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As our 2012 retreat gets closer, I have been thinking more about the connections that I have in my life both personally and spiritually.  We are human, people need to be connected with other people to survive.  We are like trees that need to be connected to the earth for nutrition and a kiss from the sun to survive, if not the tree begins to lose its leaves and eventually dies.  If we do not have connections in our lives, we slowly wilt away.  We become hollow, like a dried out tree.

During First Tuesday, I shared my experience with depression.  Between the long work hours, traveling, and personal tragedies, depression set in and made itself a part of my life for three years.  In the beginning I was so sick I didn’t notice that I had no connections in my life, personally or spiritually.  I was hollow on the inside.

As I struggled to get “me” back, I started noticing how devoid of emotional connection I truly was.  My family and friends didn’t know how to help or what to do, and that helplessness caused them to became distant during those three years.

When my family started feeling comfortable with me again and had a better understanding of my illness, there was a noticeable change—more hugging and closeness.  With each hug my body had a reaction, like a tree being watered back to life, the tinglings of emotions began to reawaken within me.

As for my soul, it started to heal when I joined this church.  A class on prayer taught by Denise and Pastor Wes’s bible study class gave me the ability to see that God had always been there with me, I just didn’t have the awareness of that Sacred presence.  This church and the people in it watered my soul!

Recently, I attended a conference for LGBT youth.  I had the opportunity to listen to some of these young people share their experiences of being different and unable to make connections with kids in their schools.  They shared how this made them feel useless, shameful, depressed, and worthless.  These negative feelings and emotions drained the life out of them.

They told their stories of finding Gay-Straight Alliance groups or other supportive allies that brought life and self-esteem back to them. This just reinforced what I had already experienced—connections, we all need them!

What are you doing to get connected?  Join us for retreat!  I’m looking forward to seeing “What Happens When the Spirit Comes!”


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