I was excited to read Tempered Resilience by Tod Bolsinger. Kristy Newport recommended this book to me earlier in the semester as a positive resource for my NPO and she was correct. This was the perfect resource for my portfolio project and also the ideal read for my psyche this past week. Life has been a whirlwind for me since Thanksgiving and somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster. My eleven-year-old son received a vaccine that he should not have at his pediatrician’s office just under three weeks ago. He has severe allergies and a weak immune system and this was nothing new to the office he’s been a patient of his entire life. Within days after his check-up and injection, he started experiencing pain in his joints and a growth the size of a golf ball emerged on his wrist and foot, and a new one is forming on his head. His pain is increasing and he’s been out of all sporting activities for weeks, which is his most favorite thing in the world. He has also missed a lot of school due to discomfort and many visits with specialists. My wife and I are absolutely broken over this and what I hate the most is that I can’t do a thing about it myself. Is there anything worse than witnessing your child in pain? How did God do it? How did Mary do it? How could anyone love anything so much that they would allow their precious child to die for the sins of the world? I am blown away; even more so this week as I ponder that. There is no way I could ever volunteer my child to be beaten, mocked, and murdered. I can hardly take my son in the smallest amount of pain. The amount of love God has for each of us is absolutely incomprehensible to me.
We are obviously praying non-stop (and appreciate yours) and getting him the best help possible, but we’re at an unnerving stage where we really do not have any clear answers yet. The Lord may be testing me in some way because as we are in the thick of this heartbreaking situation, one of our closest friends experienced a sudden cardiac arrest and has been in three different hospitals since last Friday and is still unconscious. Their son has worked for me for the past two years and his parents are some of the closest friends my wife and I have. We’ve been in contact with them daily and spent many hours in the hospital with them, while concurrently juggling our own hospital visits, drama, and normal responsibilities. If all of this were not enough, we (perhaps mistakenly) decided to launch our ministry this past week (that we’ve waited years to unveil) due to the timing of the upcoming New Year and our ministry’s foundation of wellness.
I normally prefer to read books on a cardio machine but there has been little time for any type of personal maintenance lately. Bolsinger’s book was a perfect distraction for me in waiting rooms and helped me put a lot of this semester together in my mind, heart, and final reflection essay. Bolsinger assisted me this week like a health coach or personal trainer would a client. I finished this book and felt like I was repping out pages and building endurance each day. I do not believe I would be able to handle all of this the same way a few years ago. I still have moments of stress that get the best of me but for some reason, I am fully confident and have had no other choice but to hand it to Jesus. In the past, I would grind harder in times of stress and usually make unwise decisions. Thankfully with the Spirit’s assistance, I have incorporated discernment into my life and it has been my saving grace. Reflecting on this situation in this blog and my leadership journey in my syntopical essay has helped me put my transformation into a positive perspective and I give God all the glory for it.
Bolsinger’s book has motivated me to continue this pursuit and continue to refine my resilient and tempered leadership skills. They do not come naturally to me and I am actually a recovering “control freak” that requires additional therapy. I particularly enjoyed unpacking the powers of Christian Formation and Organizational Leadership Development. He states on page 37, “While the nomenclature varies, the characteristics of transformational spiritual leaders and organizational change leaders make up a list of attributes for a tempered, resilient leader; one that is grounded, teachable, attuned, adaptable, and tenacious.” These characteristics are powerful and will tune any leader, regardless of how off-key their life is.
“A tempered leader can be resilient and withstand both failure of nerve and failure of heart.” My nerves and heart can’t take much more but I am grateful that my faith is grounded in Christ and my courage comes from Him. Psychologist Cynthia Erikson said, “Courage requires a Christian identity of knowing you are loved and affirmed by God, and your identity is not in your achievements or titles.” Psalm 31:24 reads, “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.” This is echoed in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” Avoiding fear and finding all of your identity in Christ is a recurring theme of the Bible, however, I am still searching for a scripture that says it would be easy…
 Bolsinger, Tod. 2020. Tempered Resilience. InterVarsity Press. 37
 Ibid, 38
 Ibid, 38
 Psalm 31:24, ESV
 James 1:12, ESV