creating me [using words]

The Murky Waters of Fearless Faith

“Invite your spirit-guides and your angels into your healing,” she said as her hands gently touched the soles of my bare feet. I was trying to relax, but I was momentarily distracted by how freaked out I would have been by a reference to “spirit-guides and your angels” just a few years ago, and I felt the old fears creeping back in, whispering to me that I must be crazy to be lying here on the table for a healing touch session.

But eventually I recognized that something real and entirely non-threatening was in fact happening to my body, which softened the fears and I relaxed into the experience. To my surprise, I felt my own Chi (or something like that) as my knees tingled without being touched and an odd sensation (which turned out to be an energy block) moved through my gut.

After the brief session, the practitioner talked with me far longer than the 20 minutes I had paid for, and she spoke with remarkable, but not creepy, insight into my life. It was not as if she was psychic, but like she had good intuition and knew the right questions to ask. I found myself telling her more than I tell most anyone, simply because she knew what to ask, and she asked with such genuine interest and care.

I have recently developed a tenacity about pursuing my own healing, even if it is a path that takes me outside the box of “acceptable” behavior. In this case, I began hearing about healing touch practices from other people I trust, which always makes a foreign thing more approachable, and I began to think it was something I was willing to try.

I am so drastically less afraid of stuff than I used to be that sometimes it scares me (ironic, I know).

When people ask me if and how my theology has changed since getting an education (college, then seminary), I say yes and no, but the most significant change is that I have quit believing in religion based on fear. I mean, theoretically, I always believed that God is not a God of fear, and I heard churches quote 1 John 4:18 (“perfect love drives out fear”) even as a child, but you tend to do what churches do, not what churches say, and every church I knew was motivated by fear, so for all my young life, I followed suit.

We were so doggone afraid of bad influences, evil people, Democrats and Disney. Beer, boys, bands, Halloween, a college education, evolution, Barbies, strangers, theme parks, Hollywood, hormones, Santa Clause: serpents lurked everywhere. It was best to stay home. (Fortunately, there were church services four times a week so you wouldn’t go stir-crazy.)

My intention isn’t to poke fun at the tradition that raised me, but I do think there are some absurdities at play, and we shouldn’t be afraid to name them.

The residue of past fear is veeeeery sticky, but love is an oil that washes it away. The fear keeps trying to draw me back within its sticky grasp, but the more I move ahead, the more I realize I’m just not anxious anymore, and why would I want to be? I’m not scared of contamination anymore. I am free, and this has bettered my faith, not damaged it.

Sometimes I think about all the fears I’ve given up and I am quite nearly alarmed to think what I may have inadvertently “opened” myself up to. But opening hasn’t harmed me, or caused me to lose my way, not once. It’s taken me deeper, every time. Deeper into myself, deeper into my faith, deeper into compassion and truth and justice and humanity.

Freedom is too great a thing to sacrifice on the altar of appearances and expectations. My friends, do the unexpected.


P.S. Anyone want to give a testimony?? What is a fear you have abandoned and did you discover anything beautiful and wholesome in the process?


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9 thoughts on “The Murky Waters of Fearless Faith

  1. Are you looking for guest posts, or just comments?

  2. Kyndall on said:

    Oh! I hadn’t thought about guest posts, but that’s an interesting idea. Do you have a story?

    • I was thinking of the period in my life when I made a deliberate effort to stop locking my house and car doors, to combat the belief that I, not God, was the one in control of not getting robbed. Although I’ve since returned to using locks, I definitely felt like it increased my sense of dependence, and it had the unforeseen side effect of making people feel more welcome in my home.

  3. kaitlyndlee on said:

    I actually just started a writing exercise (read: therapeutic endeavor) that I’m calling: a letter to ‘the church’. In it, I talk a bit about fear but I think the theme of the letter is connected to a larger theme of your post — being brave enough to shed the old (for you, this is fear) for the New (freedom).

    Loved this post, sis.

  4. Pingback: Guest Post from Ryan « kyndallrae

  5. I have been thinking about this post since I read it. I’m on a similar place, but further behind you… poking at stuff and finding it significantly less (read: not at all as) scary or evil than I was led to believe it would be. But even while I explore the potential of things like meditation and yoga – the old fears play in the back of my mind (and are they even old fears if they are continually reinforced by Christian leaders?). The question that keeps looming is since there is a line that’s “too far”, but I’m beginning to realize the line wasn’t where I was always told it was, then how will I know when I’ve hit what should not be accepted?

    • Sarah, I’ve been wondering is there a line at all? As in, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” boundary, but we each have to listen closely to our discernment process, and different people will have different conclusions based on who they are. I don’t know for sure, but it just seems to me that my own discernment process shouldn’t feel so scary like I’ve made it out to be the past, but it should feel more like an adventure. I try one trail and find I love it and it works for me. I try another trail and find it doesn’t work for me, but there’s no guilt in the discovery and there’s certainly no judgment of those who are taking the trail. What do you think? I’m still figuring it out, of course, but I’m way less afraid of making a mistake than I used to be, and something about that feels very right, despite my occasional unease with this new freedom.

  6. Pingback: Supplemental Reading 11/23/12 « Whispers on the Journey

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creating me [using words]


creating me [using words]

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