I have been dead for ten years.
That is a startling statement, perhaps the start of a poem, but it is a reality that was understood while walking along the path at Walker Lake.
What does being dead and yet alive mean?
Did I die to my attitude and opinions? Did I crucify my speech and hang my words on the cross? What part of me died?
This past weekend was one of the holiest on the calendar of Christ followers.
This past week was also one of the most sacred on the calender of my Jewish bretheren.
It was fitting, therefore, that I thought about my spiritual sense and the place of Spirit in my life.
A little over ten years ago, May 2013, to be more accurate, I became unemployed. It was scary and terrifying to be laid off from my well off corporate job by the devil of a tiny manager who was intimidate by my degrees, contribution to the company, budding career, and light. She had already been the manager of several of my colleagues in my training program who proclaimed her satan walking for her evil tongue, her potty mouth that would make any sailor hang his head in shame, and her unspoken resentment of all of them surpassing her in promotions. She took it out on all the freshly minted MBAs and I ultimately landed in her lair after the company was in the middle of a hiring freeze and positions were limited. What harm could she do, I thought? Little did I know that she was my demise.
So my career as I thought it would be died.
But in that dying, I took control of me, I packed my boxes and already had my office cleaned out when the dreaded knock came, I already knew and refused to give the devil the upper hand and have me walk out in shame. My head was held high and the weight was lifted off my shoulders.
A new life was forming in me as I was pregnant with my daughter as well as a new direction was ahead of me away from what I thought it would be.
In the ensuing months and years, I died to expectations that were not in the ultimate plan for my life. I died to trying to make my husband be someone he was not for my benefit, I died to measuring myself with a yardstick that was artificial, I died to unhealthy eating, I died to expectations of other people. I entered a slow death that was a release.
Just as the resurrection invited us to know new life and the opportunity to have peace in this faith, so too did it remind me of the resurrection of my purpose that was that "something G-d wants you to do" that my late father would spend years telling me about and I would spend years questioning what that was.
When we walk a path of life, we sometimes encounter disappointments and experiences that feel to us like a death - beyond the death of my first born son and marriage when I was young, it was the death of what I thought was for me and the embracing of what was in my path, despite my blinders. We sometimes never know why we endure some things until the light is turned on and the revelation comes in the right time.
The calendar pages continue to turn in my life and as I reach toward official elder status, I also reach forward in where this unexpected journey has taken me, from high income to no income, through love and loss, to embracing a global spirituality beyond just the four walls, to appreciating the women in my live who empower me and gaining discernment about those who are envious of me, to reach back and help up a younger sister, and to nurture the gift that was given to me ten years ago. Revelation comes as we are mature enough to appreciate her song.
I died ten years ago and in that dying, life was resurrected in me.