I have had a very rough and rocky path with my faith in the past year and to be honest, its been one of the hardest things to see happening in front of me not knowing how to stop myself from walking away from my faith into isolation. It's one of the many many things I pushed away and isolated myself from since the beginning of last year when the past and the present came flooding to the forefront which then came to a screeching triggered halt of which caused me to go deeply inward and isolate from not only the things and people I love, but my faith.
3 years ago when I became catholic I would have never imagined that I would have struggled with showing up to a place to where I felt love and connection all around me.
I would have never believed that I would have allowed outside triggers to hinder my new-found faith and take me away from all the goodness it provided me.
I was once described as a "Juggernaut of Faith" by Deacon Bill who was my RCIA teacher during the process of becoming Catholic.
During my wedding convalidation he stood up in front of the congregation and described me as "Karen, the person who lights up with faith when she walks into a room, and how everyone wants to go into that light that I gave off".
I was embarrassed when he said that, but I also knew it was true! I am a juggernaut of faith. I do light up when the presence of God surrounds me and I can accept that, which makes it that much harder that something so big happened to me internally that pulled me away from something so beautiful and right.
It's hard to believe that I have not stepped foot into my church for almost a year now - until today.
I isolated myself from the church, and many other things that I loved because of the whirlwind of past triggers that painfully came to the forefront that caused me to go not only inward, but completely ISOLATED from even God and my faith.
The past 2 years have been very very hard for me and this year has been about the work pulling myself back in. We have been working hard in therapy to give the old messages new meaning and to find healing around that in a new way.
We have worked hard to move past an unfortunate situation that happened the beginning of last year and to repair the holes that created in my healing path.
Today showing up to church for Ash Wednesday was a part of that renewal, and I am so proud for showing up in the place where healing happens all around me.
I felt this sense of being back home! I felt it the moment I drove into the parking lot of the church! I said to myself "I am home" and like my therapist said "God was smiling".
Today was about me accepting! Today was about being, today was about being open and big!
After session I decided to push through and try and go to the church!! I kept telling myself that this is a part of the path - getting back to church, this was another step in the right direction. I called the church to see what hours the "ASh Wednesday" Mass Times were and lucky enough, there was a mass at NOON and I just got done session at 11am! God is good like that.
So, I kept driving and before I knew it I was in the parking lot of my church!
I sent my therapist a text letting him know where I was and how huge this was! His text back was nothing short of excitement! He knows what this meant - we both knew what this moment meant for me. It was yet another step forward.
One foot in front of the other taking steps back to where I was, and not just where I was but to new places of new understanding and a new kind of healing.
I sat in "my same seat" in church today and it felt like home. It was hard being there in a sense to where it was hard to tell people where I have been and a sense of guilt showed up inside, but at least I was there.
Today was about renewal - another step forward, another piece of the wound is being healed and more support is being accepted.
The photo above with this blog is a photo my husband took of me when I got home from church with the ashes still in a cross formation on my forehead which represent RENEWAL and that is what today was about.. that is what this week has been about, that is what tomorrow is about!
Another step forward on this amazing healing path - its hard painful work, but I am getting to the other side; the other side towards renewal.