Destined to Find the Course

By Bryce Boyd*

The first time I saw that blue book sitting in the bathroom of my new acquaintance's home, I was intrigued by the title, A Course In Miracles.  It was unusual for me to think of miracles as anything that could be studied and learned, but rather a mysterious gift that was rare and suspect to fraud.  I grew up in the 1960's in Tulsa, Oklahoma where "signs and wonders" where something those charismatic folks needed to help them believe, but we Baptists were told that miracles were no longer necessary after The Bible was completed.  We didn't need miracles to know that God was real, faith was enough.  Yet by 2005, my faith had morphed into an insane belief system, formed from what I thought were truthful rigid ideas presented in The Bible, but it was no longer setting me free as it promised. It was gripping my mind with confusion and fear. Perhaps this miracles book was some kind of way out of my confusion I wondered?


I remember opening the book and scanning its pages.  I remember trying to imagine how miracles might help me believe in a more loving God.  Nothing made any sense to me as I read the pages.  It seemed almost like it was written in another language, total nonsense, so I thought at the time, and within a couple minutes dismissed it as impossible to help me with the separation that I felt from God. I totally missed that this idea of separation was the very thing it was offering to heal.  I was looking for knowledge on how to become something better and blind to the possibility that I only needed to remove the blocks.  It would be several years later before The Course would find me ready to receive it.


I was deeply disturbed most of the time and had developed a secret life of addiction that would provide brief moments of relief from my insane thoughts, followed by a growing terror that an ending to my life might be the only relief from my insanity.  I had quit attending church services, and bible-study-prayer-groups because of my guilt and denial that I was going to find anything else within The Bible or wisdom from any "believer" to relieve my growing self-hatred.  I really struggled with the conflicting messages and had many times imagined that I was going to hell because of my inability to find any permanent solution to my addictions.  I had imagined that I must be damned because I was not able to receive any kind of transformation experience promised for "those that believe". As my addictions continued to rob me of any hope of change, I developed a need to imagine a more merciful future for those of us who had lost hope in The Message.


I began searching for signs of mercy from my spouse by admitting my need for a different idea of hell.  I started searching for different interpretations and for writings to support a more acceptable future for myself.  I discovered one modern brave church leader, Carlton Pearson, who had recently exposed his doubt in the existence of hell as a place of eternal torment. Because of his confession, he had been declared a heretic by his peers and abandoned by most of his congregation.  I remember wondering if this would become my story.  Although I found other books and churches to support my need to reject the idea of an eternal hell, I couldn't sway my wife to follow my lead to research this with me further.  


I started attending various liberal minded churches trying to find a place where I could feel at home, but continued to experience tremendous anxiety from feelings of separation. I needed help breaking free from wanting to change how I believed others in my special religious relationship circle were thinking about me. I imagined their judgments and retreated into my addiction.  As my isolation grew, my addictions grew worse. I think I unconsciously used my addictions to hide my fears and excused my addictions as a way to solicit pity rather than to face their judgments.  In my insanity, I ....


…………kept hoping that next binge would bring some insight to help me change, but it only made matters worse. When I was finally unable to financially sustain my addictions and my unmanageability had reached proportions that were bringing danger on my family, I was compelled to admit the truth. The guilt now turned to deep shame as I confessed my sins.  My self-delusion of pity failed to produce the mercy I was hoping to receive.  No sane person would ever inflict this on himself consciously, but looking back I can see how my thought system required me to prove my unworthiness.

I entered a long term treatment program with a willingness to treat my addiction, but thinking my shame could be healed was something I believed even a miracle wouldn't correct.  My mind was so trained in valuing judgments that I never imagined that I would ever be able to find a solution to my suffering.  I kept using the "I am an addict pity card" whenever I felt it useful to bury the pain.  That I could ever experience any true forgiveness to correct my error wasn't even in the world of possibilities, especially after my spouse divorced me.

I began to heal from my shame over the next few years as I had more separation from the special relationships that I believed were the mirrors of my shame. I found new friends recovering from their past-sad-selves in anonymous support programs and I allowed the healthy friendships to grow because they were centered in unconditional love.  A book that had a profound effect on releasing my attachment to the pain of my past was "Freedom from the Known" by J. Krishnamurti, which I listened to over and over for almost a year. A prompt from one of my recovery friends to read the book called "The Shack", by William Young, radically opened my heart to healing.  After a lucid dream I had during my reading of "The Shack", I was prompted to give away copies of the book and shared my dream of forgiveness from judgment from the old god in my head. I was discovering that my heart was really open to loving myself and others. As I approached my 50th birthday, I suddenly found interest in seeing it as sort of a new birth to live the rest of my life by letting go of the past and began setting an intention to surround myself with as much love as possible.  

