Part 2 of my story continues below!
After four years of living in my home on a nice quiet cul-de-sac, I started getting to know my neighbors across the circle. My children adored them, so they often ran over there to say hi, play a game, or see if they had any candy. At one of these visits, they were getting ready to host a meeting at their home for something called Alpha. If you are unfamiliar with this (as I was), it is a program that teaches the very basics of Christianity. They asked me if I went to church and I gave a response that I don’t really remember, but they read into it that I needed the Lord (they didn’t tell me this of course). But, they chose to listen to that feeling (read: God’s voice). This was in the fall of 2019…fast forward to February 2020. My neighbor sent me a text message asking if I’d like to join a Bible Study that she was starting. I thought to myself, why not, what do I have to lose, so I said yes.
Little did I know at the time, but this would be the beginning of a major transformation for me.
I walked into her living room on that first night and felt very much out of place, awkward, and unsure of why I said yes. But I stayed, I came back, and I kept coming every Tuesday until it happened…
The Pandemic shut down our in-person meetings and sent us to Zoom!
I learned quickly how much I hated Zoom. It’s just not the same, I need physical interaction with people, and I had grown to really enjoy those Tuesday nights; even if I really didn’t “get” what was being taught, or fully believe it yet. It was a part of my recovery from depression and it was just stripped away from me in the blink of an eye. I slowly stopped caring so much about completing the weekly assignments. I kept joining on Tuesdays from my bed, but it just wasn’t the same. The study ended after it ran its predetermined course, and my Tuesday nights were no longer full of anything but despair.
But, there was a glimmer of delight in my days during that time.
My kids needed to get outside, so when we did, and my neighbors were home, we would walk over there, and I’d get some human interaction and the ability to vent about my frustrations. Among the things I already mentioned, I had just started this business when the pandemic hit, and I lost my motivation to keep it going, especially since there was not a single hospital near me that would allow a doula into the birthing room along with the spouse. How can I have a business of this nature in that kind of world? Luckily, I was still working fulltime from home, and I did not lose nearly as much as many others have during all of this. But my depression and anxiety were definitely rearing their ugly heads.
Eventually my neighbor decided to study another book and I was all in for another study, especially if we could actually meet together again. We started this new study on her back porch with a few people joining on Zoom, and a few in person.
We were reading a book entitled Victorious Emotions.
Oh man, did I need that in my life. We started this study in mid-April, and it went for about 7 weeks. I looked forward to Tuesday nights every week. It was my me time. The book had some really great information, and I quickly found myself pulling my battered emotional body out of the pit of despair. But I still wasn’t ready to call myself a believer.