible, fear is not truth.

No matter how often I tried to let it go, the thing would not let me go. It challenges my identity and stretches me to fatigue like no other. Nonetheless, my limbs and mind bounce back to deliver a new sense of self. One even broader than before. One more grounded, humbled, and compassionate. One that bathes in the Light of Christ each day. One, which gradually restores my aching knees and my flustered heart. 

I’ll hold the Light is also said in my core faith. We say this instead of, I’ll pray for you. The candles, oil lamps, and warm light bulbs, all led the way for me. But only the Light of Christ remains in unity with the thing. Only with His Light transmitted through prayer and support of close friends, obstacles are removed, on this path of illumination for me.

As always, I want so much to reflect more on this topic, but for now…I must walk with and in His Light! With the thing in tow, I run toward the King! I invite you to join me.