**For today's Wordy Wednesday, I am sharing a snippet from the fourth chapter I've written, which tentatively bears the title: A Mom and a Therapist. The decision to post this passage may or may not come from a desperate need for a few of you to tell me I might be doing an okay job, writing a book. Even if, (or especially because) I still have many more miles to go.
John and I were living in Conway, but we’d been going to church in Little Rock with my college roommate, named Jerusalem, whose uncle had started a church. It was small and non-denominational, because after four years at our beloved Southern Baptist, Liberal Arts College, we were both ready for a different kind of church. Celebration was that. We met in the repurposed store of a strip mall, and Jeru’s husband was in the rockin’ band that played for nearly an hour every Sunday. Then, Uncle Tim took the stage and told us stories. Yes, it sounds a little hippie to me now as I begin to paint this picture, but flip-flops on a Sunday morning were exactly what we needed. And that church, along with small group at the Curry’s house was my first experience in true, connected, spiritual community.
Finally, I’d found other people who felt like me. People who prayed often and cussed every now and then. Not because they were trying to be cool -- this was 1999, four years before Blue like Jazz was even published. And not because they were hypocrites either, but simply because they were born of the spirit and of the flesh. These saints and sinners remembered their humanness, and they were tired of hiding behind fig leaves. My friends at this church believed holiness could be found even in obscene places and they refused to parcel all of creation into hairsplitting categories of sacred and secular. They understood that it was impossible to crave the former if you shunned the latter.
And they helped me learn to do the same, because there is no other way to be invested in the lives of all the peoples of this world, yet remain citizens of another, truer kingdom.
I guess it was Jerusalem who I finally told my fears to and she told me she’d been going to meet with a lady in the church who was working to get her license as a Christian counselor. This meant she had a certain number of counseling hours she needed to fill before she would be able to charge people for counseling. My husband was working part time for Barnes and Noble booksellers and taking two master’s courses at UCA. Plus we had college loans and rent and a new baby. Free therapy was just what I needed.