This post is about a spiritual journey. If this is offensive to you please stop reading. I will not tolerate anything negative about this post and will delete any offensive comments, etc. Otherwise, please keep reading.
I want to start of by saying I am not religious. I am spiritual. I have faith because it has been tested and proven. I believe in a loving, kind, caring Higher Power. I refer to this Higher Power as God for the connivence of things. People know what you mean when you say God, as opposed to Higher Power. A few will understand all of this.
I am a lucky one. I have always believed in a Higher Power. I always knew God was out there. I was never afraid of him (again I use the male version for connivence). The way my family tells it, they thought I was going to be a nun when I was a child. Not that I was a pious child but I was always praying. I was always thanking God for good days and fun times. My Aunt tells a story about when I was little. We went to a pond near my paternal grandparent’s house to feed the ducks. My aunt found me with my head down and eyes closed. She asked if I was alright. I said “I’m fine. I’m just praying to God and thanking him for this wonderful day.” She was stunned. I ran off to chase the ducks. I was probably 7 at the time.
I was small when I begged my mom to take me to church. You see my family isn’t overly religious. My maternal grandparents were Episcopalian but not involved in a church. My father was raised Catholic, but wasn’t practicing. I remember visiting my paternal grandparents and going to mass with them. It seemed dark. I remember being frustrated that I couldn’t participate fully in the service. My mom found an Episcopal church near us and took me.
I remember one of the first time we went to the church. Mom made an appointment with the Minister at the time, Kitty. Yes, a women. She took us around the church and explained all the stained glass windows showing scenes from the bible. They were beautiful. She explained about the alter and the dressings. She showed me where on the alter cloth the women who had made it had turned one if the ivy leaves in to a dragon because nothing could be perfect. Only God was perfect. I remember it being cool, and quiet and dim. It felt safe. Almost like a heavy hug.
I got involved. I was able to participate fully because I had been baptized. I became part of the congregation. I loved learning and hearing bible stories. I loved listening to sermons even though I don’t remember paying close attention. I became an acolyte, which meet I got to dress up and participate in the service. I started reading passages during the service.
When Kitty left, because she had been given her own church, she asked me to come to the National Church for her service. It was a huge deal and I felt special. I was one of several from Our church that got to participate in the service.
When the new Reverend came, he asked me to read at his welcoming ceremony. I felt special and like I belonged. I wanted to be confirmed.
I was told I couldn’t be confirmed by another minister, because I was so young. But she was more then willing to allow me to baby sit her children. I remember her house smelled like dirty dishes and cat piss. I was devastated. How dare you tell someone what is or isn’t in their hearts. Why does it have anything to do with age? And so began my trouble with religion.
Ghandi has a wonderful quote “the problem with Christianity is the Christians.” I believe this of all religions not just Christianity. People get in the way. People get in the way of a personal relationship with God.
I spent the next 10 years searching for God.
I tried witch craft. That didn’t work for me. Too many moon phases and the idea of casting spells seemed far fetched to me.
I tried Evangelical Christianity. I had a bible study leader tell the group that the problems with the world were all because of Democrats and Gays. I’m a Registered Democrat. I have a gay uncle. Another time she went on to rant about criminals. I had brother in jail at the time. I struggled with the fact that I knew she had committed adultery. And drank like a fish. But apparently those were “lesser” sins and somehow negated because she was a Republican. Needless to say I didn’t feel all warm and fuzzy about Jesus, who was supposed to be my savior. But apparently not if I was a Democrat, Gay or a criminal. This didn’t work for me.
I took an Eastern Religions course in college. I loved it. My professor required us to visit a place of worship for one of the religions we studied. I chose a Buddhist temple. I was so interesting. I brought my mom along with me. The Buddhist were very welcoming. I felt awkward during the service. It wasn’t what I expected. I was intrigued. I did more studying. I love the teaching about the flame. We also studied Hindu during this class. There God are compare able to Catholic Saints. You pray to one for a certain reason the same way a specific Saint is supposed to help you with a certain issue. Hindus believe that all the Gods are a facets of one a God, And I remember it hitting me that we are all praying to the a same God. We just call him different names. We are all looking for a relationship with God and how to obtain that.
I continued to talk at God during this time. I prayed some. I don’t think I listened much. Except when a God shouted at me.
I have always had experiences in my life that I can explain as nothing other then a God interaction. For example, Just before I left to go to California I was struggling about what I should do. I was engaged to my future husband, who was serving in Iraq. I had arranged for an apartment out there for us. But I couldn’t get a job confirmed. I called and called. Emailed. Pestered. I couldn’t move to California without a job. I’m a stubborn girl and refused to not take care if myself. So one day I’m trying on bathing suits with my mom, lamenting about California and the job and what I should do. Finally my mom says “Sarah, have you prayed about it?” I was stunned. The thought had never occurred to me. So I said “Fine. God give me a sign. If I’m supposed to move to California show me how. If I’m not supposed to move. Fine. Just let me know what I’m supposed to do. Show me what you want me yo do.” Mom says I was shouting at this point. She says she was nervous about being kicked out if the store. LOL! I remember feeling calm after that.
And then my phone rang. It was the job. They were calling to offer me a position.
Now some people will say this was a coensedense . Luck. I say it was God answering my prayer. When I became open and accepting of his will he showed it to me. And I did it. I quit my stable, good job and moved across the country for love.
I have had other times in my life where I felt like I was being gently pulled through events by a string attached to my gut. Looking back now, I know that these are times when I was following God’s path for me.