Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The whisper I'm glad I accepted

It all started simple. I could barely hear the whisper in the begining but somehow knew it was there and was about to become louder. Middle of winter 2016 and I felt restless...just because!  I started searching the web about Orthodox Christians because everyone in my country Greece is raised as one but not everyone lives accordingly or knows what an Orthodox Christian is.
Since I was 18 and I'm now 48 I had no connection with my childhood religion. And frankly I thought that me and religion had parted ways for good.
But the whisper grew louder and I'm now old enough to notice when something changes inside me so I decided to trust my gut feeling and follow my intuition which guided me to the church- 2 blocks away from where I live.

In the begining it was very short visits outside liturgy times ( to my amazement church stays open for most part of the day). 
During these times my anxiety was calming, my breathing was slowing and the smell inside the church was so sweet and again to my amazement made my mind work spiritually.
I also have very clear in my head now how from the first moment I loved the cleaningness and shine of the wooden furniture (the chairs), the simplicity of the layout of the church and the beyond this world light from the few windows. 
And I shouldn't forget the silence. Most of the times it was absolute silence and sometimes sweet to my ears psalms were played from the speakers as background music.

Soon enough I started reading the New Testament. I'm surprised to say I had never read it myself to have first hand experience.
 I also made a research on the web, searching blindly, not sure exactly what I was looking for.

In the main time, around spring 2016 my mother in law who was seriously ill needed to be in the intensive unit at the hospital. For 55 long days the whole family struggled with the feelings of her coming death and it was heartbreaking to see her exiting this life.
 For me it was a life changing experience as it turned out not that I knew it then.

My mother in law died a torturing death a week after Easter, 8th of May 2016. God bless her soul. As for me I kept on going to the church every so often to sit in the quiet and I tried hard to sort my feelings about death and the meaning/purpose of life.
Slowly, quietly and steadily I attended the Sunday liturgy every week and I made a study on the symbolism of it and the more I learned the more amazed I became. All those wonderful things about how to lead a spiritual and fulfilling life so in front of my face and I never took seriously before.

I decided to follow the cycle of all the celebrations in the summer, I set a praying time twice a day and followed the days of fast as best as I could. And I had Holly Communion after maybe 25 years.
 I have never felt more safe and full of life and inspired before. My life has become so much more rich and interesting and spiritual. I've never been so present in the now and so certain of the future.
This is the best I could do to put in words my story but I suspect that religion  is mostly about experiencing and not much talking.

However, I feel inspired to document some of my moments as I travel this new path in my middle aged life. I will blog about events, personal thoughts, things I read and I feel are worth sharing and also share moments from my simple everyday family life as a happily married teacher and mother of 3 teenage children who lives on the island of Crete in Greece and loves crocheting, decorating, reading books, cooking and making jewellery to name a few.

1 comment:

  1. 3 teenagers, what a blessing!!! I have enjoyed every blog post here and thank you so much for them! Memory Eternal to your Mother-in-law! It is such a life changing blessing that you have been given a church like this!! and to hear the silence, that is a very deep blessing! God is so merciful!!