Walking the Path: My Interfaith Journey

A Pagan seminarian's perspective on faith, theology, and facilitating interfaith dialogue.

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When the Path Isn't Visible

So much has happened over the last year. I'm not exactly sure where to begin. So let me start by saying that for the first time in my life, I had lost my faith.

For me it wasn't a drastic shift. It was the long, slow feeling of being abandoned by my deities when I needed them the most. When my path had become the most difficult to tread and I was feeling alone and scared. I had left Lexington KY and moved to St Louis without a job, and with the hope that after two chaplain residencies I would be able to find work as a chaplain in my field. Two opportunities presented themselves only to fall through at the last minute. Eventually, with no work to keep me grounded I took a job at Starbucks just for the benefit of social interaction with other humans and to keep me sane. Me--working at Starbucks. Ten years of training and two post graduate degrees and I'm serving coffee for a living. The buck stopped here.

I can't tell you any magical remedy for getting through times like this. After a year even my strength wavered and I fell into the depths of a pretty serious depression. Luckily I have an amazing support system that helps to get me through. What I can say is being human is completely OK. Questioning and being angry and despairing are all completely valid emotions. The Dark Night of the Soul was aptly named for a reason. I have come to realize through this trial that the path isn't always visible, and our gods may not always have the answers we seek even when we think they should. And maybe that's OK too. 

As an update, I have been picked up for a hospice chaplain position in Kansas City, and our family will be moving there this summer. Faith is funny sometimes. Sometimes you just need to take a chance and go with it.  

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Denora is currently a full-time wife, mother, and chaplain. As an eight-year veteran of the United States Air Force, her professional career has spanned network administration, performing presidential support requirements and veteran military funeral honors in Arlington National Cemetery, and executive communications support for the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Denora has an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Central Florida, an MA in International Relations from St. Mary’s University, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. She has completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education with the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and has spent a year as a chaplain resident with the Mountain Home VA Medical Center in Johnson City, TN and as a Mental Health Chaplain Fellow at the Lexington VA Medical Center in Lexington, KY, specializing in trauma, substance abuse, and PTSD. She is an active member of Circle Sanctuary's Military Ministries team and the Lady Liberty League Military Affairs Task Force.

Comments

  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Friday, 10 May 2019

    I have three college degrees and I am currently doing manifest in a warehouse. I might be depressed or angry about it, but when I was in high school I learned that 9 out of 10 people wind up in careers that have nothing to do with their education.

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