contemplative monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

I’m Pulling Back The Curtain part 1

Matin brumeux, gelée blanche / Misty frosty morningCreative Commons License OliBac via Compfight

OK. Here’s something I’ve been dying to write for a while. I’ve hesitated, for fear that my change wasn’t permanent. Also, I know this isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but here’s my story.

In 1993 I was diagnosed with clinical depression. Doctors practice medicine, so I was the experiment. I can’t even remember all the drugs and combinations they tried on me. They maxed me out on Paxil, Prozac, and a mess of others, while I spent years in a deep dark suicidal depression.

But I was a Christian, and a Spirit-Filled one at that. I had done it right, and it all caved in.  My Christianity failed me, but my God had not. But I didn’t know this at the time.

I got so fed up with the system’s inability to fix me…to stop my panic attacks, and the flood of rage, and the sucking black hole of depression. I fought minute by minute, day by day, year by year. My life stopped working. So, I did every type of counseling and therapy I could find. But nothing worked. And having a minors in counseling, I was all in the process. So, I suffered mostly in silence.

I finally changed doctors and took Wellbutrin as a step down drug, to get off all my meds. Then I started on a journey. There had to be answers the ‘experts’ didn’t know about.

I tried every type of faith you can imagine. From demon hunters to Cursillo, from Holiness to Liturgy. Nothing worked. It was also during the Brownsville Revival which our Episcopal Church was apart of.  But I digress.

I thought back to the last place I really loved life…where I was really happy. It was the time I was in Buddhism, and my early days in the Jesus Movement. We weren’t told to conform in those days. You just came in with all your baggage, you were loved and accepted. So, I was a long term meditator who knew Jesus. But then I got religion, and depression slowly and deeply set in.

That’s when I felt that God wanted me to go back into Buddhism, and I fought with Him for five years over it. When I was out of options, I journeyed back.

What I learned there astounded me. Instead of undermining my faith, it restored it. I was hardwired to meditate, but my Christianity had condemned it. I felt love and acceptance and belonging while the Church said it was of the devil. I only found echoes of that reality in the Church.

Everything came together one day while was doing a meditation practice called Great Doubt. It’s where you doubt everything. You doubt yourself, you doubt God, you doubt your doubts. And then, when there’s nothing left, you step out.  It’s like stepping off a 50 ft pole or off of a 100 ft cliff. So I stepped out into the bottomless fog. I was there, silent and waiting. Expansive and unknowing. It was there that I saw something swirling slowly through the fog, coming my way. I was caught by surprise and curiosity. What could it be? I was stunned by what I saw. For there, slowly coming out of the fog, I saw the laughing eyes and smiling face. It was Jesus. His love and joy and acceptance washed over me. It flooded me with such an unshakable and eternal peace. I was dumbfounded.  I was embraced by my Lord.

Now, I’m not telling you this to impress you, or to change your mind. God knows, unless you experience Jesus, your constructs will keep you bound. I’m just telling you my story, hoping it helps you in some small way.

End of Part 1

 

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