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falling…

Converting to Orthodoxy has been kicking my ass lately. My response has been less than holy. I’ve been kicking back and swearing a lot, clearly.

There are a number of people in my life, people who know me well who may tell me now that I’m making far too much of this and perhaps I am. Drama queen much? Probably.

Is this what “taming the passions” means for me? To choose to seek after peace and patience instead of throwing myself headlong into the steaming vat of emotion I keep filled on the side of the road leading to the One who made me?  Scratch that, I don’t leave it on the side of the road. I pull this sucker along with me, behind me, push it ahead of me…the push and the pull I talk about in this freaking journey? It’s all me. I made it, I keep it, I want it. It’s all me.

And I hate that it’s all me.

But not enough to leave the vat of steaming emotion on the side of the road.

So I’m staring at this angst, this turmoil that I chalk up to “doing it right” or “being enough” and I am filled with loathing…for the journey, for the emotion, for myself, for my backstory and that’s not what I story I like to tell myself, that’s not the story I want to remember about this process.  The story I want most to remember and tell to people who ask about my journey is so different…I want to tell the story of how close I felt to God when I was young, how He found me in the night when I prayed. How it felt as though He physically wrapped His arms around me and sung me to sleep. I want to tell the story of how close I feel to Him now when I enter the sanctuary, when I greet the icon of the Theotokos of Vladimir and I remember that we are both mothers, that we share the struggle.

I want to tell the story of falling because this conversion is a trust fall into the dark, into the light, into the water, into waiting arms I cannot see yet but I know are there. That is the story I want to tell and that is the story I want most to cling to as I battle the monster I create out of the clay and the ash and the dust of my crumbling hubris.

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©2021 by Angela Doll Carlson