Notes From My Spiritual Journey

My Catholic mother prays daily that I find my way back to the Catholic Church. I pray daily that my family be surrounded by divine light and love and that the Angels continue to bless us, protect us and guide us.
I started out as such a good little Catholic girl, walking to Mass on Saturday mornings during Lent at the young age of 8, getting my parents hopes up that one of their three daughters was on track to become a nun. They even gave me a nun doll, with full black and white regalia. I must have been almost 9 when I started actively questioning the truths of the church. Catching myself making up lies to tell the priest in confession was a big red flag for me. Something wasn’t right there. Soon after that, in our next religion class, I heard the priest say, “all our neighbors were going to hell because they weren’t Catholic.” This was the final straw. Even at 8 years old, I knew that God loved everyone.
From that point on, I still went through the motions and participated in all things Catholic, because anything less would not have been tolerated by my parents. But my heart was no longer in it. I bided my time until I could finally do what I wanted to do and eventually as an adult, slipped into non-practicing Catholic mode.
God loved our family so much, he gave my parents 8 children and then he took 4 of them back to heaven with him. And that is how they explained this to us as Catholic children. We never really knew why these babies failed to develop normally, but 3 of them died around the age of 3 from pneumonia, and one died shortly after birth.  I attended their funerals when I was 5, 6, 10 and 13 years old. My parents called these babies our angels in heaven and so they remain for me.
My interest in medicine was born out of witnessing the suffering of my baby siblings, followed by the suffering of my parents at these losses. By age 13, I made a vow to myself that I was going to become a doctor, that I was going to find out what had been wrong with the babies and then I wanted to be able to explain that to my parents. My interest in healing was ignited by my own suffering which came to the forefront later, once I started having babies of my own.
I believe that when we are born we are still very connected to God and to the realm of Spirit. We are sensitive, intuitive and even telepathic little souls until enough life experience teaches us to shut down and just survive. It is as if our connection to Spirit then goes dormant, waiting for the time that we consciously choose to start exploring that realm again.
When the last two babies in our family died, I knew the moment each of them died, even though they were in the hospital and I was at home.  These unexpected and upsetting ESP’s came to me at ages 10 and 13 and I couldn’t speak to anyone about them. I responded by shutting down to Spirit and by stopping any more messages from coming to me. My family never knew of my precognitive knowing around the babies’ deaths until decades later.
By age 13, at the time of my confirmation, which is meant to unite us with Christ and the church more deeply, I found myself trying not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” However, as time went on, I threw out the Catholic Church, dabbled in throwing out God and Jesus, but I never gave up on Mary or the angels.  Thank God for Mary and the Angels.
As a high school student I joined Young Life and attended local camps where we sang uplifting Christian songs sitting on hay bales in barns surrounded by other teens with raging hormones.  While I know these camps had a Christian theme, I really cannot recall what else we did beside sing and run around the farm.
As a teen of the 70’s I dabbled in mind-altering substances, which created expansive experiences where I felt very close to the Creator and at one with all of Creation. My peak experience was on the peak of a mountain outside of Estes Park, Colorado. After a long night of partying, we drove our 4-Wheel drive Jeeps up to the top of a mountain in time to catch the view of the sunrise breaking across four different states.  We witnessed profound color changes across the sky, the mountains and the plains and followed cloud movements across an immensely wide expanse; it was the most stunning sight in nature that I have ever seen.  We felt so close to God and creation at that time and were probably expecting the hand of God to reach down to us.
After graduating with a Bachelor in Biology from the University of Nebraska this girl from the Midwest followed a divinely inspired idea and went to grad school in New Hampshire to study forest tree diseases. Michael and I met in grad school in NH and once we decided to spend our life together, we began searching for spiritual meaning in tandem. After we got pregnant and moved to West Virginia, we attempted to embrace Catholicism. We tried attending a couple of different churches, and then we let it go.
We also looked for a spiritual connection through meditation. I found it difficult to meditate while raising three young ones and never developed a consistent practice. As our family grew, we started spending our Sundays in Nature. I told our kids that the towpath was our church and that if they griped about taking our family walks on Sunday mornings, I’d start making them go to mass like my parents did to me.
From the time our first child was born in 1984, we started learning about alternative medicines. Homeopathic medicine is a holistic medicine, which treats all levels of our being; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. We used this type of medicine exclusively for our family. As we raised our children, I found that I didn’t always like the mother that I was and I could not shake my bouts of depression and anger. I was determined to heal these waves of darkness before too much damage was passed onto our children.  Homeopathic medicine gave me the first relief from feeling overwhelmed, depleted and depressed.
