After completing my first Master’s degree, I drove away from my hometown with whatever could fit into my first-generation Prius. Though I was leaving dear friends, I knew with every part of me that I had to put some space between myself and the places that housed so much confusion and pain. I had been surviving on distraction far too long, and its time of service was running out. Without healing, I knew my time risked running out as well. Should I choose to continue breathing, I would be choosing to walk through life buried within my own body, pretending to have a healthy mind, heart, and soul—an existence I had little energy remaining for— so, I started driving, hoping for a chance at change.
I had felt pulled toward Colorado during a brief visit. Imagining my legs carelessly swinging from a peak, I rediscovered the freedom I sensed as a child—when I went weightless on a swing, or looked out of my window at the magnificent maple tree, with its glorious steadfast presence. As I allowed my pain to surface, perpetually one moment away from being consumed, I experienced a simultaneous contrasting hope, an opportunity for an unexpected life in which those moments of freedom would become my new normal. But first, I knew I had to surrender, and embrace the hard work, unrolling like a stained red carpet before me: one hurt, one loss, one lie, one scar, one fear, one question, then the next hurt, loss, lie, scar, fear, and question. Sifting through the ashes, I began learning what to carry with me and what to let float away, returning to nothing, like the vapor it was.
Ten years later, my freedom has a name. The Beauty that had called to me since childhood, that transcendent ache to live a life delivered of the devastation I had known, has saved my life. As I questioned what had been real and what had not, I became committed to finding the truth. I had become a seeker, passionately needing to know who God is. I asked questions about the relationship between my dad and the Lord: Was my dad a prophet? Had the Lord given him special revelation? Did God sanction my dad’s abuse? I read books about God’s love, grace, and the accepted understandings of the Old Testament. I researched my questions, engaged experts through my study at Denver Seminary, and remained humble enough to not yet know the answers, while adamant that the they came with evidence. Through this, I found that although I had believed I was Christian my whole life, authentic questions dismantled the surviving pieces of my worldview. In actuality, I had been raised in a pseudo-Christian cult, and my dad was the founder and leader of our group. I had been raised, yet hidden, within mainstream culture and public school education, where no one knew, including myself, until I was 28 years old. Graciously, through the gentle love of God, I have since learned the truth of who he is, and have genuinely become part of his family.
Founder | Naomi Wright
Master of Social Work from State University of New York at Buffalo
Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary - In progress