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Confessional Communities: For Growth and Connection

Ginger reflects on how her story intersected with CBK and the opportunity to join a Confessional Community.

Written by Ginger

Jesus has always been part of my life, from my first memory leading in the choir at Christmas when I was 5, the shortest singer. When I was 11, we moved and mama never went to church again. I was confused and tried to go to a church I found, but it is very hard for an 11-year-old in the suburbs of Los Angeles to get there. I had my "spiritual awakening," as Brené Brown likes to call it, on 9/11/2001. I was 52. It would be 16 years before I would be in a room with Curt Thompson at a theology school in Seattle.

Discovering Healing

“My 'God wounding' started at birth ... I suspect I wasn't attuned with optimally. And everything developed in a distorted way . . . including the ability to recognize God.”

I cannot claim I know God, except the way opportunities unfold and I step into them—only He could orchestrate all that. And it has been a lot. But I don't "know" Him nor am I able to recognize Him the way you might. My “God wounding” started at birth, with forceps clamping my head to pull me into the bright—Eyes damaged and crossed. From the learning I've received since 2014, I suspect I wasn't attuned with optimally. And everything developed in a distorted way. Or didn't develop . . . including the ability to recognize God.

2006 was a very important year, especially for me and my pursuit of God and for answering the question "What happened to me?" Suddenly information not previously available to ordinary people became available through YouTube. In 2007, I finally found my way into the therapy chair and more questions could be answered on the internet and YouTube. At the age of 66 I discovered attachment theory. Allan Schore, Jim Wilder, Brené Brown and all the roads led to Curt Thompson and the Confessional Community. I had read Curt's books, heard the podcasts and wanted this community and friends he talks about. When it was announced last year there was going to be an opportunity to experience it, I fired off a request to be included.

A Unique Community

I have not been disappointed! What a lovely, lovely experience—It’s unique and such a blessing. After therapy, I started learning about listening to others and have been in several classes at a theology school. Those were some very hard experiences—Profoundly valuable and hard. So I was not prepared for what I experienced in the CBK Confessional Community.

Because I have some story work training and facilitate two groups of women, I volunteered to be the first to tell my story in the Confessional Community. It is an amazing experience to have 7 others fully present, listening to my story, telling me what they felt and the memories they were reminded of by listening to what I was saying. I have never felt so seen any time in my life. It was such a surprise—I cannot recommend enough enrolling when this opportunity is offered again. The things that people said, I "knew" they knew exactly what I felt. Since I'm so left hemisphere, so cognitive, this "feeling felt" experience was completely new to me. Completely. It brings tears to my eyes now writing this because it is such an important and treasured memory.

“I have never felt so seen any time in my life. It was such a surprise.”

Because the Confessional Community has met every week, the way I listen and form statements and questions has changed dramatically. In the groups I facilitate, when people get stuck, now I go right to “What are you feeling in your body, in your emotions?” I enrolled in an embodiment class and realized immediately that listening to story is first feeling what I'm feeling when the other is telling story. It's starting to bleed over to how I listen in every conversation.

Thanks be to God who has faithfully illuminated each step. And thank you, Dr. Thompson.

Interested in joining a Confessional Community? A second cohort will begin soon—fill out the interest form to get more information. You can sign up until October 1.

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