Welcome to MyOrthodoxFamily.com! Tell us who you are.
I am a gothic, artsy, mother of one who converted to Orthodoxy in 2018 from an eclectic Protestant/Evangelical background. I enjoy writing, singing, and reading. I’m a child abuse survivor and have a passion for allowing people to tell their stories instead of suppressing them. I’ve spent a very brief time overseas doing short-term missions work and learned a lot about culture and the world by working full-time at a missions organization before my conversion to Orthodoxy.
What do you most enjoy sharing? What do you feel most called to share?
I most enjoy sharing things that others can relate to or draw strength from, particularly from my own life since it’s all I know and all I have. I want to be the sort of person who can inspire people to see their life or the lives of others in a different, more compassionate light. I desperately long to reflect Christ in my sharing. It’s a poor reflection, but I try and pray it gets at least a little clearer with each passing year.
The world of social media is complex. What do you see as difficult and as redemptive about sharing your journey in this way?
The difficult thing about social media is that it’s easy to hide and harm. You don’t get the personal connection. You can’t see the hurt in someone’s eyes when you say something, so it’s easier to just blast someone with your anger and spite online than in person. I think we’re seeing the results of that in our culture: anger and fear are everywhere because it’s now easier to express them without needing to see their effects on others. On the other hand, you have such potential to reach a vast variety of people through social media that you never could otherwise. So, on the one hand, it’s difficult sharing my story because it exposes the very core of who I am to people’s misunderstanding and hate, but it could help inspire and reach someone who needs to hear it and know they aren’t alone. I think that’s worth the risk, if it makes even one person’s life all the better for hearing it.
What is your earliest, distinctly Orthodox memory?
My grandparents’ farm sits just down the street from a Greek Orthodox Church. I spent many, many years as a child being driven past that church, and every time we passed, it caught my attention. I wanted to go inside. The unique architecture was unlike anything I’d ever seen. I couldn’t even really explain it. Something about it just pulled at me, deep within my soul. My mother told me in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t a church we Protestants associated with, but the longing lingered. I’d move away from the area as a pre-teen, but even when I’d return to visit, that church would call to me. When I finally converted to Orthodoxy and realized I was converting to the same type of church as that Greek Orthodox Church down the street, it felt as if my life had come full circle. During one of their food festivals, I was finally able to enter that church after over 30 years of longing, not as a bystander or a tourist but as someone who truly belonged in that church. I stood in that beautiful sanctuary and wept. It felt like everything in my life had finally clicked, and God had led me home. Most of my conversion story is like this: little things that in ways only God could orchestrate eventually colliding over the course of my life and thrusting me into the Orthodox Church, where I’d learn that I should’ve been there all along.
What do you hope will be the mark you leave on the world as you pass through it?
I want to leave it better than I found it. I am beyond presuming that I’ll have some huge heroic story and reach millions of people for Christ or die in some blaze of glory or what have you. But if I could have just left the world a little better than I found it, have done more for the cause of Good than Evil, have made even one person better because of it and helped them see Christ more fully, that would be my wish.