[Editor’s note: this post is adapted from the book Feels Like Redemption – The Pilgrimage to Health and Healing, created by Seth Taylor and David Taylor. You can read Part 1 here. Learn more at MyPilgrimage.com]
I’m a Christian, so much of my new journey toward freedom has been spent on a quest for a deeper understanding of Jesus.
This was one of my first realizations when I started this process: if I was going to follow the way of Jesus, then there had to be more depth to that experience than simply believing he was the son of God and trying harder and harder to do what he said.
According to the Gospels, a very large portion of the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth was spent healing the broken—really healing them.
He didn’t lay hands on the sick and declare them “mostly free.” Jesus seemed to do the opposite of that—he would meet people where they were, at their point of pain, removing shame and seemingly throwing it to the wind, and then often saying this interesting phrase: “Your faith has healed you.”
Did Jesus heal me or did I heal myself? Our perspective on this question seems to be incredibly important to our understanding of who God is and what it is to be spiritual beings designed by a loving Creator. Think about it for a second. We all feel this question in the deepest parts of us: Is there any real power? And if there is, then why don’t we experience it more?
Why haven’t I experienced it more?
We seem to be afraid of wrestling with these really huge questions because if we do, our identities might be stripped away, along with all the things we keep under such tight control.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to fight a war anymore—I want to experience a peace that transcends understanding.
I believe this struggle in our sexuality is the opposite of a battle.
It is the sacred journey—the pilgrimage—to reconnect to the Spirit who gave birth to this Universe. And in that experience, I think we reconnect to ourselves. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is this mystery where all things are as they were designed to be. And he said this Kingdom is all around us all of the time, if only we have the eyes to see it. Jesus was showing us a way home, back to God…back to ourselves. And this journey courses through every vein and lives in every heartbeat. It’s something you can feel inside.
It feels like redemption.
So this is where we begin—all we who seek to be saved from whatever is inside of us that would drive us to self-hate and alienation, idolatry and darkness, or just plain unhappiness. This book is about something new. You might have no point of reference for my story, and you might find that unsettling or disorienting. That’s okay, because that’s how pilgrimage begins. You have to leave—you have to move. So lay down your sword, take a deep breath, and start walking…
Welcome to the pilgrimage.