was introduced to new ideas around human thought, emotion,
and behavior. These concepts were not emphasized in my
family of origin.
This was an invigorating pursuit, yet it bumped up
against so much that I was taught as a child. The tapes of my
childhood discipline and religion blared inside my mind. Fear
would often lead to panic and then to a shutdown of just how
open minded and questioning I was willing to be. But it was a
beginning, a crack in my confused and fearful mindset.
When I was twenty-seven years old, Mark and I and
our two sons moved back to the place I grew up, and after
looking into alternative worship places, we headed back to the
church I spent much time in as a child. This led to a conflict
for me. The life of peace and freedom that I heard talk of and
that I so desired was not realized for me in this particular place
of worship, and yet I returned there. We often gravitate to what
we know, even when deep down we long for something
We spent two years living in this place before moving
away. During a Bible study on Galatians in this church, a
teacher shared a striking visual. It has come to mind over and
over in subsequent years. I clearly remember him saying,
“Following God is not something we have to figure out step
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