Learning to Be

Learning to Be

Finding Your Center After the Bottom Falls Out

by Juanita Campbell Rasmus
Foreword by Tina Knowles Lawson

Learning to Be
  • Length: 176 pages
  • Published: June 30, 2020
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4587-3
  • Item Code: 4587
  • Case Quantity: 32

It felt as though every nerve in my body was popping. Imagine large strong hands slowly applying pressure while breaking a family-size package of uncooked, dry spaghetti. I was the spaghetti. Breaking down one piece at a time.

This is how Juanita Rasmus begins the wise, frank, and witty account of what she later called "The Crash" and what her counselor labeled "a major depressive episode." In addition to exhaustion and depression, on the spiritual front she experienced a dark night of the soul. When everything in her life finally came to a stop, she found that she had to learn to be—with herself and with God—all over again.

Pastor Juanita writes from her life with kind attention to the life of the reader. She offers both practical and spiritual insights but never pat answers. If you are longing for a trustworthy companion through dark days, this book is here for you.


1. The Stress of Living in a Do-Do-Do World
Interlude: A Family's Dilemma—Reflections of Ryan and Rudy
2. Who Am I?
Interlude: An Ode to the Prodigal Brother
3. The Hollow Bunny Rules
4. Perfectionism and the Good Girl
Interlude: Doing . . . Doing . . . Done! . . . Proverbs 31
5. Could I Just Hit Bottom Already?
6. Finding My Being
7. Getting Free of My Notions
8. What's Anger Got to Do with It?
Interlude: Depression's Warning Signs
9. Letting Go of Judgment
10. Claiming a New Identity
11. Have To Versus Want To
Interlude: Hiking a Mountain
12. Skydiving
13. Silence: The Place of Being
Interlude: Oh My God . . . That's Me!
14. It's the Thoughts that Count
15. Doing . . . Doing . . . Undone
16. It's All Grace

Juanita Campbell Rasmus

Juanita Campbell Rasmus, is a speaker, writer, spiritual director, and contemplative with a passion for seeing people through to their best life. She copastors the St. John’s United Methodist Church located in Downtown Houston with her husband, Rudy. Beginning with nine existing members in 1992, thousands have joined the St. John’s family making it one of the most culturally diverse congregations in the country.

Pastor Juanita is a Certified Spiritual Director and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Renovaré Inc. and its ministry team founded by renowned author Richard Foster. Additionally, Juanita serves on the Board of her alma mater Houston Graduate School of Theology. Juanita travels extensively speaking on spirituality and on the lessons she learned after a life-altering major depressive episode in 1999.

Juanita co-founded the Bread of Life, Inc., a not for profit corporation, with Rudy in 1992 and began serving meals to the homeless in the sanctuary at St. John’s. Years later the Bread of Life has changed the landscape of downtown Houston providing tons of fresh food, an array of services to families in peril, and transformative services for homeless individuals. Juanita most recently teamed up with Tina Knowles Lawson and Beyoncé to help forty thousand flood victims recover in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. In addition to addressing issues of health and disaster relief, Juanita launched the Temenos Community Development Corporation in 2006 and recently completed over thirty million dollars in housing development projects for the previously homeless in downtown Houston.

After recovering from kidney cancer, Juanita founded a therapeutic art program facilitating the recovery and discovery of the creative self for homeless and transitioning individuals. Her goal is to tap into the power of creativity and its ability to restore individuals to meaningful and productive lives. The Art Project-Houston takes the city’s homeless and empowers them to become hope-filled painters and artisans who craft their own livelihood and create lives filled with new possibilities.

Juanita serves on advisory boards for Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program, and RE:Mind Houston (previously Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance). Juanita and her husband, Rudy, live in Houston, Texas, and are the proud parents of two daughters.

BY Juanita Campbell Rasmus

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