Trusting in God helps me to find my center

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By Jenna Ebener
A reflection

I was blessed to revisit the Green Shoe Foundation in Oklahoma for another week of group therapy. While there, we did somatic exercises that released stored-up emotions in our body. We let go of emotions that are not ours to carry and focused on strengthening the truths that we know about ourselves. Since I had been to Green Shoe once already, I was being mindful to let go of expectations about what I would experience. Instead, I focused on the mantra “this is exactly as it needs to be.” With that mantra, I was able to focus on the present and trust the process.

On the last day, I finally had time to explore the gorgeous grounds and walk the labyrinth. I have always been fascinated by labyrinths. They look so small and inconsequential at first but, once you are inside, it takes quite a while if you go slowly. One thing I love about labyrinths is the lack of a clear path to the center. It is not a maze, so you will not get lost, but you have no idea how the path is going to take you to the center. On the way to the center, I found myself questioning the process when I would be close to the center and then the path would take me out to the farthest edge of the circle. My instinct was to turn around but I knew I was on a clear route to the center; I needed to trust the process.

When I reached the center, I felt a sense of self-assurance. The first time I attended Green Shoe, I left with self-compassion and the knowledge of who I am at my core. While I have not lost that self-compassion or knowledge, life’s challenges can still make me doubt myself. In the center of that labyrinth, I was reminded that I still know exactly who I am — a beloved child of God — and that I have what I need to keep moving forward.

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Green Shoe Foundation
This labyrinth is a part of the Green Shoe Foundation in Oklahoma.

On the way out of the labyrinth, I noticed different thoughts. This time, I felt hesitant when my back was to the center. I felt relief when I would snake my way back towards the center before it ultimately took me out of the labyrinth. I wanted the reminder that I was never leaving my center behind. No matter how far away I got from the center, I kept getting reminders that I can always find my center again.

To me, the labyrinth was the perfect way to end my week. I left with the self-assurance of knowing who I am and that while God has me on a seemingly endless and confusing path at times, it will always lead me to him. Instead of seeking to see how I will get to him, I can focus on enjoying each step I take. What gets in the way of you finding your center? What are ways you can find yourself again? What is God telling you about who you are at your core? “She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 3:15).

(Jenna Ebener, a graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, is a social worker at a school in Colorado for students with a combination of medical, cognitive and behavior disabilities. She relies on God every day to aid her on this wonderful, yet intense journey.)


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