Through the fire

As I listened to my first Christian Science church service, I remember thinking, “I’m in heaven.” However, it would be many years before I would gain a higher spiritual understanding of Christian Science and make it my own. I’d spent many years prior to this afraid of God, a prisoner of my own theological and astrological beliefs. I was on a search for something to free me from a life that had become my worst nightmare—a kind of hell in and of itself.

Growing up, I went to church regularly, and it had always been my opinion that most pastors were devout, holy messengers sent from God. I thought they had certain mystical powers. When my pastor gave the sermon each week, he delivered it with a great sense of power and tireless energy. The sermons he preached instilled an abiding sense that God would deliver me from trials—but by the same token, I feared God would also condemn me to horrible things if I did not listen and be obedient. I soon became disillusioned with pastors and religion in general. In the end, I went on a long hiatus from church.

Lost, I began experimenting with astrology. Originally, it was all in fun. But this innocence quickly grew into a practice, to the point of obsession. It affected my family, friends, and, to a degree, my marriage. For decades I relied on the position of the stars and planets to instruct me in day-to-day life—career changes, etc. Even the birth of my daughter centered around this fixation, as I hoped she would be born in a certain month. In addition, I felt securer around individuals who I felt shared things in common with me under our signs. 

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August 22, 2011

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