Currently I have seven books on my nightstand, I am slowly reading through. Their topics are on fasting, leadership, noticing Christ in all things, softer exercises, choice theory psychology, moving from the tyranny of performance and success using the Bible as teacher, and grace in addiction counseling. I likewise have many deadlines upon me as I have wholesome British shows, I like to watch. Yet, I make time to read one research study in my field each day, and a chapter of each one of the books I have mentioned. I also partake in several webinars each week, plus parenting, livelihood tasks, writing, home care, crafts, and healthy food planning.
Some close friends are overwhelmed right now, and I really should be too. But at every question of “How are you?”, my response is always…I am well. How is this possible I often ask myself? How can you just move through with contentment and grace? I occasionally silently ask these questions to myself, to reinforce the thought and grand realization that my breaking point came to me many years ago. The brokenness produced so much strength, which filled the crevices of emptiness, fear, and loss. When feelings of confusion fell through the cracks, within those crevices, the soil representing God’s words, filled them. And, with this fertile soil, seeds began to be planted. Seeds of preparation, soul-nourishment, purification, and hope. Seeds that produced so much more in my life. The same seeds, which now bring me sweet supplies.
Although the brokenness I spoke about came from my divorce, I know now that I would not want my intimate life at this moment, to look any different. My marriage was difficult. I approached marriage based on the Pictorial Bible Dictionary’s definition of:
“Distinctly Christian marriage is one in which husband and wife covenant together with God and publicly witness their commitment not only to each other but together to Him, to the end that they shall in unity fulfill His purposes throughout life (1 Corinthians 7:39; 11 Corinthians 6:14). Marriage is contracted “in the Lord,” received as a divine vocation, acknowledge with humility and thanksgiving, and sanctified by the Word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:4,5).”
As I reflect, no matter how hard I tried to instill Biblical principles within my marriage, they just did not stick. This must take both husband and wife. Not just wife and not just husband! And even then, I knew that my foreign upbringing taught me not to ever give up. Conversely, because I have a tendency to never take any words or even actions at face value, I had to dissect what it meant in my circumstances pertaining to never giving up.
Interpretations of never giving up are numerous. Therefore, in my illustration, after varied failures to try to rectify my marriage, my conclusion was simple…plainly speaking, I decided, I will never give up on me. Through my recitations of this uncomplicated statement, I also came to the recognition that this also meant, I will never give up on God. Right then, my journey to find me, began.
On the path, I was faced with several personal parts, which I am now freed from…seemingly eons ago. These parts were delivered to me on a silver platter straight from the cold heart of the enemy. Common elements were:
- Unbelief and doubt
- Failure and defeat
- Bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness
- Backsliding toward strongholds
- And, the enemy’s hold on my only child
Of all the nameless, these were the ones this idiot still tries to occasionally feed to me. Tests…perhaps or maybe ingredients to remind me I am not in this world alone, even though I treasure aloneness. With people interactions, I am also aware that I am bound to be intermittently preoccupied from my quest to know God so much more. Life…right?
To Christian friends who struggle with loneliness. Henri Nouwen wrote:
“The Christian way of life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift.”
I share this here, because I see my aloneness as a precious gift offered to me as time well spent with God. Perhaps this is why, extrovertists, I find distracting and draining at times. With no disrespect, I can only take so much…:-)
Now to think, I had every intention today, of discussing the Widow with Two Mites (Mark 12:41-44), but my fingers must have just needed to share what has been on my heart. I’ll say this though, when we look at the offering of the widow’s mites, at once, some may view it as tiny and not of value. In going deeper, her offering was all she had. But like Hagar (Genesis 16:13), God seest the widow. God manifested in flesh, Jesus…saw her! With the all-seeing glance!
Married, divorced, widowed or single, the all-seeing eyes knows all. The books I choose to read grows my knowledge exponentially. But…”the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3).
The eyes of the Lord are in my singlehood and my aloneness. With His eyes, He sees and knows my heart.
It is well. I am well.
Frieda Maclear says
Charlotte, such a good blog! I love how God lives through each of us in a unique way, loving us according to what we really need and how He designed us. Each day the thought that He looks at me with love and chooses to live His life through me, both mystifies and thrills me.
I am glad you are well. We miss you in class but we do understand you are well and God is caring for you. How is your daughter and son-in-law?
Know we love you and care! Jerry and Frieda
M.Charlotte Oliver says
Hi Pastor Frieda,
It is so nice to hear from you. Thanks so much for your presence here.
Yes, I agree He knows exactly what is needed for Him to work with and through us. We are so fortunate to know him! I am doing well and my daughter and son-in-law are too. I am happy for them.
I hope to visit ABS soon. In fact, I just said this to a friend today 🙂
Please say hello to Jerry for me!
L Susan Davidson-Davis says
I devoured your reflection; it was rich but not overfilling after my usual breakfast. Your reflections are wonderful for all times of my day/night!
You come across as accessible even though you’re deep and introverted. Using inspired gifts for the benefit of all—putting them out there—must benefit you, eventually.
I take easily to Henri Nouwen’s sayings. He speaks for and to my humanness, as you do. And you give personal examples of all facets of humanness, with humility and appropriate pride.
Reminders and reassurance might be your forte as a minister, since the Gospel of Christ truly speaks for itself.
M.Charlotte Oliver says
Thanks so much for your kind remarks. I’m am more humbled by them.
These reflections are true expressions of my heart. I am happy you find them useful!
I appreciate you so much!