For those of you who were following my blog before (and for anyone new), due to an unfortunate situation, my blog was wiped out completely, along with the backup that was on the server. I did have some of the posts saved on my computer, but not many of them, because I blogged directly in WordPress. Lesson learned. Never trust your webhost (or blog platform, if you use one like Blogger) to protect your files. Write in Word, copy and paste, create your own backups, and save in multiple locations. So, here we go for another shot at this.
I’m not going to try to recreate all of the missing posts. Instead, I’ll just sum up the beginning here, and repost the ones I still have. If you have any questions about anything, just ask and I’ll bring you up to speed.
I came from a very abusive and traumatic childhood, and was basically phobic of anything that reminded me of satanic ritual abuse that occurred when I was an infant and toddler–especially gold, chalices, and robes! Anything that was formal or ritualistic was something I avoided. Even after more than a decade of therapy, the 18 years of different kinds of abuse still affected many areas of my life. I hyperventilated all the way through my wedding, for example, and I barely remember any of it. I never said “prefabricated” prayers, because that’s formal and ritualistic. When someone would say, “But it’s tradition!” about something, the hair on the back of my neck would rise. In some of my college courses, professors would mention and draw the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, and I almost always had this irrational urge to run up to the board and erase the quadrant that contained the word “tradition.” It’s funny now, and if I ever took action on that urge, I’m sure people would have laughed; I didn’t find it funny then, though–I found it uncomfortable and difficult to suppress.
Journey to Orthodoxy
A friend of mine shared Orthodoxy with me from the time she was a catechumen. Links to saint wikis, pictures of icons and churches, discussions about doctrine would show up in my email inbox and my chat box all the time. Her excitement was obvious. I think it was about two years from the time she first started saying she wanted me to find an Orthodox church, and the time I finally agreed to attend one for four Sundays.
Long story short, I resisted for so long because I knew that if I set foot in one, I’d be there for life. The way I had always believed turned out to match up to Orthodoxy (she often said, “You’re Orthodox at heart”) and I already knew and loved one of the two families who were in the mission station I’d be attending, so I knew I’d be “home” and stay there. So what was the problem? The problem was the formality and ritual of it all scared me and I didn’t want to have to overcome that. But I wanted my friend to leave me alone about it so I agreed to go for just four services.
Soon after that, my husband and children were going with me, even though there was no pressure for them to go. Two months after that, we were officially made catechumens. It would have been sooner, but our priest only comes every couple of months or so.
Fast forward a year, and we’re now members of the Orthodox Christian Church, and that friend is my godmother. She wondered if she’d be a good godmother for me and I said she was perfect for the job – she knew me well, knew what I needed, and she was the reason I came into the church in the first place. No other person would do.
Lest you think it’s been a nice, peaceful, and uneventful journey… let me tell you right now that it has not. I’ll share some of that with you in subsequent posts. But it has been worth it. And it’s good to be home.