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.
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.