I am a writer! To say this out loud may seem odd but it has been my life struggle to get back to the girl I was. I awoke this morning after a long battle with myself over the life I left behind to a message about keeping dreams alive. I was on the verge of burning my manuscript that has been rejected by countless publishers! So today I proclaim to continue on in faith.

I grew up in the Bible Belt where faith in religion purported to be the foundation of all things worthy. That term “Bible Belt” just makes me cringe. The name comes from the region’s strict belief in all things Christian, but with an over focused idea on church attendance and discipline. If you don’t adhere to both, you are told Hell is where you will go!

Growing up in that region left my young girl heart frightened into seeking a savior outside my soul. I attended more churches than most trying to serve the Lord according to their strict factions. Lutheran chapel, Methodist bible study, Baptist church camps, Assembly of God holy rolling lock-ins and then finally settling in to my step-fathers strict German Catholic “convert me” classes to fit in.

My real father, on the other hand, proclaimed to be of scientific mind, touting only study and hard work is the faith you should find. I tried for 40 years to fit into all their worlds; church – sometimes twice a week, confession, marriage, graduate school, teaching at a university while running a private practice. Something in me snapped two years ago and I decided to listen to nothing but the voice inside of me.

There was a little girl in there that I used to know who spent her time in nature finding peace among the trees. She could hear whispers in the wind and angels singing in the hum of bees. She wrote about it all passionately but often hid the poems and stories that emerged out of fear her faith in something other than their god would sentence her to harsh judgement.

Two years ago, I sold everything in two weeks including my luxury vehicle to a man with a handful of cash at my garage sale! I took nothing but my journals, my little dog, a suitcase and a one-way ticket to a country I only visited briefly. I purposefully did not renew my credentials to prove to no one but me that I had faith in something bigger than any of my devout friends or family could see.

I am back in nature where my heart belongs. I hike barefoot through the jungle and rocky cliffs to a secret spot where I alone attend my own version of church connecting to Mother Earth. I recently finished my manuscript about it all. I did it with little support and even lost the faith of the man whose praise I desperately crave – my father.

But I have learned to see it all as a test; to believe in a dream no one else sees. It feels amazing to mentally hold the hand of the little girl who just wanted to be seen and say “come on angel, I have faith. I have faith in you and I have faith in your dream.” ~ Juls ♥

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