By M. Charlotte Oliver

A 4 am drive to the gym, back home at 6:15 am, eats a watermelon and lime-mint salad for breakfast, coupled with grapefruit overnight oats. Yes, the grains are a must. These ways are how I began my day yesterday morning. It is how I plan to sustain this day ahead—the beginning, with a burst of exquisite flavors. My soul jumped with so much joy. My palate awaits.

When I finished my recent educational drive, I felt good about the accomplishment. I felt relieved. But, as I’ve mentioned earlier this year, I was concerned, worried even. Concerned and worried about what my life would look like after all this, after I arrived at the station.

I packed my bags. Metaphoric bags of the heart and mind. Those of the body and soul. The informed bags, the private bags, the bags, which hold mysteries. Mysteries of the unknown, deep mysteries of thoughts. Thoughts often led by God. I arrived at His station with no time to dial my phone, no time to read the news, a text or two permitted, oolong tea sitting near me cooling down, and I gulped it down. In the distance, I could see God’s train coming. I could feel His movement beneath my feet. Joyous and petrified all the same. I knew it was time. No doubts, while speaking and feeling integrity. Chronic fatigue, gone. The train arrived. The train arrived with so many gifts.

Resilience is my research. For this reason, I was also building a resilient center in Colorado during the same time I was working toward the end. With a team of 11 people and several strategic partners, meetings were frequently held. I completed our nonprofit documents, and we waited, and we waited. On the same day, I was given my new title; the IRS approved the 501(c)(3) status for the resilient-life center. One of many gifts delivered by the train. Perhaps the most significant of them all.

Our team is robust, reliable, and open to learning from and with each other. Even with this newly earned title, everyone knows something that I don’t. Time is always taken to gather insights and advice from each other. Each other consists of people from different spiritual identifications and experiences. Yet, we make it work. Our wins start with the declaration that every person deserves to shine. That, every person deserves to be listened to, to be heard. Our successes acknowledge that every person is essential to a whole and holistic community. 

The train I always wait for may be different from someone else’s. What matters is the destination and the use of time on said travels. The outer often try to dictate our perceptions of the world, in this our broken world. The outer seeks to design our arrival. Being beautiful within can help to transform this broken world. Inner beauty is what creates our arrivals and our place in this same world. It is delicate boldness.

My visit to the gym at 4 am each morning gives me strength. This arrival gives me hope. I hope that my work in resilience help others (Psalm 31:24). My hope for sustainable strength. When the train does not come, I view this as time for rest. Time to create new refreshing summer breakfast meals. Time to stretch out concerns. Giving more time to Him. Given more time to thank Him. More time to develop the interior. More time for humble thoughts as I travel toward His effective results.

No one can ever take away our inner beauty. No one can take away mine! No one can take what’s in my mind. The mysteries, ideas, the kind thoughts. Those special thoughts of others. Thoughts deriving from the soul. My soul is His

Do good! be Beautiful!