destructive. In the midst of this, my growing crisis of faith was
nourished. Alongside my body’s breakdown and my parental
failings, this particular situation was the final shove for me to
enter into therapy and get the emotional help I so desperately
Within my church, the only way that seemed
appropriate at all to respond to such darkness was to come
together with like hearted and minded people and plan a
service of sorrow, confession, and lament for any and all
victims within and beyond our community. This service
involved the lighting of black candles, times of private and
public confession, the literal writing on paper and burning of
our transgressions, and a chance to express deep grief and
lament in response to the darkness in our midst.
Though some in this fellowship were convicted to stay
and heal, my husband and I decided to depart this faith
community and begin our journey of healing in a different
place. I was personally falling apart on so many levels. After
wandering around for a time, we landed in a Methodist church.
Methodists are really good at imparting and living grace. They
also take the safety and security of children very seriously.
A vow that I made after walking this particular journey
is to always, always, listen to my gut, particularly around
matters involving our children and their fundamental safety
and security. This does not mean that I now have license to
become an anxious helicopter parent, but I must pay close
attention when something in my gut whispers, “this isn’t quite
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