Cecilia T. Whitacre
Its hard to write a few sentences to try and capture who you are and a lifetime of experiences.
First and foremost I am a beloved daughter of God. I am a follower and lover of Jesus. I think He is the "bomb!"
Am I dating myself here? :-)
My heart and passion have been focused on understanding the spiritual journey, spiritual formation, inner healing and growth for myself and others over the past decades. This journey has been born out of my own needs and trauma and also the pain, confusion and hurt I saw in those around me- in and out of the church. My hope is to to help people discover and grow a transforming and real live relationship with Jesus, where their identity is secure and their life flows with meaning and love.
My Faith Background...
I grew up going to our local Catholic church, stopped going during my college years (as I ignorantly didn't think that it was important or helpful), then came back to the Catholic church as a young mom. This was followed by about 10 years at a large Evangelical Church. After years of feeling that something wasn't right there, I've now happily found my home at a very loving and Christ centered Anglican church - with melds beautifully the sacramental and liturgical, the evangelical, includes creative arts, and is saturated with the charismatic love and presence of Christ.
A little of my past story, some transparency....from the beginning... being given up for adoption as an infant, to being raised by well-meaning but alcoholic parents, to sexual assault as a girl and young woman, to a husband with addictions and an almost 25 year marriage filled with years of verbal abuse, multiple infidelities by him, and an unwanted divorce.... to spiritual abuse at my previous church - to the worst moment of my entire life - the accident and passing of my precious daughter in 2009. Trauma, tragedy, unwanted drama and hardship had been my constant companion and the way I had defined my life. I have often identified with Job in the Bible... ...heartache and suffering are things I grew very familiar with.
BUT NOW- after years of hard work, therapy, studying, a loving church, amazing friends and with God's help... I find myself very gratefully healing from traumas, multiple physical conditions, and unlearning many distorted beliefs that I had internalized throughout the years about myself, God, the church, and the world.
Today I can say- I have never felt so settled, peaceful, content, grounded, awake and loved deep in my soul than in all of my life!
I finally know...
Who I am!
"Who's" I AM!
I know my purpose and the meaning and hope of life.
It is really "well with my soul."
Only God could do this, right?!! Right! and some pretty amazing friends, family and an amazing church too!
This is my new story...
Then abandoned... now... Wanted
Then misguided... now... Guided
Then violated... now... Protected
Then abused...now... Beloved
Then victim... now... Victor through Christ
Then helpless... now... Helped & helping
Then betrayed... now... Faithfully Loved
Then lost... now... Found
Then hurt... now... Healed and healing
Then unknown... now... Known
Then devastated... now... Hope filled
SOME AREAS OF DEEPER INSIGHTS I BRING:
Finding your true identity and value & worth in Christ
Spiritual formation, the Process and the Stages on the Spiritual Journey
Discovering your Purpose and Calling/Vocation
Help with Discernment and Decision making
Opening to healing from Trauma and Recovery in Christ
Deepening your Connection with God, Hearing Him with more Confidence
Mind-Body Connection & holistic spirituality
Parenting, Marriage and all that goes with it
Meditation, Mindfulness and Contemplative Practices
Spiritual Disciplines and the Foundation of Scripture
Relational Brain Skills, Reprogramming the Brain, and the latest Neuroscience
Biblical Studies and Systematic Theology, asking the tough questions, finding answers
Conflict Resolution. Help Mediating with Others through difficult issues
Small Group Leadership Training & Mentorship. Curriculum writing or selection
Retreats. The Creation Process; receiving the vision/ideas, writing, facilitating, organizing
MY TRAINING & EXPERIENCE:
My Immanuel Prayer Training was completed through Alive & Well Ministry in Wheaton, Il.
I have also attended and received advanced Immanuel training from Dr. Karl Lehman's conferences and writings.
I am currently on staff part-time at an Anglican church ( Church of the Resurrection) in Wheaton, Il as the Finance Manager. My prior employment history was in the Mortgage Industry for over 30 years, previously as a Loss Mitigation Coordinator in a large foreclosure department.
I've written various Classes, Retreats and Bible studies for over two+ decades, written small group curriculum, trained small group facilitators and led and organized numerous retreats.
I am a life long learner and each year continue my education and training.
I went back to college as an adult several years ago to obtain a Christian Ministry degree at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Il (but have paused those studies for now due to finances, with my children attending college).
I am an avid reader, a lover of music & deep conversations and attender to all things related to spiritual formation, the spiritual pathway, maturity and healing. I have also done some advanced training in the areas of Christian Leadership, Meditation, Mind-Body connection, Contemplative Practices, Ignatian Spirituality and Mindfulness.
Spending time in nature, beauty, I am a musician, a poet, I love a good musical and singing in my car, I love simple things like; hanging out with friends drinking good coffee, spending time with my adult kids playing board games and talking. Growing in in Minnesota I love lakes and water, wildflowers, fishing and sailboats, I love a yummy nectarine, fresh summer corn and some good Kansas City BBQ! AND I love holding sacred space for people to find themselves with the God of love.
I didn't start out to have a ministry, but began to gather on retreat and to study myself to survive after the death of my beautiful daughter and then later hitting my own "wall" or dark night of the soul in my spiritual journey. I didn't start out wanting to be a teacher or facilitator, but just couldn't help share with others all that God was healing, doing and teaching me. I knew there had to be more to this Christian life than I saw growing up, as Jesus said in John 10:10, and I have found that to be true with Him.
"I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full."
I am humbled and feel so honored that God would use me in His kingdom work here on earth. This redeemed, still healing ordinary woman- and I am privileged to walk alongside others on their journey - as we seek Him together.
(I am not a licensed counselor or medical doctor, if you have mental health issues please contact a licensed professional. I will gladly work alongside your therapist or medical professional)