Unexpected Blessings Through Learning
As I continue on my journey of learning and growing in the Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry Program, I am still caught off guard when my Lord shows up to greet me and enhance my learning. It’s a gentle reminder that there is much to know, and much work to happen in me in preparation for this Ministry. As I leave behind the rubble and chaos of a five year addiction to alcohol, I learn not only to trust God in my recovery but to gently look at the roads that led me there, so that I make better choices in the future. I had thoughts throughout my recovery that would have me believe that I had fallen too far away, and perhaps was no longer worthy to continue this healing path that chose me seven years ago. Silencing the voices and trusting God, however, was what encouraged me to pick up from where I left off and fearlessly forge ahead on this path. And so, a bit nervous, I signed up for the next class.
It was during the Sacred Heart Blessing that I came to understand more intimately how the prodigal son must have felt to see his father running down the path toward him that day. How can it be that he was waiting for the son? He was waiting for the day his son would return because he knew that indeed his son would return. I saw my Savior run down the path to greet to me, there was not a trace of disappointment in his face, nor was there any hint of judgement in his words "welcome back my beautiful daughter", "you made it home. I am proud of you". Overwhelmed and cradled in the arms of a stranger I finally felt layers of shame and guilt fall away from me and disappear. He never once asked where I had been, or what I had been up to in the absence because it didn't matter to Him at that moment, and He already knew. “How could this be?” my head screamed, and my heart answered, "nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus our Savior". It was incredibly powerful and humbling and healing all at once. It was clear that my recovery journey was enabling me to come home to the work My Lord had called me to. I didn't anticipate there was even more work to do on myself, and Jesus would be leading me.
In 2008, I was raped by a massage client during a session in his home. In 2009, I went through a painful divorce, when after 23 years of marriage and three beautiful daughters, my husband decided he was gay. I was devastated and my body felt even more raw and ripped open wide with grief and shame and guilt. During the years that followed, I became an alcoholic in an attempt to silence the pain of both circumstances. Please believe it when you hear that the process of the legal system grinds slow and devastates the victim again. It took four years (in which I was receiving weekly therapy) to finally get a hearing to tell my story of the rape to a Grand Jury. The Grand Jury indicted the man who raped me. Again, it was a time of waiting for a trial date to happen. During a Good Friday meditation in 2013, the Lord clearly spoke to me. He reminded me of His words from the cross during his crucifixion, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". He reminded me that he hung on that cross not just for me, but for the man that raped me. God asked me to lay down the burden of waiting, embrace the healing that I had achieved through therapy in spite of my drinking, and to cling to Him. "Let it go", he whispered that Good Friday, and "cling to my cross". And so, after several years I told the attorney at the time that I would not go to trial, but I needed to somehow to protect the women who may come into contact with my rapist. In the state of GA there is what is called a "dead docket", where the charges against the man would stand but I would not have to go through with a trial. So I let it go and chose this option, and felt satisfied that I had in someway protected anyone else in the future. In 2014, I lost my job in May. My oldest daughter was married October 4th, and on October 13th I was in a bad auto accident with a tractor trailer, (unrelated to my drinking). At that time I wasn't a daily drinker, but what I called an out of control weekend warrior.
The Lord still had a firm grip on me and would not let me forget that He had called me to this healing work. In February of 2014, through a haze of alcohol I took the 103 class one beautiful sunny weekend. I tried to hide my shaking, as I struggled during the day without my usual drinks. I stayed to myself as best I could and soaked up every word that was being taught. Once home I more than made up for my day by killing a case of beer while I excitedly tried to explain what I was learning to my husband. I stayed up late drinking and sleeping very little. With some very strong coffee I arrived at the Sunday class. The hiding, the pretending, the shame of who I really was had to take a backseat to what I was learning. It was a full day, and later in the afternoon we did The Sign of the Cross Blessing. As I began I felt a bit disoriented. I attributed this to my lack of alcohol. But the longer I performed the blessing the more I felt myself disappearing into a brilliant white space and the movements became second nature, like an old familiar waltz. In that sacred place God assured me that I was on a path, and he was guiding me the entire way. I don't recall hearing the music as it played, I just wanted to stay in that place of light and warmth. As the blessing came to a close, I felt as though everything was drained out of me and much to my embarrassment, I doubled over and gave way to a flood of tears that there was no holding back. I had encountered something ethereal, and holy in spite of my shame and hiding. It was after this experience that I knew I needed help. I was stubborn. I was an alcoholic. God waited.
It took 3 attempts for me to break the cycle of my addiction. I found strength and guidance through a program associated with the church I was attending called Celebrate Recovery. It's been an arduous journey but I know that God is beside me every step of the way.
Three weeks before I was to attend the 104 class, I received a call from the District Attorney of the county that the rape happened. I learned that my rapist, through his attorney, had petitioned the courts to have the charges expunged from his record. There seems to be only 2 options, I go through a trial or the record is indeed expunged. I had no idea that the dead docket could be ended after a certain amount of years. After much prayer and talking with my therapist, I told the DA that I could not go through a trial, but I could not accept the idea that his record would be clean, with no public record of what he and done. "Somehow I want a solution where this would always haunt him as it haunts me" I told the DA. So now I am again forced to wait while the DA works with the rapists' attorney on my behalf to reach some kind of settlement. It could indeed result in the rapists' record being expunged, and he will walk away free. I am struggling with trying to accept that, old feelings of shame and guilt that linger from the rape, and what it means to truly "let it go"
I shared this with Margaret, and with unexpected compassion she heard my story and suggested some oils to help with the anxiety and nightmares I am now having. During the Spiral Meditation, Linda worked with my group and on me personally and she was able to drain away much of the low back pain that I thought was solely from the auto accident, but that was being fueled by the stress of the present situation and shame left over from the rape. I feel stronger now and I'm in less physical pain, thanks to the weekend. I know that I am making strides in that healing process thanks to my work in HTSM. Blessings will flow in spite of our circumstances, and I continue to find great comfort in that.
Kate Becnel <firstname.lastname@example.org
(Note: Kate has recently finished the HTSM 105 and the Basic Practitioner Program)