“Who the heck hangs a picture of Jesus on their wall?” I asked myself. The picture hung just inside the door of an open office. I had never seen anyone do such a thing in my life.
I sat in the waiting room’s black leather couch, sinking into its deep cushion. My stomach, knotted. My breath, shallow. The tension in my body had me near tears. My thoughts were going off like missiles. I could not stop fidgeting. Any moment now. Any moment now. Just wait. Just wait. My eyes continued to look back at that portrait of Jesus. I knew it wasn’t my psychiatrist’s office; hers was around the corner. Someone else, another therapist, had hung that picture. It unsettled me—but intrigued me.
Growing up, I never thought about God’s existence. I was baptized as a Catholic, but I grew up in a non-practicing home. I went along with the idea that there was a heaven because it was a nice thought, not because it was what I believed. Due to my parents’ upbringing in the Church, they taught me values resembling Catholicism, but when, as a child, I first heard the story of the Resurrection, it petrified me.
What do you mean Jesus came back from the dead?
Why doesn’t anyone else come back?
He’s a GHOST!
That means he could be ANYWHERE!
The religion to me was blood and gore. The very few times I was in a church, I felt uneasy. Looking up at the cross reminded me of the gruesome story.
“Megan…” The psychiatrist called with a smile. “You can follow me.”
For the moment, I put aside my ruminations about religion and focused on more immediate worries. I felt desperate and hopeless sharing with yet another psychiatrist how I felt I was incapable of living my life. Hot tears streamed down my face. “Even though I have done amazing things at Suffolk, none of those accomplishments have been enough. I still feel like I cannot accomplish anything. I am so afraid.”
She didn’t respond, but I could tell she heard my pain.
“My life is empty,” I told her. “With all my heart, I want to have the college life and create meaningful friendships. I want to live a fulfilled life with meaning and passion. I can’t continue to live this way.”
The session didn’t produce any kind of instant fix, but it felt good to finally have someone hear my story. She also had a clear next step.
“I think this therapist could help you. She is passionate about empowering women, and I think she’d be a good match for you.”
She handed me a card. As I looked at the name and phone number of this new therapist, something told me in my gut that this was the woman with the picture of Jesus on her wall. I’m not sure why, but it was a strong intuition. I didn’t feel nervous about this realization. In fact, I felt relieved. Saved, even.