I was raised in a religious home where you didn’t question or deviate. You went to church, payed your tithes, kept the commandments and if you did enough good works then you could go to heaven. There were many moments growing up where my faith and beliefs did not make sense but by shame and guilt I bit my tongue and walked the path. The guilt and expectation was too much to think other thoughts or to open my heart and mind to something more. After all, for generations my family have all believed the same and devoted a life to their beliefs.
I continued through life believing what I was supposed to, attending a church college, marrying in the faith and eventually raising my family to follow in my blind footsteps. Each year my intuitive voice getting louder and louder. But amazingly I stuffed and smothered any thought that was attempting to be heard.
As most of us have learned, at some point things finally come to a screeching halt. It took years of sadness, deception and finally failure in my marriage of 17 years to wake up. Being faced with life as a single mom of three without any support, career or financial plan will sober you in a second.
It is amazing how life works it’s magic. How challenges refine us. How struggles reveal strengths. How obstacles force us to find our clear and true path. When my picture perfect life on the outside was crumbling I finally got real. For the first time I searched for my faith, my creator, my spiritual connection. I started reading, studying, journaling and most importantly praying.
I sought out different churches, bible groups, spiritual leaders and writers. On a particular Sunday I was attending a bible fellowship church in my area and the worship portion of the service began. I remember being extremely touched by the music and verses and a giant swelling started rising up through my chest. I felt like my body was smoldering with fire. My skin and hair tingled. I was overwhelmed with spirit. I was connected with my creator.
Tears poured out of me that night while the preacher spoke. Big crocodile tears that had no end. I could not contain the constant stream of emotions. It was a release like no other. A long overdue mourning of disappointments, sadness, and regret. As the preacher closed I felt a calm come over me. A new hope rising inside and confirmation that God knows me personally and is with me always.
I am still on my path to finding my spiritual truth. But since that night in church I have had many similar connections with my creator. What I have learned is that religious is very different from spiritual. I have learned that I don’t have to be in a church to feel God. I find Him everywhere. I might be practicing yoga, hiking up a desert mountain, running through my neighborhood, or having coffee with a close friend, God is all around me. It is my choice on how much I let him in.
My life has been richly blessed. I have prospered, grown, and reinvented myself with His hand guiding and prompting me. If I can surrender and stop forcing, pushing or controlling I will continue to learn and move forward, refining and redefining myself. I know without a doubt that there is a divine energy at work in this universe and I am loved more than I can ever imagine. I am so eternally grateful for the struggles and trials. They truly have brought me closer to myself and all those around me.
Thank you for this beautiful opportunity to put thoughts on paper!