Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

S on my Chest

Written by: on October 26, 2022

Campbell introduced us to ” The Hero’s Journey”. He explained that there is a start or “call to adventure” that starts mans journey. Campbell goes on to explain that there are several other steps that follows this start. In the midst of the journey challenges and temptations come. He explains that proceeding these challenges there will be some level of transformation which is very important to the hero’s journey.

The author gets so close to explaining what life is like as a christian. In christian life we face many challenges and temptations. Our transformation happens when we submit totally to God. In this transformation our purpose and passion becomes clear. This is where one would say that they start earning their crown, cape, or whatever the special symbol that they want to achieve.

My Challenge

In my life I joke that I am earning the “S” that is on my chest. I would say that one of my biggest challenges has been illness. At the tender age of thirteen I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. I receive the news after losing the best grandmother a spoiled girl could ever have. The news would not have been so devastating, if my aunt had not died from this same illness just three years earlier. The news removed my will to thrive. I existed, but by no means was I living. The moment that I had to have someone else carry my books because I was in so much pain, I knew I was the next to die. I grew two to three sizes from the medicine that was given to me, just to have my body function in the way that most of my peers were functioning effortlessly. It was not until my senior year that a teacher noticed that I was not putting forth the proper effort. She took me aside and basically told me “I could live”.

The Revelation

The news that I could live through this opened up my eyes. I will be honest I heard it from other family members but from this teacher it meant something different. I took this chronic illness to college. I carried Aleve and the Lord with me. I would take and Aleve for pain take a nap in the back of my car and move on to the next class. During the four years I faced challenge after challenge. I was diagnosed with spinal meningtis, platelet count dropped from fifty thousand to five thousand, and I fractured my back. I did not give up for four years I worked, in pursuit of  becoming a lawyer. Then why am I a social worker, you may ask?

The Transformation

After I graduated, I could not find a law school that would match my goals. Once again a teacher had to help me realize I should try something else. She told me that she could see me as a social worker. Of course I could not see me as anything but a lawyer. I was obedient to what she requested. I applied to social work school. A few months later I was informed that I would be receiving the first ever full scholarship in social work at Tulane University. This part is called Transformation for a reason. I transformed. I fell in love with the notion that I could help somebody change their life. I could potentially help someone with chronic illness get through what I had been through. I was ready to earn the “S” on my chest. God’s path had come into play. Now following what he would have for me afforded me to own my own agency. I exhausted him and he exhausted me.

Although this is one of many challenges that I have faced, it has been my greatest. I still believe that I am earning my “S” as my story plays out, but I could not think of a better author than the one I chose to follow.






About the Author


Shonell Dillon

A daughter of the KING of kings and the LORD of lords. A lover of LIFE!

One response to “S on my Chest”

  1. Kristy Newport says:

    Thank you for sharing from your personal journey. You have been on a hero’s journey! You have persevered through grief and have experienced long suffering in your physical illness. You have also worked hard academically.
    You stated: “The news that I could live through this opened up my eyes. I will be honest I heard it from other family members but from this teacher it meant something different,” It’s fascinating how you were able to hear an “objective voice.” How are you as a social worker able to have impact on someone when you are NOT a family member?

    Thanks again for sharing vulnerably.

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