Marcella is one of our sisters. She is actually Ang’s younger sister by birth and best friend by choice. Marcella and Ang are only 20 months apart and have shared most of their experiences together. Marcella has always been there to provide comic relief to Ang when she needs it or exchange eye rolls when life gets annoying. She is a photographer and you can follow her instagram @marcellamartinezphotography.
1. Tell us about yourself.
Hiiiiii! I’m Marcella and I’m 29 years old.
I’m Angelina’s younger sister.
I’m the introverted, unorganized middle sister, a photographer, art seeker and food enthusiast. I prefer summer over winter and Lady Gaga and Daria Morgendorffer are my spirit animals….I also think I’m hilarious.
2. What do you believe spirituality is?
I think that spirituality is connection. A connection with you and others, with yourself and greater forces around us, and a connection with yourself! It’s weird to say a connection to yourself, but it takes a lot to really stop and listen to your heart. We so often ignore that voice in us, even though it’s probably leading us to what is best.
3. Did you attend church? Did you identify with a specific religion? How was it presented to you? How did you relate to it?
I’ve basically have been going to church since birth. We were raised Christian and I attended Christian schools K-9!
Based on my personal experience, Christianity’s foundation is loving one another. That just seemed fairly simple to me. It wasn’t asking for an extravagant lifestyle, or harsh criticism, it was keeping life simple.
4. Tell us about a significant moment that caused a shift in your spiritual development?
Angelina has previously written about her great “spiritual spin out”, and I too have had that experience.
I call it “When My World Flipped…Literally”.
In April 2011, I had a major car accident. Long story short, I ended up UPSIDE down in the freeway embankment.
I crawled out with only bruises.
This was just the start of my world flipping.
A week after this month my grandma died.
A few months after that my sister gets in a car accident.
A few months after that our dad was murdered.
A few months after that our aunt was in a coma and hospitalized for a month.
This is now referred to as The Dark Days.
The Dark Days were heavy and scary and depressing and lonely. I constantly felt like I couldn’t take it anymore; hope was nearly lost.
I had to stop questioning everything and realize I couldn’t be in control. I had to (and still do) remind myself of the day my world flipped and know that I’m being watched over. It also made me extremely grateful for everything.
5. Did your spiritual views change as you entered adolescence?
There would be times in church were I just really felt like they were using scare tactics to get you to listen…and it worked. I understand that they were so passionate about their message that they would do anything to get your intention, but I didn’t like being scared into this.
Sometimes it seemed like religion was impossible. It was just a list of what you couldn’t do and condemnation when you failed, but then I learned about love. Once I started reading more about God’s love, and how we are just supposed to love each other and ourselves, that’s when I feel I had a better grasp on spirituality. Spirituality connects everyone, even different religions. All religions, people, cultures have one common thing, Love.
6. Has your relationship with spirituality shifted as you entered adulthood?
I think it has gotten a little more practical. I use to do everything with church. Nothing wrong with that, but it was beginning to feel like a chore. I had to break away from some of those things so that church became something I wanted to do, not something I had to do. I appreciate it more.
7. What is your spiritual life like today?
I think I’m trying to be more sensitive, kinder, and intuitive.
I try to listen more to my spirit and trust that it’s leading me in the right direction.
8. Are there any books, movies, etc. on spirituality that have had a significant impact?
I was first introduced to Rob Bell in my early 20s. His book have really simplified Christianity for me. Two of his books really struck a chord with me, I constantly go back to them for reference. When he’s not writing books he’s spending time with Oprah, haha.
His first book “Velvet Elvis” is one that you should really read if you want a break down of Christianity…especially if you question it. Questions are good, admitting we aren’t perfect or worn out is good. This book goes into learning to be ourselves because that’s how God created us. He makes it very relatable.
The next book that I HIGHLY recommend is “Drops Like Stars”.
I recommend this more than the first book. This book is about suffering. This book is about what do we do when we feel like we have completely lost everything. This book is for everyone.
I attended Rob Bell’s book tour for this and it was amazing. The way he pointed out how we all suffer and it’s in that suffering where we have to reshape our thinking. It’s in our suffering that we rely most on others. There’s a line in the book that says “suffering unites”, and I felt so connected to everyone in the room, and that’s what spirituality is all about…a connection with you and others.
We are interested in hearing about your spiritual journey! If you would like to be featured on Spiritual Sidebar, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment here!