‘Milk & Honey’ to delve into the many layers of spirituality
By Brooke Stacia Demott
My name is Brooke Stacia Demott.
I am 34, and was born and raised in the arctic tundra known as Oswego, where I now reside with my husband and six children.
Our lifestyle may seem like a throwback to the 17th century— my husband and I operate a family based business together, a small farm, and in addition, we home school our children.
The kids spend their days collecting eggs, milking goats, chopping wood, and studying together in our kitchen. We don’t have mobile technology — save my husband’s work phone — and more than one person has asked me if I was Amish, which I am not.
Of course, we didn’t always live like this.
I was notoriously rebellious as a kid. A teenage runaway, I was often homeless and under the influence of some mind-altering substance. At 18, I joined the military during wartime, and spent nearly my entire tour of duty in Kuwait and Iraq standing security with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 for the U.S. Navy.
But, rebellion won out, and I was invited to leave the military prematurely.
I spent years living aimlessly, sometimes in relative quiet, sometimes in desperate noise, never certain of how to find what I didn’t realize I was looking for — peace. I thought what I needed was adventure. Traveling all over the world during my tour of duty and later living in busy, dangerous cities like Houston, Chicago, and Buffalo gave me plenty of that — but it felt flat and pointless. Maybe I needed praise. So, I worked hard in college and ended up at the top of my business accounting class at SUNY Oswego.
That stifled the feelings of purposelessness for a time, but still somehow I felt superficial. Fairytale love was a marketing gimmick that I had given up on as a kid and money held no appeal for me. I was lost.
At 23, I found myself yet again homeless, jobless, and this time with a 2-year old daughter to drag down with me. A pastor named Bill King from Oswego had once told me about God and his son Jesus — that they cared for me. He said feeling lost was normal, because we are all lost until we find God.
I decided that it couldn’t hurt to learn more about that and find out if God was real, and if He could help me.
Well, it turns out that guy was right. I started reading the Bible — learning who God was; who I was; how I should live, and everything changed. I changed. I found what I had always been lacking — hope.
I developed cohesive thought patterns and a sense of purpose.
So, I quit my vices and addictions and began walking in step with what the Bible told me would make my life feel real. That’s where the story really began for me.
Since I was very young, I have always been a writer. I’ve had articles published in The Palladium-Times, Oswego’s daily hometown newspaper, as well as The Reformed Presbyterian Witness. I have also written dozens of essays to encourage people on social media forums.
This column will be about spiritual health. I’d like to discuss things like stress, anxiety, depression, hope, perseverance, and love. I also want to tackle issues of the day like immigration, refugees, abortion, government and technology — anything that is relevant to the spiritual condition of the individual and social dynamic.
I very much want to hear and respond to reader’s questions and comments. Contrary to modern thought, we are not just biological machines, pre-programmed to live and die by random chance.
We are purposefully created, fearfully and wonderfully made to live a life of honesty, discovery, and peace with God.
Our souls echo to us the truths that things are not as they ought to be; and if we are listening carefully, we will also find that the echo comes from a loving voice that whispers, “You are not alone.”
• Brooke Stacia Demott is a columnist with In Good Health newspaper. Got a question for Demott? Feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.