When I couldn’t quite figure out where to start with my story, it occurred to me that I should simply start where I am.
Right now, I am trying to process and fully grasp the spiritual awakening unfolding in my life. It really picked up the pace over the Summer of 2017 and I struggled with what I am supposed to DO with it all. I felt a strong call to action but I was still unclear on what that action could be.
I prayed about it and discussed it with family, I wrestled with a few ideas, and I received many messages that I will share here. Ultimately, it all led me to the conclusion that I should start a blog.
Why a blog? I want to create something that will do several things:
Help me learn the lessons that keep slipping through my fingers that have swirled around me my whole life.
Help me to reflect on my story and own it.
Be real enough that I can share it with others, so others can relate to it and (hopefully) be helped by it.
Document this spiritual awakening so I never forget it and grow from it and it becomes my testimony, evidence of God’s work in my life.
This is my intention for this blog.
I learned so much about myself and about life over the past few years, I need to sit down and face it and make sure it’s all soaked in.
I read or listened to so many wonderful books, articles, blogs, audio books and podcasts over the past few years, I need to sit down and re-read my notes to distill all this information and find a way to share the ideas that have had the most impact on me so they can have impact on others, too.
This smattering of quotes, comments, incidents or writings have appeared in my life after I began praying for guidance on what to DO with this spiritual awakening and have guided me to create this blog (taken in chronological order from my handwritten journal):
- Easter Week 2017 – Following my Holy Thursday feet washing experience, I felt a strong call to serve
- Sunday August 6, 2017 – at my first RCIA class following my August 3rd Epiphany (more on that later) we discussed in detail how the Bible was written, by many different people for different audiences, how the stories are not presented chronologically. It made me realize that if the most important book in the world is not a straight narrative then my story didn’t have to be a straight narrative either. Somehow this alleviated my fear of writing and how daunting it would be to try and sit down and write my story like a book, especially when I do not consider myself a writer.
- A Food Psych podcast episode which interviewed an Art Therapist discussed everyone’s unique voice and said what you have to offer the world is good enough.
- A Food Psych podcast episode said so much insight can come from telling your story.
- A webinar on becoming a functional medicine health coach said good health practitioners ask not what your symptoms are but what is your story. It made me realize that part of healing is rewriting the story into a redemptive story.
- Sunday August 20, 2017 – my RCIA class again discussed how the Bible was written and my teacher explained it in a way that really resonated with me: the Bible is a library, different pieces woven together to tell the story.
- August 23, 2017 overnight – I had a dream in which I created the “Erin’s Encyclopedia Project” which took my notes from all the books I read and organized them by topic (ex. fear, self-love, passion). I included my favorite quotes about the topics, I used my notes to weave together a summary to explain the topic and I shared my story in relation to that topic.
- August 25, 2017 – I began the SHAPED series on one of my favorite podcasts Daily Hope by Pastor Rick Warren (more on that later). In a nutshell, in this message series, Pastor Rick uses the acrostic SHAPE — your Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences — to talk about the way God wired you and why you need to not just know your SHAPE but use it to do the things God made you to do.
- August 28, 2017 – read in a blog post by Brandon Evans: “Most of us keep our stories so tight as if they are our own. They are not. Your story is someone else’s, most likely thousands if not millions. Bare your soul. Let your true colors shine through. And, let the love surprise you too.”
- August 28, 2017 – I continued to be inundated by the word “STORY.” I felt like I was bumping into that word everywhere I turned. I heard this quote “Because stories heal”. It forced me to to think about the positive impact I feel whenever I hear other people’s stories and how much that has helped me to connect to others and learn in my own journey. I felt a further call to share my story.
- August 29, 2017 – I listened to an exceptionally powerful Food Psych podcast episode with Anita, the author of Eating by the Light of the Moon which said “when you find your voice and speak the truth it is amazing what that does both for the individual and the community.”
- September 8, 2017 – Hurricane Irma evacuation night dream (more on that later).
- September 13, 2017 – Inner Child issue popped up repeatedly.
- September 14, 2017 – I wrote in my journal that I felt convicted to write my autobiography and then I started writing my story by hand in a feverish brain dump. Sitting in my post-hurricane house with no air-conditioning the sweat and the words literally poured out everywhere. It felt great to get it out, it felt like a concrete first step, but it also felt like if there is not a computer involved this thing just ain’t happening.
- September 26, 2017 – I concluded the SHAPED series on Daily Hope, the final episodes of this podcast series focused on personal experience and how God can turn your mess into your message. It said we are to embrace our experiences and extract the lesson, then use our experiences to minister to others.
- September 27, 2017 – The word “Remember” popped for me from several sources
- October 13, 2017 – I watched a Brene Brown Ted Talk, she is one of my favorite authors and her work has had a huge impact on me. In the Ted Talk she said the original definition of Courage when it first came into the English language was “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”