Finding FAITH, when there was no HOPE!
I follow no dogmatic religion.
I have experience in dealing with many people from different religions and walks of life.
I was raised by a strict Irish catholic mom, I married Islamically to a man from Africa. I took shahada, was baptized in the name of Jesus a few times , I chanted and worshipped with Hare Krishnas, I worked for many Jewish families and have friends of the Jewish faith. Have many friends from all over the world ,I celebrated many events and holidays with them.
I have also meditated in Buddhist temples in NYC. I got clean from drugs and befriended some people that are practicing occult members, I have read the Bible, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, and studied many other religions and belief systems on my own.
I have identified with all of the above but don’t fit into just one.
I am everything and nothing.
I see the truth in all.
I figure, I need all the help I can get, so why not just embrace everything.
I’m always skeptical though. Before I judge anything or anyone I test it out myself. To get a look at things from an inside perspective.
During the time of getting sober, my kids and I found support in a small Pentecostal church in Manhattan. This church was really small,” a hole in the wall” some would describe it. It was located on the lower east side, bordering China Town.
My 3 children and I started going there at Christmas when living in a shelter. At this point in life, we were waiting for an emergency transfer to a safer housing project.
I was struggling to raise my children alone. I fell into poverty after losing my hearing later in life and mental health decline from many years of bad choices.
A personal hell I was unable to escape.
My daughter's teacher knew our back story of my addiction struggles and current homeless situation.
Instead of judging me she was very nice and invited us to this church, she was an active ongoing member. She saw that I was trying to change the person I was.
We started going to this church frequently. Every week they had an altar call. I was still struggling with that empty feeling inside and was still fighting the urge not to use daily.
I had been attending daily outpatient and 12 step meetings. I refused to relapse after a 20 year battle with heavy drug use. I was trying anything at this point to heal.
Every week for about 2 months I would go up to the altar. They had a live band that the family performed in and would lead us in worship every week. The music was beautiful.
No matter what belief system one had the music would touch you. I couldn't pray enough for this empty feeling to go away.
I had not yet found my love for running at this time. Fitness is a big part of what helps keep me sober today.
This was still early in my recovery.
During one Friday at a small healing service, these young men that grew up in the church were visiting.
They all were now in college and doing well in life and continued to walk their path with Christ. They prayed on the people that evening at the altar with the pastor.
Like I said I grew up catholic. That was the main Chritian religion I was most familiar with .Pentecostal people did things very differently. There were a lot of supernatural things that I wasn’t used to.
Speaking in tongues and being slain by the spirit were thingsI didn't know about.
I only saw it on tv and always thought it to be crazy or fake. I never believed when people fell on the floor that was real.
I’m standing at the altar now with a woman that was becoming a very good friend of mine. I knew her to be a bit dramatic, but in a fun way.
The group of men walked over and started to pray on her. I see they are not touching her. The prayer and music are very powerful and it’s getting me very emotional.
Suddenly, my little friend (she’s a 5’0” tall Irish/Italian woman with bright red hair ) goes falling onto the floor!!
Even though I’m very emotional and having difficulties dealing with my present state of fighting addiction and sadness I’m still skeptical.
In my head, I’m thinking,” Oh god! I’m not about to fall out on the floor in front of all these people. She’s full of shit. She’s probably just doing this to be funny, make these men feel like their healers or something, she can’t be serious. “
Well, here they come now over to me.
Meanwhile, my friend is laid out on the floor as if nothing happened.
They start praying on me.
Meaning they are standing around me in a circle. They are not touching me, their hands are several inches from my body.
The energy though is very intense. I feel lightheaded and all of a sudden, down I go!
Let me tell you, I have a lot of history with crazy things in my life. Never in my life though did I feel like this.
When I fell, I never felt so good!!!
I saw the darkness leave my body.
It was like in the movies when a spirit gets sucked out of a person, like a vacuum cleaner, is the only way I can describe it.
Then suddenly I was surrounded by bright, bright, white light. Not a blinding light either. A beautiful cloud-like feeling.
The smell, I swear was heaven. It wasn’t a pretty and beautiful smell, it was just a smell of serenity. I can’t put it in words.
Like I said, I’m also hard of hearing. Can hardly hear anything at all actually.For many years I was unable to get a hearing aid due to being poor. I walked around not knowing what was going on half the time.
When this happened I did not hear anyone tell me this with my ears, it was like a message from the light or spirit world. It was weird.
I heard though that I will be ok now and I have to take what I have been through and help others.
Then suddenly I woke up, still on the church floor, with a sheet over my body.
I stood up. I felt like a whole new person.
For the first time in many years, I felt so light,refreshed and alive, the strong urge to use was gone!
Mind you I wasn’t on any drugs at this time in my life, I was in the outpatient program. So this isn’t me reacting to drugs.
After I left that night, my life changed completely. soon got a hearing aid, I found my love for fitness and running. I was now in a better living place. So so much changed, too many to list.
I’m still not a practicing Christian or anything.
This started me on a spiritual journey like no other.
I had many, many realizations and deeper understandings in regards to dogmatic religions based upon my experience, etc.
However, I’m a firm believer that the spirit/energy of Jesus can heal.
Just as much as reiki/light work/tai chi or any of these other energy /holistic things people do out there.
I still embrace everything and everyone with no judgment or expectations. I feel like that’s Christ-like enough.
I’m no longer concerned about the afterlife. I’ll deal with that when I get there. For now, I have work to do here.
Just like we say in recovery, “one day at a time”.
I say, ” one life at a time “.
I’ll go through this life with love, compassion, understanding, humility, and gratitude. Everything else will just work itself out when it’s supposed to.