Everything is Broken… Now What?
At the beginning of this year my life was, for lack of a better definition, a mess. There was a lot of uncertainty in my world. My 19-year marriage was hanging on by a thread. Relationships that I believed would never fail had disappointed me on a level I never imagined or maybe had imagined but still could not believe. Having just sold my business, which was scary enough by itself, the future was uncertain. I had plans, I always have plans, but my plans were blowing up before my eyes. It was leaving me feeling insecure and scared. I kept moving forward but with the notion that the bottom could drop out at any moment and some days it did.
Now, I can hear some of you who know me, “But you’re the poster child for living a positive life!” And this is true. So, every day I dug deep to find the positive in whatever was going wrong that day and searched for what was going right to keep me sane. I kept trudging forward, having faith that all of this chaos would make sense in reverse. I kept on supporting those around me who needed it and kept my kids on a path that would spare them any pain that I may bring into their world. I was grateful for those who remained in my life to be there for me and for my family. It was a painful, lonely journey and during it all I found my way into therapy and back into church. I’ve always been a spiritual person and a Christian since the age of 10 years old when I accepted Christ into my life. I would later become a catholic. It drew me in with the structure of the religion itself. It always brought me comfort and security so it would seem normal for me to find my way back there.
As I went back to Mass, I kept hearing them talk about this 10-week “Alpha” course coming up and it was a bit cult-like in how everyone who got up to speak about it at Mass was “changed”. I didn’t pay much attention to it. I mean I was happy for those people who had found their Christianity, but I was already a Christian and I believed in all the glorious things that God could do for my life. That’s why I was back in church. I don’t need a 10-week course to teach me something I already know and accept. Well, God had another plan for me.
One of my best friends had been on her own spiritual journey over the past year and found herself as an “Alpha” table leader. And if you know anything about friendship, you can’t say no when they come to you and ask you for your help. She asked me if I would come to “Alpha”. At the time she had committed to come out of her comfort zone to lead this table. She said she could use my support, and she thought this would be good for both of us. And while all that went through my mind was 10 weeks of Wednesday nights was an enormous commitment out of my already overbooked life, I could not say no. I figured I’ll go to a few until she gets her feet wet and then I’ll bow out.
Well, here I am 10 weeks and three (covid19) months later and I still don’t feel like I got enough. It went faster than I ever imagined, and it was what everyone said it would be, “life changing”. Every week I couldn’t wait to go. It was something that I had zero problem fitting into my schedule and nothing would keep me from going. In fact, when Covid hit I only had two sessions left and was so lost to not have it in my life each week. I had this amazing group of strangers at my table. These strangers were there to change my life, and it was just a beautiful exchange of ideas and beliefs and created this inner desire to be closer to God. I am closer to God because of It. I got answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. At the end of our time together the question, “How did Alpha impact your life, if at all?” came up. It was such a simple answer for me. I had clarity. The very things that were a tangled mess unraveled and became roads to better things. I had direction. I felt this peace in my home and life that I had not had for a very long time. How could all this be, with just me making a change? But it was happening and every week after Alpha or after Mass I would come home to a more peaceful space and more peaceful relationships. I had shared my journey on social media and every time I did someone would reach out and want to know more. That was 10 weeks of people asking to hear more about God. God was using me, and it was an honor. On top of this I got to experience my best friend and watch as her ability to share God and his work was changing people’s lives and her fear of leading this table was unfounded. It will forever change those who had the privilege of having her as their leader. I’m so proud of her. I’m grateful she thought she needed me by her side. I’m glad God knew what we both needed.
Someone told me once that the beauty in taking a wrecking ball to your life is that you get to rebuild it better, stronger and more beautiful than before. I would add one more thing to that thought. The genuine beauty is that when you are ready, you can invite God to walk right beside you and he will be there helping you rebuild.
If you just want to know more about my experience, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you or someone you know has questions about life, the Alpha course is for you!
Learn more at www.stangela.org and/or register at email@example.com