Here we are, at the beginning of what we hope to be a powerful, transformative journey over the summer as we read Emotionally Healthy Spirituality together. We will send out weekly reflections/challenges/applications, key questions that we hope will equip each of you to dive deeper into this journey with your family, house church, etc. We also believe this book will integrate well with the teachings on Sundays throughout the summer. Remember from Sunday that at the center of the Universe is a community. If God is 3-in-1, then we can experience unity within our marriages, our house churches, and most importantly, within ourselves. This is what this book is all about: finding and experiencing unity and harmony within ourselves through emotional health and contemplative spirituality.
After reading the first chapter of the book, it is evident that we won't get anywhere on this journey if we can't first be honest and aware of what's going on inside of us.
Scazzero writes, 'We can't change-or better said, invite God to change us-when we are unaware and do not see the truth.'
Chapter 2 will dive deeper into what emotionally unhealthy spirituality looks like. Before diving into this, we want to encourage each of you to do an emotional healthy spirituality “assessment” of your own life throughout this week. The author realized there was a problem when he began to recognize/become aware of his lack of certain emotions (joy, happiness, contentment), and his abundance of others (anger, shame, bitterness). Not only did he observe his own emotions and reactions, but also the feelings of his family and those closest to him.
Let's start this journey together by looking honestly at our lives and the lives of those we are close to. Are the fruits of the Spirit present in your life? To what degree? Under what circumstances? Rob's questions from Sunday's teaching will be invaluable to this assessment as well...where are the disagreements in your life? Where are you not whole? Where are divisions in your life? This book will stir up things inside each of us we probably didn't know were there or that we simply can't ignore anymore. This awareness of what is in our life will come with some level of pain.
Scazzero writes, 'Pain has an amazing ability to open us to new truth and to get us moving...I never expected God to meet me through feelings such as sadness, depression, and anger.'
We believe that the best way to go on this journey is in community, and encourage you to process and share what you learn and discover along the way within your house church or family–with those closest to you. Surround yourself with people you trust and feel safe and free to be who you are, right where you are at. You are not alone. We as a staff are on this journey as well, and are available to answer any questions. So, please feel free to email Justin Fry, who is over Pastoral Care, at firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions or needed guidance along your journey of integrating emotional health and spirituality.
> > > by Stef Drawdy Operations & Connections Director