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  • Janyne McConnaughey, PhD

A Time Capsule of Healing

It is impossible to know what a day will bring; it is also impossible to know when something a day brings might end out to be very important. This was exactly what happened four years ago as I sat in my RV gazing out the window as new neighbors backed their RV in. I saw a logo on the side: Healing States 365. This seemed important since my entire life seemed focused on healing—it was early in my second year of therapy.

Scott arrived home and I said, “Did you see the logo on that RV? I think you should meet them.” I was prone to sending him out to do these things for me. He was curious and headed over to greet the two women who were setting up their RV for the night. He returned with a fascinating story and an invitation to talk with them.

Karen Harris and Jennifer Ippolito began their friendship as college roommates and were both interested in the subject of healing for both personal and professional reasons. They came up with the idea to buy an RV and travel across several states to meet people who were involved in healing in some way. They were in Colorado Springs for several appointments and were going to spend a couple days enjoying the surrounding area.

“That’s fascinating,” I thought and decided it was worth an introduction. We talked a few times in between their adventures and eventually sat for the evening in our RV where I shared a piece of writing which encapsulated my current place on my healing journey. They were collecting video interviews as they traveled and asked if I wanted to read the document which was framed as a letter—but then we all agreed I was not yet to a place in my healing journey to share openly.

“Would you allow us to read it anonymously?” Karen asked.

I agreed but wasn’t sure why I was being so brave; it simply felt important. It was, but I wouldn’t realize it for four years. After a bit of editing, I emailed the letter to them as they drove out of town. They read the letter in three videos which have been available on their Facebook page for four years.

Fast forward to May of 2020. We stayed connected on Facebook and Karen knew about my books and speaking. She was now concluding the process of compiling the Healing States 365 journey into a documentary. She sent me a message and asked me if I would like to come forward and claim the writing as mine. It was my choice.

My question was, “What did I write?” A lot of water had gone under the proverbial bridge in four years. So, I found the videos and listened to my words in their voices. Through an avalanche of tears, I remembered how fragile I felt while sharing with these two empathetic women. They listened and then held my story in sacred trust for four years. I also realized that God took my plea (expressed in the writing) to help the church understand mental health and brought that desire to fruition--especially during the past six months.

Now Karen asked, “Do want to claim your words?” Yes! So, we scheduled a Zoom interview and portions of the interview are now included in the documentary. (The section that particularly pertains to my story begins at 1:19.)

The documentary of Karen and Jennifer’s entire adventure is fascinating and in our polarized society, it is an opportunity to listen to many voices. Some may not agree with every path, but my hope is that it will enable us all to see how greatly our world longs for healing. Many are working, in diverse ways, to help others heal. It is beautiful to witness and while I wasn’t one of those helpers when I wrote the letter, it was my dream. I am now honored to take my place among the helpers.

When Karen and I began talking, she mentioned how, no matter how difficult the journey had been, I never left my faith behind. My next book, A BRAVE Life: Survival, Resilience, Faith, and Hope after Childhood Trauma (coming August/September 2020) is also evidence of that truth, as is this time capsule saved by God and two incredibly empathetic women.

Click on picture below to access:

Healing States 365 - Part 2 (What is Healing? Documentary)

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