After walking away from an antiquated patriarchal belief system, Phoenix of Faith author Esther Harrison has discovered something wonderful. She is creating a healthy new life for herself. How did that come about?
Let’s Ask Her!
Beyond farm life, religious activity with the family, and attending school as an “outcast” I was isolated from social contact. I grew up with a sense that I did not “belong” — anywhere. While in my 40’s, I reached a point in my life where I didn’t like who I saw in the mirror. I wasn’t happy in my marriage to my alcoholic, philandering husband. Worst of all, I had serious doubts about life which our family religion was unable to address.
As I look back over my life and wish I had left my sad excuse for a marriage after three miserable years — where I had a safe exit point. Instead, I allowed myself to be assimilated by the religion that I had once tried to leave at age sixteen. It was a religion that openly enabled — and even encouraged — all the dysfunction in a marriage like mine to proliferate. Sadly, the teachings of the family religion were all I had ever known. After all, I was born and raised in a cloistered religious community, turned in on itself in sameness. I was a Jehovah’s Witness. At that time, I didn’t know if I had the tools — or the strength — to succeed in choosing a new direction for my life.
Could Esther change her beliefs enough to change her disparate — odd — reality? The book Phoenix of Faith is the result of her quest after becoming aware of the religious and social forces influencing her life.
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