It was during this season that I discovered Unity Church. Unity Church, unlike some of the other new thought churches I attended, was more centered in The Bible.  I found it quite healing as Unity took a new approach of interpreting the Bible from the viewpoint of a loving God rather than a judging one. As an over-the-road truck driver, I was excited that I might be able to find Unity in various locations around the country and could have fellowship with like-minded souls on a more regular basis.  My first opportunity occurred on Easter Sunday of 2012. I attended my first service at Unity Church in Norcross, Georgia.  After a beautiful service, I revisited the memories of my first encounter with A Course In Miracles; there was a flyer on the table at the information desk telling of the study group and I had a flood of new curiosity. I knew I wouldn't be able to attend the study group, but decided to research more about it on the internet.  I discovered that it was supposedly “channeled,” which scared me a little, but I chose to ignore my old notions and allow some time to see where things unfolded with my new friends at Unity.

The next Sunday I was guided to Unity Village in Missouri and found more love revealed. Matthew Fox was speaking, author of the book, "Original Blessing", which pointed the way for healing from my indoctrination of original sin. And there it was again, another Course In Miracles study was being held at Unity Village.  I remember thinking, Okay, I need to keep an open mind here, because these people have something that I want and if they study this book, then there must be something about it that is worth looking into.  But it would be another half year before I got another prompt to study it.

So my healing was really speeding up after a few months of hanging with the Unity people.  I was making new friends that were pouring all kinds of love into the sponge of my heart.  I was learning to become deaf to the voice of shame in my head and confirming the truth in my heart now.  I knew truth felt loving and its opposite wasn't.  Whenever I felt fear coming on I would try to turn to where I could feel the love and ignore the other voices in my head.  One of the loudest voices of pain that remained in my head came from the projections that I felt from my mother’s pain. It seemed like whenever she was in pain or unhappy, I was somehow responsible.  I had been praying that God would help heal our shared pain, but then I found out she had cancer.  Even though the doctor’s said it was terminal, I wasn't ready to let go of wanting healing for her and didn't want to believe that her spirit might be removed from her body as part of her healing.  My mom at first was sad, but she found inner assurance and bravely embraced her transition. She taught me how to die by letting go of her attachments to the world and trusting her spirit to God.  In her final few days I experienced her love breaking through where previously pain stood in the way.  She slipped away peacefully from her body in a moment when I had stepped out of the room to speak with the nurse, but I know her spirit remained to continue to minister to me.

After she passed she guided me to the place where her darkest secret was held.  She revealed the love to me that she had shared with my father but must had been buried under years of shame locked in her body.  While I carried her ashes with me in my truck, but before her memorial service was held, I was dispatched some place I had never been before, Gainesville, Texas. The night I arrived I was hungry and went into a Brahms restaurant.  While I was in there I suddenly remembered my father’s favorite flavored ice cream and while I was eating it, I ordered a hamburger just like my mother had asked me to order for her many times before.  I could never remember a happy memory of my mother and father together and suddenly I was thinking of them and enjoying the imagination of their presence with me.  The next morning I posted my location and my experience honoring their memory on Facebook.  A few minutes later I called my brother to ask him if he had found any pictures of my mom and dad for her memorial service.  My brother explained to me that the night before, he had talked to my dad’s brother and that he had found a picture. When he told me that it was taken when my parents had eloped to Gainesville, Texas, I immediately knew that this secret was being revealed to be healed.

Several weeks after my mother's memorial service and a few days before Christmas a dear friend of mine asked me if I had heard of A Course In Miracles.  Miraculously, earlier that day, I had something like a channeling experience when I wrote a poem in Monteagle, Tennessee expressing thanks for God’s protection and guidance.  By my friend's question and relating it to my experience earlier that day, I  realized I was being awakened to a revelation and an acceptance of channeling as a true method of communication available from God to each of us.  Any resistance to The Course was taken away and I was ready to receive what it had to say.  

I remember on the morning of Christmas Eve when I first read the words from the introduction.  I felt the gift of a Loving Spirit flowing into my heart.  The words that I read challenged me to receive the fullness of the Presence of that Love which cannot be threatened and to let go of all ideas that would deny me from treasuring that Love within.  I knew this Transforming Power was now available that I had previously been searching for but had been so elusive.  I was sure that I was destined to find The Course.  It seemed like everything previously in my life happened to prepare me for being able to receive the message.  As I read, I felt the Spirit of Love which wrote The Course bearing witness that It was also within me.  

As I continue to study The Course I feel a divine desire to share its blessing with others.  I was guided to join with the Daily Lesson Conference Call facilitated by Rev Pamela Whitman and Rev Reja Joy Green, to practice the lessons and feel honored to be able to learn from our shared experience with the other blessed souls who are on the call.  

I was compelled to share my story to acknowledge God’s divine providence in leading me to The Course and be able to express my gratitude for the deliverance from fear which it is providing.  I recognize the truth that as I learn to trust and share my experience of Love’s Awareness, it is strengthened. And feeling it strengthened is amazing!

*Bryce Boyd is a regular attendee of the Daily ACIM Lesson Conference Calls facilitated by Rev. Pamela Whitman and Rev. Reja Joy Green.  As a new student of the Course, he enjoys practicing the lessons with the group and also a personal study of tBryce Boydhe text.  He is currently caring for a foster son in Moorhead, Minnesota [not shown here] while taking a rest from his over-the-road trucking adventures.  Bryce is following guidance to return to Atlanta, Georgia this summer to deepen his connection with his three sons and is asking for new vocational guidance that will confirm and strengthen his desire to be truly helpful.


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