Ronna Detrick is one of the first people I met online, and our initial digital connection blossomed into phone calls, emails, and the persistent hope of an in-person weekend sometime soon. She writes about spirituality, about what it means to live with grace in this world, and more than almost anyone else she makes me believe in the existence of a benevolent presence out there in the universe. When I read Ronna’s writing, I am able to let go of my white-knuckled grip on every single part of my life and trust, if only for a moment, that there’s something good, and kind, and gentle, out there taking care of me.
Today Ronna publishes a beautiful work called Inspired by Eve, which is, in her own words, an invitation to self-trust, deep knowing, and a delicious life of desire (along with the discovery of a God who offers the same). As an aside I’ll note that Eve has always been a figure of tremendous importance to me. I’ll never forget the junior paper (a precursor to our senior thesis) I wrote in college, which was titled Eve: the Heroine of Milton’s Paradise Lost. I’m pretty sure my 75 year old male professor had never read anything like it.
I am fortunate enough to have read Ronna’s wise, thoughtful, provocative work and I urge you all to give yourself the same gift. Ronna makes faith tangible, accessible, and provides a safe place to explore all the ways in which we can each feel at home in a world that can be scary and chaotic.
To celebrate the publication of Inspired by Eve, I an honored to share a guest post Ronna wrote for all of you.
Do you ever wonder of the bedtime stories Eve told her children?
Whether you know her as sacred historical narrative or ancient mythic archetype, imagine the tales she would have told. The kind you didn’t want to end. The kind you’d work to not fall asleep to. The kind you’d ask her to tell again and again, night after night. The kind you could picture, feel, and almost taste. The kind you’d will yourself back to whenever you were slightly afraid of the dark or feeling just a little bit alone.
If you’re anything like me, there are times (if not long, painful seasons) in which you long for the calm, lulling voice of a mother, her cool hand soothing your brow, and fantastical stories that accompany you into the most mysterious and beautiful of places; stories that keep a spark of hope alive and burning within; stories that remind you that maybe, just maybe, such beauty is possible yet again. Because truth-be-told, whether or not you’re still slightly afraid of the dark, you do still feel more than just a little bit alone. At least sometimes.
Eve is that mother. To her two sons, Cain and Abel, both born east of Eden. And to me, to you, to us. We need her. And we need her stories – in full and radiant daytime light. Hearing them, hearing her, changes everything.
Sadly, we’ve forgotten what her voice sounds like. It’s been drowned out by a different story – now centuries old, and oppressive in its weight and weariness – of succumbed temptation, willful disobedience, dangerous desire, sinful choices, consequences and curses, banishment, and shame.
But if you listen closely, still she speaks. If you are restless, still she soothes. And if you seek, still she accompanies, guides, befriends, and mothers. Still, she longs to offer you hope in her real stories of gardens and green, animals and trees, delicious fruit and crafty snakes, walks in the cool of the day with God, passionate desire and eyes wide open…
Once upon a time I lived in the most beautiful of gardens. Everything I ever needed was already mine. I was loved. I was strong. I was smart. I was free. I was passionate. I was full of desire. And God was there – intimate, kind, protective, and real. Once upon a time you lived there too…
You can again.
I am convinced that Eve longs to tell you her story and, that like the best of mothers, she will whisper it into your ear again and again and again. Even more, I am convinced that in hearing it anew, yours will be changed. The darkness will flee. Desire will guide. And God will show up.
Ronna Detrick provides Spiritual Direction to both individuals and businesses. Picture a hybrid of the iconic Oprah Winfrey and the slightly-irreverent Anne Lamott and you’d have a glimpse of both her love for significant, meaningful conversation (without the national media platform) and her impassioned writing bent (without the dreadlocks). She gets at deep truths and talks about a God and faith you’re hungry for. Learn more.
Get Lindsey's thoughts on mindful living and parenting in your inbox