People across the globe have routines that they follow day in and day out. These routines become our rituals, but have you ever wondered if there is more to life than just your everyday responsibilities?
For some, it takes a traumatic event to realize the importance of our human existence. For others, it’s not so intense. There are even people who will never realize that there’s more to experience than their daily routine of eat, work, sleep and repeat.
Regardless, there are certain moments in people lives when they do realize there is more to life, and this changes the trajectory of their lives forever. What happens after these moments is called a spiritual journey. Here are a few of those stories.
From DoorDash To Disaster
July 27, 2020 was just another Monday night in Virginia Beach when Nekita Roscoe woke up from a several hour-long nap and decided she was going to DoorDash for a short period of time.
“I was feeling tired because I took some drowsy medication, and I slept all day,” Roscoe said. “I decided to go out and drive for an hour that night.”
So, she hopped into her white 2005 Toyota Corolla and picked up her first order. Roscoe was driving down Virginia Beach Boulevard when her life would change forever.
“The last thing I remembered was hearing the crash. I woke up and I was on the street covered in blood … Someone had taken me out of my car,” Roscoe said.
While waiting for medical assistance, Roscoe was told by witnesses of the crash that a small car was speeding. When the person tried to switch lanes, they hit the back of her vehicle, which caused her car to crash head on into a large tree. It was nothing short of a miracle that she survived the car accident.
She was then transported to Virginia Beach General Hospital where she was treated for a deep gash wound to her forehead. The doctor was in disbelief that she not only survived but obtained no broken bones or internal bleeding from the accident.
“The doctor had told me that somebody must really love me because of how bad the accident was,” she said. “I think she was trying to say, but couldn’t say because I was her patient, that God must really love me.”
Due to the pandemic, Roscoe was released from the hospital shortly after the doctors treated her wounds with stitches. Her mother and daughter picked her up, and she spent the next few weeks at her parents’ house where she said she immediately began to feel so grateful for her life. Roscoe already considered herself a Christian but began to dive even deeper into her faith after the accident by taking on new daily practices in her life.
“The accident allowed me to realize that nothing is promised … My life could’ve been over,” she said. “I needed to be connected to God. Before the accident, I would just pick up my phone, but the first thing I do now is thank God. I don’t just pray for myself a lot anymore — I pray for others and send spiritual messages out to other people.”
Roscoe said that during her spiritual journey, she has become more in touch with her soul, which she calls her “inner man.”
“When you get in tuned to the spiritual side of you, it changes everything around you. I feel cleansed now that I reached into my soul,” Roscoe said.
Finding Purpose Among Friends
Mary Ann Downey is a contributor to Friends Journal, an online site that publishes the written experiences of people in the Quaker community. During her time in one of their annual meetings, she heard the spiritual journey story of Courtney Siceloff, a man she considered her second father.
“I lost my parents at a young age,” Downey said. “I feel like he and his wife in a sense took me in … I knew they were people I could always count on.”
After hearing his story, she was inspired to begin her own monthly meetings in Atlanta with the company Friends. Through her meetings, she has been able to hear and record over 50 spiritual journey stories.
“Part of my motivation for starting the meeting was my wish that I heard my parents’ stories,” Downey said.
These meetings have sparked a new purpose in her life and even assisted her in her own spiritual journey.
“I’ve discovered new ideas with every new story I’ve heard that I never even knew … It made me realize that everyone has a story,” she said.
Downey and her husband of 25 years have utilized the meetings as a way to preserve the histories of the Quaker faith, a true testament to the central purpose of her faith.
“The focus of being Quaker is to live in accordance with what you feel God is asking you to do,” Downey said. “Why are you here? What is your work in terms of making the world a better place?”
Lessons Through Youth Group
Nebil Husayn, assistant professor of Islamic studies at the University of Miami, comes from a Muslim background, but his household wasn’t very religious.
“When I was in high school, my father wanted to make sure I wasn’t falling into the wrong crowd,” Husayn said, “so he put me in a youth group where people in college were taking care of me.”
Husayn quickly became accustomed to the traditions of the all-Muslim youth group: “That’s when I learned about prayer and that there was a spiritual world out there … and what that meant for me.”
His youth group led Husayn to realize how much he enjoyed being part of a community and that his journey is not so tied to religion specifically.
“When you’re religious and spiritual at the same time is when you get that euphoric feeling, like soul food,” Husayn said. “I think my spiritual journey was recognizing the spiritual appetite that I had and that I’m more than just my daily responsibilities … It’s about meditation and community.”
A Moment For Life
There are multiple ways to go on spiritual journeys, but the common theme among them all is that they bring one to a deeper understanding of themself and a greater self-purpose in life. Husayn described it as a space where one can transcend daily life.
“There are moments when individuals recognize that they have some sort of appetite for spirituality — a need to pause from all of daily life and just transcend.” he said. “You are not just a father, mother, son or daughter. You are not someone who lives to work … You realize you can exist independently from all those outer dimensions of yourself … It’s an exploration of the inner self.”
Catherine Newell, associate professor of religion and sciences, said that through research she has found that people’s lives were often leading up to the “moment” when they had a spiritual awakening and decided to go on a spiritual journey.
“We as a species tend to write stories, and that’s been an important part of a lot of religions, [like] Christianity … What some psychologists have found is that there is often a part of them that was seeking that anyways,” Newell said. “Everyone gets where they’re going differently. The significance is in the way we write these stories … the moment that kicks off a journey in a new direction.”
words_jabria roscoe photo_ mohamed nohassi on unsplash