When you feel the call for something else…something new…you have to step outside of your comfort zone and leave everything you know behind you. And sometimes, you may not even know where you’re going yet…
This is a very unsettling place to be in life. The unknown. It’s like dipping your toes into murky water and not knowing how deep it really goes, or sending a message in a bottle, wondering if it will ever reach the shore again. Feeling this way will surely present some cracks, even if your foundation is solid.
One of the bigger surprises in my life came during my late 20’s; I discovered that I no longer fit in the religious tradition that I was raised in. I had been raised in a conservative Christian church with three generations before me as a part of this community. Coming from a large family on both sides of my parents, I had many first, second and third cousins that were members of this denomination.
And yet, I felt as if I didn’t belong. An outcast. An outsider looking in. They all were my tribe biologically, but not spiritually.
At the time, my husband Bill and I had four children and our lives were hectic beyond measure. I felt obligated to raise them with some kind of spiritual understanding, as I had been raised myself. Yet, the conflict I was in was no example of the peace and love I was supposed to show as a true and devout Christian. I was drained, empty, angry, seeking, and very sad. I was lost.
Cracks. Instability. In Limbo.
One might say, “why didn’t you just leave and find another church?” It’s difficult to explain why I just didn’t do that. I knew that when I left that I would be disappointing and deeply hurting many family members and friends. The pain and dismay that I would have caused them over-ruled my own feelings, and so I stayed. The only person at the time I could confide in was my sister, who lived 350 miles away.
More fractures in the foundation…
These cracks are the first sign that you’re experiencing foundation issues. Stress cracks start to show up when your foundation can no longer properly support the weight it’s carrying. Do you see the parallel? A strong foundation will carry you through any storm. You may be tossed about and not have a clue as to where you’re headed, but you remain intact.
I eventually found the courage to walk away from that church and find another. The many books I was led to read helped me a great deal. I was so hungry for spiritual food and the more I read, the greater my appetite. I kept a journal, and wrote about my journey. Many of the songs I wrote reflect that time period and the struggles. I built my foundation stronger little by little each day. In doing so, I found gratitude to be the key to keeping me steady during this difficult transition.
One thing my mom used to say while raising us was “this too shall pass”. That one phrase strengthened me, just knowing someday, I’ll be beyond this and it will just be a memory. Turns out, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me…. I found my true self and the courage to be just that!