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Sharing Our Faith: Rachel Horsley

I arrived at Cove broken and I needed a place to heal.

An alcoholic with 15 years of sobriety in 2003, I was suffering from a dark night of the soul, a disbelief in the cruel god who took my 16 year old son, Khay, away six years earlier. Too many people had told me it was part of God’s plan, that Khay was in a better place.

Intellectually, I didn’t believe God micromanaged, but there was a bit of my being that thought maybe God did reach down and take him; enough of a belief that I rejected that God.

This was a big problem for me because I believe my alcoholism is a three-fold illness: physical, mental, and spiritual, and I had become sober by God’s grace. Without a belief in God, I will abandon my loved ones to pursue oblivion, because life is just too hard for this sensitive soul. For the first time since I had stopped drinking, I was dealing with daily cravings. I needed help. I attended more than my usual allotment of recovery meetings, and I thought attending church would add insurance.

Cove pulled me in with Marcy Orr’s intelligent sermons; plus the fact that I already knew about half the people in the congregation; and, importantly, that my husband, Danny, felt an affinity to Cove also. I awoke from the dark night of my soul with a different comprehension of God, although I can’t really claim I understand it; but I know there is a presence that I pray to that loves, comforts and strengthens me, assures all is well, or that all will be well, not to worry. My cravings abated. And I had found a spiritual home at Cove Presbyterian.

All my life I’ve been a seeker, leaving the church of my youth to practice Sufism for over a decade; followed by a flirtation with anthroposophy; and I attended an Episcopal church during Khay’s illness, and am forever grateful to the clergy at Church of Our Savior for their support when he was treated for and died of bone cancer. I was raised a Christian, I was baptized by immersion when I was eight, my father was a minister in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now called Community of Christ), and spiraling back to Jesus feels just right. I like singing the familiar hymns, reading the Bible, listening to people’s gifts of music, paying attention to the sermons. Worship at Cove gives me a place to sit quietly, to listen, and to heal.

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