“The cross is not a detour or hurdle on the way to the kingdom, nor is it even the way to the kingdom; it is the kingdom.”
~ John Yoder, The Politics of Jesus
The first time I went to a therapist, I was shattered at the rock-bottom of my life.
It has been a year of Depression and anger. A year of drinking too much too fast. In a thousand small ways and a few really big ways, I’d been hurt by the churches where I sought refuge. And so, in many ways, it was the loneliest year.
I went to the therapist after the almost Thing with the man who was not my husband. I went with a certain kind of desperation. I was at the edge, and I knew I had to reach out and grab something, so I grabbed the first name on the In-Network list and called.
The first therapist belonged to a Christian practice, which I chose on purpose. I knew I needed to sort through my tangled evangelical relationships, and I wanted to do it with someone who might understand. I was thisclose to giving up on faith altogether, and I was looking for someone to help me keep holding on.
I remember that it was fall and it was sunny. I don’t remember the therapist’s name, only that she was small and severe, and she had that tired, middle-of-the-afternoon look about her.
I sat down on the couch, and she sat at a desk, her body turned toward the window. When I launched headlong into my story, she stayed bent over her yellow legal pad, scribbling. I sobbed, and she gestured toward the Kleenex box without looking up.
I told her the whole thing, from the very beginning. I told her about the old on fire for Jesus days and the slow burning out. I gave the details, the pain. I told her about those mornings that I spent with my Bible, needing God so much I could barely breathe…and feeling only silence.
I told her about the tequila and the churches and that boy I should never have started talking to at the coffee shop that day. I told her how close things had come to falling apart.
When I was done, the therapist tapped her pencil, got up, and walked to the white board on her wall. Silently, she drew a crude drawing of two cliffs, a cross spanning the gap between them. [Read the full post here.]