Monday, April 9, 2012

Spiritual Make-Over

When I made the decision to get healthy and take my life back I never realized how far reaching my decisions would be, but if I really sit and think about it I decided to get healthy a lot longer than in July of 2010. In February of 2005 I was diagnosed with what is now my anxiety condition and turned into multiple types of anxiety. I didn't want help, because we didn't understand it. I didn't get it, but in June of 2005 I wanted help. I didn't get the help I needed until my "angel" Joe aka my therapist arrived at the ER in Maryland and actually diagnosed me. It is one of those moments in my life timeline that distinctly stands out. He was the first doctor in years that looked at me and with confidence said I know what you have, I know how to fix, all you have to do is trust me. I did trust him and he showed me a path that started saving my life. He brought me back from a dark place and though I have only visited this "place" one other time, Joe placed me on a path to healthy living.

Even at the beginning of this process Joe mentioned that a road to recovery is a complete examination of one's self. It is a complete magnification of one's life and through therapy, self discovery, and change one's life can be different. He encouraged me to explore all options for change and told me to not eliminate any area to help improve my mental well being. Ironically he was asking to explore my spiritual life because it was source of pain and intense suffering. I wanted to be at ease with my beliefs, but I wasn't ready too and here he was a reformed Jew and former Catholic telling me the baptized Lutheran that went to a Baptist school who found Buddism in college and then blended her beliefs into intense spirituality to explore my life with something bigger than I. Needless to say this was tabled.

Exploration of my spirituality has been challenged for years, but moments like above are deeply moving. Again, this conversation came up when I went through the most serious bout of depression and anxiety to date in 2009. As I sat in intense outpatient therapy, I was "forced" to go through a session about connecting spiritually and to explore the emotions and possibility of how it could impact my life. This session moved me and moved me to anger and to release items that would help me move forward. There in a small room I was challenged to tap into something again by a minister that I don't even remember her name, but her face...I do remember. I remember her words, her passion, and her intensity that was sincere. I was not yet ready to face it, but I did open myself up to it a little.

After I was married and prior to my life make over, I encountered the need to belong. I want to feel part of a bigger community one that I can give back to, embrace, impact, mentor, disciple, and see that I can be an intricate part of something that is bigger than me. I felt called back to the church. I wanted my husband to go back with me. I wanted us to heal and to find something new together, but it wasn't right for us in Murfreesboro. My faith was tested. My faith was reborn. My faith had been touched on...again I have put it off.

Here I am 7 years later and I begin exploration of being part of a kingdom bigger than me. I feel drawn to it. I feel a need to do more, be more, and be apart of something...but what. I'm scared to step into a community where I might be the outsider. I'm scared to make the first step and is it I could move 1900 miles to TCU and know no one at 18 but can't do this at 30? How is it I've left home, moved across mountains, lived abroad, and changed my world over and over again over the last 12 years, but I can't walk into a church? I'm terrified, because I want it. I need a spiritual is time. I can only see this helping my overall goal of a life make over and in the end Joe was right so many years ago. You have to examine every part of your life to heal, assess, and grow. I'm at this point now where I'm ready, but scared to take the first step into something bigger....where to now?


  1. Is it because you've been hurt in the past by church people?? I can understand your fear if so! Maybe you'll be able to make new friends when yOu do decide to find a new church. I wish I was better at making friends!!!

  2. Sam, I have to admit a huge portion of this is being hurt in the past by church "folk" throughout my younger years and through college. I wasn't around the most forgiving groups and sometimes stigma and stereotypes are larger than life, but now that I've grown up I see it for what it was...fallibility.

    I guess I don't want to give up. I keep going back to faith over and over again. That has to be a sign right? I think it is my way of owning what I believe and making it my own and I know I want more and can do more and can be just to work through feeling out of place with people in the church (the community) and not feel like an outsider...I know I'll find it...something is out there right?