In a nutshell, I love Eastlake because it’s authentic, real. I grew up in a church where the pastor was sitting high on a pedestal and that level of piety was never going to be attainable for me so it got to the point that I quit trying. There were loving people there for sure, but the god portrayed to me was damning, not full of grace and mercy. While I stuck with church through high school, I forged my own path through college and post-college, putting God on the back burner. The high of being on my own was pretty amazing, but I was beyond lost and constantly pondering my purpose. I read every book related to finding your life’s purpose. No help. My father-in-law burned me an audio CD just before he passed: The Art of Mindfulness. He had just started meditating and he loved it. He was a great man, but this made him even better…settled somehow. Over-worked, juggling kids and killing myself for the next dollar…I was nowhere near being in the moment. I listened to that CD over and over in my car on the way to/from work and began reading everything written by Thich Nhat Hanh, listening to every audio book he produced. I could not get enough. The last book I read of his was Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers. The missing link! Shortly thereafter, I started coming to Eastlake and I haven’t left yet! I tried other churches, but anything that hinted of the church I grew up in was not going to work. I loved the love and acceptance I felt walking in the doors. I loved that it was different, raw. I loved that it made me hunger for learning. So, I read the Bible cover to cover (and continue reading it every day), along with countless other books and the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. Everyone has their own journey, neither right nor wrong, but wonderfully unique. I appreciate the humility found in the leaders at Eastlake and I like to see your evolution unfold before me…the deconstruction and reconstruction. I hope it never stops for you and for me. I’m not on the same page all the time, but I always feel like the message comes from a space of love.
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