Wednesday, March 30, 2016

From Now Until Forever from Now

Not sure where I'm heading with this but here goes....


I dodged God, religion, church, and most especially Jesus, for well over 30 years.  Unlike my husband, who experienced a similar aversion for a similar period of time, I couldn’t point to any particular reason why; why I walked out of church one Sunday morning in the late spring of 1981 and never went back.  Why I chose to leave a church family who had nurtured me through my teenage years; through a long series of confirmation classes, who witnessed my Baptism at 16 and my confirmation a few months later.  Why, for the next three decades, I thought I was in control of my life and could handle anything that was thrown at me without either turning to God for comfort or to a body of believers for support and sustenance. And as God and a few others who understand me well know, there were certainly many times over those years that I could have used it. Or, a good talking to; a gentle, loving, but assertive rebuke of and accountability for my behavior, actions and where I was (or wasn’t) heading spiritually. 
And Then

Later, I’d come to believe that there was no “why”.  There was no plausible reason.  I was 17 years old, I had other things on my agenda, and it appeared the whole “God Thing” just hadn’t stuck.  I was heading to college in the fall.  I had the entire summer ahead of me that for the most part would be spent with my boyfriend and friends engaging in behavior that was not something I wanted God to know about.  And then, I was in college.  And then I was 21 and having way too much fun being way too irresponsible.  And then I was in the midst of embarking on my first real job.  And then I was meeting my first husband (who was decidedly NOT into God).  And then I was climbing the corporate ladder.  And then I was divorcing.  And then I was in my late 30s living alone with two cats.  And then.  And then.  There were a lot of “and thens” over the course of those 30 years.

Dark and Drastic

And then, I ended up in a really awful place in the fall of 2001 and although the tragedy of 9/11 did not help matters, I cannot blame the events of that day for where I was.  The last few months of that year and the first few of the following were especially dark days.  Who hasn’t had these?  We all have.  As a result of  my “those days”, I ultimately made a decision that would drastically change my life.  “Drastically” sounds like a bad thing, but in my case,  one must think of the word “drastic” more in terms of a major shake-up of the way things were.  Had it not been so significant, I’d still be where I was.  I needed to move; literally and figuratively, and the only way to get me off the wheel I was on and out of the cage I was in, was to do something drastic.  And so I did.  With a lot of pre-planning, necessary both to make the plan work and to keep me from backing out, I eventually quit my job, went to Italy and took a total immersion course, returned to the states, moved myself from California to North Carolina, and found myself in February of 2004 wondering what was next.