In the 90’s, I found a healing mentor who I received healing sessions from for 8 years. My monthly healing sessions with her changed my life and gave me tools to transform my depressed state whenever it arose. Michael noticed a huge improvement in my attitude after the first session and encouraged me to keep going monthly, even if we couldn’t really afford it.
This same mentor introduced me to Native American Spirituality and I then enlisted the help of several local mentors. Native Americans recognize the Divine presence in all beings; animals, plants, rocks, rivers, etc. The Animal medicine cards helped me to find answers about my life. Sweat lodges, drumming circles and drum journeying all provided healing opportunities for me to get out of my own way and to listen to spirit. I accepted that everyone is on their own healing journey moving at their own pace. This freed me from the need to try to save or heal everyone. I began to feel the Creator’s presence in my life again, and I felt good about having a Spiritual practice outside of a church, praying for help in my own way.  I learned how to trust my intuition and to trust what I knew inside of me.
In 1997, while attending a friend’s mother-in-laws’ funeral, a person whom I had only met twice, I found myself up in the balcony of the church weeping as if it had been my own mother who had died.  This over reaction spurred me on to dive deeper into healing the grief load that I was carrying around with me. Somehow the angel babies helped me understand that it wasn’t enough to own the grief I had felt at their loss, I also needed to acknowledge my anger that they had died, my fears, blame and guilt over their deaths.  This understanding that all emotions travel in groups became the foundation of the healing technique that I developed, called INHALE LIGHT. During subsequent healing sessions, I began developing my own techniques to heal myself and I was able to determine what emotions or beliefs from the past were stuck in my body. By using the breath, I would breathe out various emotions and I would feel tension release from my body.  I finally understood how to get high on life.
Reiki came to my attention through a friend and I have been using this healing modality for the past 15 years. Reiki is a hands-on healing technique, which allows the body to relax, to release toxins and to heal itself.  The reiki practitioner brings divine healing energy into their body and sends it out through their hands into the person receiving it.  Reiki has strengthened my intuition and my connection to the divine. As I do reiki on others, or myself I am basking in healing divine energy; my mind is at peace and I am filled with love, one might say I am meditating or praying.
My life focus is all about healing; the healing of myself and the guiding of others to heal them selves.  Coming from a life filled with senseless loss, I was driven to heal the resultant anger and depression, to prevent passing on the pain to the next generation. I am sure I failed miserably in sparing my family from some of my suffering, but I also know I have succeeded brilliantly in modeling for them how to change and grow out of tragedy. In the near future I hope to finish writing my book about healing which will help others heal themselves, using their own divine light, intention and breath.
Recently, I have been fortunate to accompany my husband Michael on some of his international work trips. As I travel, I have a practice of calling in divine light into every location and when visiting sacred sites, I always ask for divine healing for myself and for others. While visiting Turkey last year, we visited a sacred Mary shrine near Ephesus: called the House of the Virgin Mary.  This site is believed to be where Saint John brought Mary to live after the death of Jesus. The day we visited the shrine, I was actually recovering from an intestinal upset and was feeling quite weak. I was the last person in a group to go through the little house and I soon found myself alone there for about 15 minutes. As I prayed for healing for others and for myself, I felt lots of energy moving through my head and my body. Later, as I walked out of the shrine, I felt 100% restored to health.  I know I was blessed with a healing.
Gradually over the years, I have found the faith that anything can be healed, even if the healing does not look as we expect it to. I truly believe it is our birthright to heal our lives; to release our anger, fears, hurts, and resentments. By doing this not only are we filled with Divine Light and feel closer to God, we also experience more joy, love, peace and compassion in our lives. I feel privileged to participate in helping others to heal themselves. I am reassured that we are never alone, we are always supported by the divine in all its forms and the more we ask for help, the more we receive it. I believe we can ask the divine to send healing light to anyone and to any situation and this fills me with hope.
After hearing Randy perform several funerals for some of my dear friends, my interest in exploring the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church (SPC) arose.  Coming to SPC has been a breath of fresh air to me. The first few times I came, I listened very intently for anything that might offend my view of life and of God. I was actually shocked that nothing triggered me and was so pleased about how often love and light were mentioned.
My favorite statement of every service is: From Jesus, the light and love of the world, we are learning day by day, to be in true communion with God and in true community with others.
My favorite quote from the bible is,”Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
The song to be sung after this is: Make me a channel of your peace, which was a prayer originally written by St Francis.
Make me a channel of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love,
Where there is injury, Your pardon Lord, And where there’s doubt, true faith in You
Make me a channel of your peace, Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness – only light, And where there’s sadness, ever joy
Oh Master, grant that I may never seek, So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood, as to understand, To be loved, as to love with all my soul
Make me a channel of your peace, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all men that we receive, And in dying that we’re born to eternal life