RCallWith Rachelle Call’s permission I am posting her story here. Her website is at www.rachellecall.com.  Rachelle’s recovery, the music cd can be a great tool for understanding the 12 Step healing process.  I encourage you to make her music part of your recovery program.

One of my favorite pastors comments that once David killed Goliath, it was never spoken of again in the Bible. Goliath served his purpose for David’s growth and development. Basically, Goliath didn’t happen to David he happened for David. I feel much the same about my own journey as a women, wife and mother. I would like to share a bit of my crooked path.

I have been writing music now for 7 years. I got a late start at the age of 29 because the thought of pursuing this secret gift of mine had not even crossed my mind. For much of my early childhood and teenage years, I was nearly debilitated by feelings of loneliness, fear, self hatred, despair and worry. I had moments of reprieve as a dancer and cheerleader in junior high and high school, but the gravity of my pain ultimately would keep me bound for years to come. I married my returned missionary and graduated from Brigham Young University in the same year (check. check.). I had an idea of all the things perfect people did. I figured I would copy them and that would pretty much ensure my success and happiness in life. So I got a job as a Social Worker, put my husband through the rest of his schooling and waited exactly two years to get pregnant with my first child. I thought having a baby would make me as shiny and happy as everyone else around me. But that didn’t happen. Things got worse for me and my marriage officially began its decent into darkness after only three years.

By this time, I was so disappointed in my husband. Because I lacked a sense of value on the inside, I desperately needed it on the outside. I wanted my husband to be rich and successful like my friends spouses. Often without consulting him, I made aggressive plans for our future. I did not want to be insignificant, so my husbands’ social status, salary and employment became my ticket out. Because he could not seem to do this for me, I began to resent him. I treated him the way I felt. I was controlling and angry to the point that I could not even enjoy the success he was having. I wanted more. But eventually, tables turned. My husband had had it and our power struggle intensified. This back and forth went on until our seventh year of marriage. I had just had my second child and my mental state was lower than it had ever been in my entire life. The climate in our home had reached a level of such darkness and pain that I could hardly bear it. It was at this time that I probably said my first real prayer. I had always prayed, but there was often an agenda attached to my requests. Vain repetitions that kept me in my pain. But this was different. I was willing to do anything I was told to do, so I asked God to lead me there.

My answer came very strongly: Write the music that is in your heart and mind. This answer scared me because music was my secret. I did not have formal training and because of ADHD, I could not tell you what a chord on the piano was….but I could play music and I could transpose into different keys. I had songs come to me all the time, but I just let them gather in my mind without even questioning why they were there. But music was my answer and I started looking for the next clue. Within days, a man in my ward randomly mentioned that he had a brother who produced music in his garage. I called him up and we recorded a three song demo . Within days of the finished cd, the Schwann’s guy knocked on my door and told me about a girl on his route that was the president of the Gospel Music Associations Denver chapter of songwriters. He took her my phone number and she called me. I sent her my demo and she liked it enough to invite me to participate with her group over the summer. I entered one of my songs into the National Songwriting competition for the Gospel Music Association in Nashville and I ended up winning first place and a scholarship for the week long Music in the Rockies convention.

Being raised Mormon, this event was a shock to my system. I was surrounded by 10,000 Christians of all denominations. I was very judgmental at first. I didn’t see the reverence in what they were doing. In fact, I had always taken great pride in my controlled dependence on God. I felt privileged enough in my religion that I didn’t need to cry out the way they did. I had a free pass. However, the longer I assimilated into this group of believers the more I came to understand how much more intimate they seemed to be with God than I was. My first taste of recovery happened at this Christian event. I began to understand that God was not offended by me and my dependence on Him. I wanted what they had. I wanted to raise my arms high and open up to the heavens….so I tried it…sort of. It was awesome. I began to breathe this experience into my soul and I allowed the Christian music to travel through my spirit and correct the lies I had believed about God and my Christian brothers and sisters. I knew God had led me to this place to be healed and I was deeply grateful for this first taste of freedom. I would need it to get through the next five years.

After having my second little girl, I felt what seemed to be the equivalent of a black hole forming in my home. Everything started going wrong. My husband was put on furlough (not exactly laid off, but there was little work at his software development firm, so his salary was cut by ¾) and I could not find the strength to even consider looking for a job. Our debt was rising, but the condition in our home was barren so nothing of promotion or blessing could take root. I continued to aggressively attend church and perform in my callings….I even performed in my husband’s calling. I didn’t want anyone to think we were “in-active”, so I took it upon myself to prove my family was indeed worthy of the positions we held in our church. We began to see therapist after therapist…even bishop after bishop. We were given parameters, instructions, to do lists, etc. We failed at everything, which further compounded my deep belief that there was something wrong with me and I was destined for failure after all. My answer to this failure was outside appearance. We moved to Utah in 2003 and my pathology for outside appearance escalated. It was not enough for me to live in an average home in an average neighborhood. I needed a “one-up”, so to speak. We purchased a home with a 3300$/month mortgage. My growing denial system told me it was all do-able because I was literally “doing it all” by that point. I was a one woman show. My apparent super powers told me to take on more because it felt like I had the strength to do it. I have since learned that denial can power you through many things and I was getting deeper into my denial system.

My husband was back with his consulting firm and travelling 5 days a week. We lived two completely different lives. Every weekend, those lives came crashing back together with serious consequences. Our fighting drove me into despair and I retreated to my bed. I felt safe there. I felt safe sleeping. My husband was also resorting to his safe zone. He resented me for all of my poor decisions as far as money went and I resented him that I had to make those decisions in the first place. We were both in bondage to despair, anger, pride and destruction. Eventually, the energy in our home was so unbearable that we had to start dumping the fuel that continued to ignite the growing inferno in our family, much like an airplane dumps fuel when there is the prospect of a crash landing. The first to go was the home. It had been my idol. I worshipped the appearance of that home and what it said about me. The next to go (temporarily) was our marriage. After we sold our house, we separated. My husband was dealing with an addiction and the gravity of my own history was sinking me.

During this dark period of time, God was busy weaving beauty for ashes for my family. My sister lived in LA and was busy posting my music on numerous websites as well as submitting songs to different publishing companies. She would occasionally call me and say that I had songs in #1 positions on national charts. Many of these songs were remaining in the top ten for months. To be honest, I didn’t really care at the time. I only had the energy to survive and get my kids to school. I was in an intensive treatment program for my marital problems so I could not receive the good news about my music. But it did serve as a ray of hope and a promise of something new being planted under my feet. The next few years were difficult, but my family eventually prevailed over the forces that were coming after us. I learned about myself. I learned how the way I learned to respond to life from a very young age was in need of healing. I learned how to love myself and my children. I also learned how to love my husband. I learned that I had my own Goliaths to conquer in life. These challenges were not being done to me but for me. I learned that I had the right and the ability to call down the powers of Heaven on behalf of myself, my husband and my children. I learned how to praise God daily from the inside out. I learned that I had options to my feelings. I could choose positive responses to my experiences. I learned there is a time to surrender and a time to pray and knowing the difference is the key. I learned about worshipping God and the freedom that it brings to my spirit and mind. I learned that truth is light and light dispels all darkness. While there will always be more challenges ahead, I no longer fear them. I know that God works all things together for my good and for my benefit. And finally, I am full of gratitude for the help along my way. We are never alone and there is purpose to our lives. Thank you so much for reading and it is my hope that we can all learn to help each other along our journeys with love, acceptance and prayer.