Friday, October 28, 2011

When A Soul Awakens: It Only Takes One Word

After finding out that this horse healing idea is actually practiced in real life, I sent an email over to one of the counselors who leads the workshops, asking about price, dates, etc.  After a day had passed, I was excited when I saw her response listed in my new emails.  The response meant healing-by-horse was even more real, and I might actually be a part of it.  That was, until, I saw the cost.  It was way out of my budget, and by "way" I mean across the country right at the border and ready to enter Canada.  I politely thanked the counselor for her quick response and asked her to keep me in mind when another workshop comes about.

Months passed and my personal healing journey continued.  I met with my counselor quite a few times, and I read a lot.  I decided to take my love for reading one step further and began reading books about "my condition" as I call it, books such as The Emotionally-Absent Mother by Jasmin Cori, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? by Karyl McBride, Turn My Mourning into Dancing by Henri Nouwen, and Healing Your Emotional Self by Beverly Engel.  I also continued fulfilling my love for Lisa Wingate novels, which provided a breath of fresh air at the times I needed one most.  And I blogged my heart out -- I shared, with you, both the dark days and the bright days of my journey, and all of the stuff in between. 

I also experienced severe isolation.  I don't know if "experienced" is an appropriate word -- I chose to be alone, but I did so because I was feeling and thinking things that were out of my control.  Most days I made it to work, but I kept communication to what was required and I went home and stayed in my room reading the rest of the evening.  I wasn't exercising, I was gaining weight, and I was unhappy.  But, I had read all of these books!  I fooled myself into thinking I was okay because I was doing something really good really well.  But I wasn't doing anything else.  All of this knowledge and advice on new ways of thinking, all of the insights I gained after months of reading, all were so wonderful...but, everything was just sitting inside me. 

My counselor had been encouraging me, basically since session #1, to test out the idea of community, to take a leap of trust and faith with and among other believers and to share myself with others.  No.friggin'.way.  I just hadn't been able to do it, any of it, in well over a year.  And once again at our last session, when I shared with her all of the great things I was learning through my reading and writing, she told me how important I would find community while on my journey -- kind of like an I don't know that I know, but one day I'll know and then I'll wonder how I ever got by without this thing I currently don't know about type of thing.  Then, she prayed for me to find community.  Still, I was skeptical -- the power of prayer doesn't penetrate into the lives of people like me.

A few weeks passed, and I received an email from Lynne, the counselor who leads the horse therapy workshops.  She asked if I was still interested in participating and that a workshop was coming up in just a couple of weeks.  I told her I was very interested but my pocketbook was not in the mood.  She told me they offer scholarships to people who would really like to participate but cannot afford it.  The balance I would be responsible for was still too much, even after knocking off half of the cost. 

This is where I started feeling irresponsible and like a bad decision-maker.  Had I made smarter decisions with my time and my finances, I'd be in the position to participate in the workshop, without hesitation or worry as to how I would pay for it.  I didn't make high school or college a priority because I had so much other stuff I was struggling with, which led me to mismanage my life.  My grades weren't always the best and I didn't make the most of meeting people and making connections; therefore, I didn't get a well-paying job that would afford me to spend money on something important, on something I needed to do.  I wasn't asking for a BMW, I just wanted to be able to go to a counseling workshop without pinching pennies by eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a week.

Lynne went one step further and offered me the option of a payment arrangement, splitting the balance into payments that I could manage.  The more I thought about it the more I realized that this was an opportunity that I couldn't say no to.  I felt deep down in my stomach and heart and toes that this workshop was something that I needed to do, something that God had planned for me.  I wanted to be Lindsey in Over the Moon, I wanted to act out her character and actually feel for myself the emotions she experienced, the emotions I had only read about.  I knew there was something waiting for me at the stable, something I was terrified to discover, yet ready to uncover, dust off, and give to God.  This is an opportunity I can't say no to.  So, I said yes.

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