Ex Mystic Mama



“I want to be the female Richard Rohr.” 


This is what I told people when we talked about faith. We’d be elbows deep in french press with cream, up to our eyelashes in philosophy and deconstruction of belief. Richard Rohr and his mystical approach to Christianity brought me to life, or so I thought. As a writer with a complex history with faith, I hung upon his words and eagerly embraced my identity as a mystic, then a wild mystic, then a Christian mystic. And then nothing, because labels couldn’t contain every nuance I wanted and seemed to upset people.

When the Lord plunged His holy arm into the swirling darkness that I thought was the “mystery” I loved and drew me shivering and oh so close, in every sense of the word I became born again. I am not who I once was. If you knew me then, I am a stranger now. With certainty I know this: God delivered me from the shadow of death and upon me, light has dawned.

“Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” (Mark 5:19b)

These days, I’m still finding my words and way of being. I am no longer a mystic and no longer a follower of Richard Rohr. I am sickened by so many of my former words that I wanted to be so moving, so mysterious, so poetic but actually say nothing at all—or worse, say things against God’s word. As time goes on and I realize the depths of deception I found myself in as a mystic, grief overtakes me sometimes. But grace does, too. I grieve over so much and yet my eyes are wet with tears of gratitude over the mercy and grace of God who said “Enough. Come home.” 

The compassion of the Lord who healed and saved me is the sweetest gift I thank Him for everyday. As if salvation were not enough, I am a mama now. After so many barren years I discovered my little beloved in an ER on my 40th birthday. This little soul will join us the summer of 2020 and my joy overflows.

My words are awkward but I still consider myself a writer. My camera has been still, but I still call myself an artist. I’ve been quiet everywhere, and soft, but the first trimester fatigue has lifted and I’m ready to move forward a bit. I’m an ‘ex mystic mama’ and my heart feels content showing up like this, with open hands, lips spilling prayer, and a womb full of blessing.

—hillary m.