The choke-holding fear of change is the only thing that’s certain in this world. Our choice lies in how we choose to step into it, or not. Managing change effectively is likely at the top of the Divine’s ‘To Do’ list, handed over just before we take on the lights of the delivery room.

I’ve never read the Bible. We did the Sunday school thing when I was a kid and a brief period in my teens when my father felt we needed to ‘get religion’. But I didn’t seek it out, didn’t like to be told how to perceive the world.

My husband injects the bibles stories and parables into our dialogs when the opportunity arises, hoping. But I repeatedly fail what he calls the litmus test for Christianity. I prefer different sources for my spirituality.

I tell you this because my attitude entering Dr. Bell’s class was met with a HUGE eye roll. The class was to cover all religions of our world, but Belmont is a Christian university. Yet the Hagrid-height, Christian hippy Dr. Bell proved me wrong and opened a door I never saw.

Our study of Christianity was first on the list. Figured. I listened to the history of its creation, the world themes of the time in that very patriarchal world.  If a woman had written the bible…  Then again, women did.  That’s another book. Back to my story.

The next morning, while the kids were at school and I was nestled in front of my IMAC, I read and reread the biblical passage assigned, excited to write my paper for class. I looked up other’s interpretations. Jaw clenched, frustration and anger rising, a tempest was brewing. The Creative push was forcing a choice, would I be true to my values and ideals or would I succumb to the simpler interpretation of the passage, use other’s views to temper my own? The choice I made that day changed everything. I wrote the paper, honesty as my guide. The Divine team cheering me on, I totally lost track of time.

Suddenly aware of the clock, I pushed the chair back and grabbed the car keys. But on my way to get the kids from school, I realized that writing, just me and piece of paper or a computer, put me in a space where I could safely release the thoughts that rambled in my mind. I’ve always been an intensely private person but there was a dividing exhilaration, a leap of faith from the safe from the unknown allowing another to read and judge my inner thoughts. 

Heart racing as class began that night, I turned in the paper. Yes, I wanted the ‘good’ grade, but Dr. Bell’s assignment opened something inside me, a room cluttered with thoughts from years of trying to do this human experience. I couldn’t be in the Flow of writing without being in a space that required total honesty.

A week later, we filed into class again, the room swirling in conversation awaiting Dr. Bell and me alone near the door, likely reading something to avoid conversation. Dr. Bell walked into the classroom, the stack of graded papers in his hand.  Towering over the lectern, he shuffled the papers, pulled out one and said “Before I hand these out, I was uniquely impressed by one of the papers and I’d like to read it to the class.”  My heart caught in my throat. I knew. I’ve had ‘knowings’ my entire life.

My eyes to the door, he added “Of course, we’ll keep the author’s name private.” And he read my paper aloud.