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Everything I have experienced in my 47 years has led me here ... to open the hearts of others as God has/is opening mine. In the telling, we connect one to another, each to God and all together.

MY STORY

 
My Story 
 
Your Story
 
Stories “Straight
from the Heart”

 
The Box
I was blessed, as I suspect many children are, with an early knowing that God was loving and compassionate. At age three, I rejected it when I was told otherwise and developed a long cynicism (never outwardly expressed) of others telling me how God is, even how to talk to God.

Perhaps that's why I walked away from church (not God) as a young adult and did not return until my year-and-a-half old daughter told me one morning: “Mommy, I know Jesus.” And I knew that she did - just as I had. I also knew it was a message for me to try again.

I paid one visit to a local Quaker Meeting (Cincinnati Friends Meeting) and have been there ever since, about seven years. I now know I was led there.

A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

What has truly resonated with me there has been the acknowledgment of the direct relationship I can and should have with God, that I need no intermediary. And, the silence, the blessed silence ... where I talk to and listen for God. My prayer, not someone else forcing their words on my heart.

God very clearly called me to spiritual nurture work, utilizing my listening skills as a former journalist and sharpening them even more to listen from the heart. I have facilitated spiritual nurture groups for five years. At about the same time I was led to that work, the seeds for attending School of the Spirit, a two-year program of Quaker spiritual nurture ministry, which I will conclude in May, 2006, were planted.

SACRED LISTENING, SACRED SHARING

My first research paper at School of the Spirit focused on my deepest longing: listening to others’ experiences of God. In that sacred listening, sharing, I discovered there was safety for me to tell my story as well. Also in that listening, I discovered the true meaning of Jesus’ words: When two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them [Matthew 18:20].

Reaction to that paper, from those interviewed and those who have read it, provided another leading: creating a wider opportunity for sharing. That’s what turtleboxstories.com hopes to accomplish.

A PRAYER FOR OPEN HEARTS AND COMPASSIONATE EARS

This site is available with the prayer for open hearts and compassionate ears. Because I rediscovered God through Quakerism certainly does not mean this opportunity is restricted to anyone. And, if the word God is uncomfortable, substitute whatever your hearts tells you is right. A very wise woman once told me that the “burden of the translation is on the listener.” In other words, look beyond the words, especially the troubling ones, into your own heart and the heart of the one sharing.

Thank you for visiting. If you feel compelled to share an experience, please Submit your story. If someone's heart has spoken to yours, please pass that along as well.

— Cathy