Things will happen. Life is hardly ever fair and out of nowhere life’s journey shifts and an entire new set of circumstances surface. I was in Chicago recently to conduct research while I complete my doctorate degree. The weather is Chicago didn’t take notice of my urgency or my schedule; it rained the entire time I was there with the exception of one day. The streets and highways flooded and citizens of Chicago endured days of flooded basements and streets. During that time I thought I can at least get a little writing done until my laptop’s operating system crashed. What was I here for while my mother was in Hospice respite care? I rested, then de-stressed and reengineered my trip salvaging its purpose. My trip was a success and I was able to accomplish what I came to do.
My life has been a longer version of the past week. I started out with so many plans in mind and I have accomplished many of my goals along the way. What happens when “life” throws a proverbial wrench in your best laid plans? What happens when the love of your life no longer loves you? What happens when your perfect child has a permanent link in their brain and mental illness becomes the new normal? What occurs in the will of a person to deal with a stigmatized illness in a community that doesn’t yet understand how to deal with even minor issues in a society? How do you become the caregiver and pseudo-mother of your mother who once provided you with instruction? How do you deal with your beloved mother who doesn’t know who you are?
So many questions surface in this metaphysical journey that challenge who and what I am and examines my foundation. Belonging in an intimate relationship with my Lord and Savior is where my foundation begins: without my relationship with the Lord I would be devastated by the events of my journey. The encouragement that an individual sometimes seek from friends and even family is often non-existent and the journey seems harder and longer. We spend so much of our lives seeking approval and validation from individuals who don’t even matter in the scope of our journey and the purpose of our lives: we realize along the way that we are humans seeking perfection in an imperfect world.
Perfection can never be achieved however a perfect peace can be. As humans we need to seek validation from a level higher than we are: that level is the Creator. He says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you”; however we sometimes expect validation and peace from the citizens of the world. Our dreams, our reality and our purpose are far away from the understanding of most individuals. Individuals can understand success however often anyone comprehends the obstacles it takes to make those dreams a reality.
When it appears that our foundation is being shaken, we can remain steadfast only if our relationship with Christ is solid and not based on politically correct sayings or religiosity. Our foundation can’t be based on an abstract God in a far away universe untouchable to His creation. Our God must be intimate, relateable, touchable and with us in every day, hour, minute, second and moment.
I went to Chicago on a journey to obtain three letters in my tagline. Three simple letters can mean so much or nothing at all: PhD, EdD, DBA. The first three acronyms align with formal educational accomplishment. Some individuals would like to believe that one of the three is more significant and important than the other two even though all three require the same amount of dedication and commitment. That’s what we do; especially “saved” folk. We don’t always encourage and inspire each other because we are too busy in our own egotistical world. The three aforementioned acronyms usually mean that the individual that is striving to own the acronym has committed and dedicated themselves to owning their craft and internalizing the knowledge surrounding this effort. The acronyms provide validation for the seeking individual and displays to the society-at-large that this individual has accomplished and dedicated themselves to the highest level in their field.
I am living with three-letters every day. It’s not something I was striving to obtain or even wanting to experience. It is something that I was introduced to and then it crept into my system until it made itself known in 2005 when it could no longer be silent. It is something that is purposeful in its intent to destroy me however something that I must master. I must not only own it but I must investigate and discover every tidbit of knowledge so that I can implant the information into my reality. I understand that whether God’s healing comes through modern medicine or instantaneous curing, I am walking in the plan that He has for me and it is for His good. It was one of the biggest proverbial wrenches thrown into my reality however it has caused me to make a complete paradigm shift to live fiercely purposeful in His power alone.