My journey began in a pretty ordinary way, or so I thought. My parents are Christians and raised me and my sisters that way- going to church, reading the Bible and praying. My dad is in the military, so we moved around a lot. Even so, I always had everything I needed and was more or less content with my lot in life.
That was until I started noticing a growing emptiness. I was becoming an adult, and doing what I was told didn’t feel like enough anymore. I knew I was just going through the motions, and I desperately wanted something real. The embers of my faith were cold and begging to come to life. I felt let down and embittered by the hypocrisy I saw in Christians and the church, and even myself. Something was wrong. Was my faith nothing more than a naive acceptance of what my parents told me was the truth? I needed to know, as we all do.
That’s when I left home and embarked on my own hoping for answers. I felt a lot of fear and confusion. I was equipped with the principles for living my life in a good way, but the desire to do so was weak at best. My heart was sick, and it would later dawn on me that it was my responsibility to seek out a relationship with my Creator. No one could do that for me. Another question bothered me at my core: Did I really know the Christ I claimed to follow? It was a rough, meager start on my own. Despite my initial intentions, I was weak and quickly fell into revisiting the familiar. I tried desperately to fill the void with men, mind-altering substances, and never being alone. If I could just stay distracted, if I could keep on escaping, I wouldn’t have to face that gnawing feeling inside. To be honest, I was afraid of finally facing myself and embarking on that journey.
I had no peace. It wasn’t long before I was plagued by the fear of death. I felt utterly alone despite all the human companionship. We come into this world alone, and alone we leave it to face the great unknown. No one in my life could travel that road with me. These thoughts grew louder and more persistent until they broke me.
For some reason, I was still going to church despite my hypocrisy. It was ironic. I was no better than those I had judged. One Sunday morning, God clearly spoke to me and flooded my dark mind with realization and light. I feared death because I was embarrassed to die and face my Creator. I was wasting the life He gave me, and I would have to give an answer for that. I felt alone because I was refusing a relationship with the only One who could accompany me through death, the One who created the great unknown.
As that truth settled into my heart, I began to surrender. I began to let go of the distractions. I had new strength because I didn’t feel quite alone anymore. A bit skeptical, I started praying for what I needed. My prayers were answered each time, fanning those neglected embers. I started reading the story of Jesus and His words with new intention. I imagined myself as one in the crowd to whom Jesus was speaking. Did I believe Him? His words sounded so crazy and foreign, yet who but God would utter such things? With a bit more faith, I started praying more specifically. The answers were specific. It was startling to discover that God was indeed listening, but also exciting. God cares about me… I dared to wonder to myself, “The most bizarre story is actually true…”
As I progressed toward the light, I was drawn to my future husband. Neither of us was in the healthiest state, but we immediately connected on the spiritual plane. We didn’t want to feel jaded and empty anymore, so together we began striving to live our lives as organically as possible, in all ways. Shedding and searching. Failing. Shedding and learning. Finding the path.
Shedding feels like tearing down the walls of the stronghold you’ve built for yourself. It feels illogical, and even painful, but also freeing. You’re left facing the piercing wilderness from which you’ve worked so hard to shield yourself and forced to pray for your protection. Then, and only then, does one feel fully awake.
In my husband, I have a rare and precious gift. In spite of his raw human soul, his relationship with God and with Christ keep him anchored- a lighthouse in the fiercest storms.
“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” -Hebrews 6:19
This sacred bond through mountaintops and dark valleys has refined me more than I could have imagined, even in recent days. Through seemingly impossible trials and bringing children into the world, one thing has made a difference- faith in God. Faith in Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Surrendering to His will is the only reason we are still on this journey together instead of broken beyond repair. It is the refuge to which we retreat in the darkest of times.
I don’t walk this path because it’s easy. In fact, it is the hardest calling and not many understand. “But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” -Matthew 7:14 I walk this path because I have found it is the only one that leads to truth and life. It’s only possible because Jesus paved the way, leaving behind His example and His blood.
The Creator of the universe and beyond is infinitely greater than my questions, my doubts, my bitterness, the ugliness I try to hide, my anger… In our ignorance, we have all placed that crown of thorns upon His head as He died for us. But His love is beyond that, and broke the curse that ushered those very thorns into existence. He offers us forgiveness and life in return. In all my searching, I keep finding Him. The truth is indeed stranger than fiction- and satisfying to the ever yearning soul.
My calling to study herbs and sacred knowledge is a result and aspect of this pursuit. In studying His creation, I learn more about Him- His mind, patterns, His ways, beauty, artistry, the substance on which our souls were designed to feed, freely abundant.
When you admire something in Creation, you are admiring the Artist’s work and His mind. A breathtaking sunset, a flower opening, a waterfall, the full moon, a baby born… Awe-inspiring, miraculous. It feeds your soul. Do you ever wonder why? A tornado, a hurricane, fire,a wolf. We tremble at our own helplessness. Under the scope or outward into the Cosmos, He is infinite.
Yes. There is a dark presence in this world- a corruption that runs deep, even into our very hearts. We fight against it every day. And it is impossible to resist those horrible, hopeless thoughts on your own. But God provides sanctuary in which to retreat- to see beauty untainted, to recover and refuel, to see God for who He truly is beyond the reach of the enemy’s slander.
The more time I spend in His sanctuary, the more I am beginning to see through the eyes of a child again. A return to innocence.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39
The more I learn about God and His creation, the more His ways make sense, the more beauty I see, the more love I feel, the more sure I am. This is what I want to share.
Love & blessings,