A Hero's Journey By Leia Summary

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Leia describes having a “really big struggle” reconciling her faith with her disability. She says that she often treated like a charity case, someone to be cared for with no place to be an actual contributing member in a church. Or, like in her Pentecostal church her father and stepmother attended, the church tried to pray away the demons of depression and anxiety. She has trouble with both of these stances. It was for these reasons that she walked away from Christianity for a few years as a young adult. Churches didn’t deal well with her—she either “needed to be fixed” or was “infantilized”. She followed Judaism for a few years. Orthodox Judaism, she says, had a “more stable view” of disability. Leia says she loved it, except for the concept of mitzvahs. Some of these “things you do to please god”, as Leia puts it, she was not able to do because of her disability. Her …show more content…

She mainly sat in the back and listened, saying it felt good to get information and be around people of faith, despite still identifying herself as Jewish at the time. She enjoyed that they “weren’t as crazy as people in my parent’s church growing up”. Three young women in the group struck up a conversation with Leia, asking if she would come to their church. Her initial thought was, “Oh gosh, not another church”. However, she was pleasantly surprised when she attended the church. People talked to her like she was “normal”, as Leia phrased it. This church even had classes for people with cognitive disabilities. She got into many conversations with a pastor there, who knew much about Judaism, about her conflict with faith. The pastor admitted that a lot of Christianity did not do a good job with disability. He also pointed her to scripture that helped her reconcile her faith, coming to believe that “God’s glory is displayed in you no matter what disability or

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