I promise not to preach. I know from my own experience that when people push me,I instinctively push back or walk away. With that being said, I am simply going to recount some of my spiritual journey on this blog as it overlaps with all my experiences and cannot be separated out.
Brief history… I was born into a family that belonged to the Catholic Church. So my first 10 or 11 years, regular Sunday mass and catechism (Saturday religious school) were part of life, unquestioned. After my parents divorced, I did not attend regularly. I went back periodically to the church for short stints, during momentous (for lack of a better word) periods in my life: Marriage, Childbirth and their baptisms, and when my children lost their father, etc.. However, I never really truly felt “it” in my heart and soul. I even went through periods of my life when I questioned or outright denied the existence of God.
Then came my very slow “awakening” (my cancer diagnosis). Slowly I started to talk to God in my head, researched churches, but couldn’t quite get myself to go, either from guilt of my past denial of existence or just not spiritually ready to accept God. I tried to live a “better” life. More patience, less judging, less greed, etc. thinking that was the same as attending a church.
My beliefs and “talks” with God increased at a somewhat regular pace over the years, until this last year, when a neighbor/new friend and I discussed wanting to go back to a church. We were brought up in different Christian religions, but both Christian faiths. We each had our issues with the religions we previously attended, so we researched, yes on the internet, nondenominational Christian churches in our area.
So we decided at the beginning of the new-year (2012), to start our quest. We drove (actually my neighbor drove) to the first church we thought might fit, and just didn’t feel “it”, sitting in the parking lot in-between services, so we drove to another church nearby, and when we saw the people exiting the church with smiles, hugs and chatting, we thought ok, let’s give it a try. Also the fact that this churches’ other (?) message – was diversity and unity, and the congregation WAS diverse and intermingled, really gave us hope.
That was one of the best days ever. We didn’t even realize that the service went on for well over an hour and both felt entirely uplifted upon leaving. Because of schedules, health issues, and me not driving these days (too many pain meds and no car), we have not attended every Sunday, but as many as possible, craving that uplifting “complete” feeling.
People have placed me on prayer lists all over the world, hundreds of thousands of people praying for me? Hard to grasp but the warmth and gestures gave me the warm fuzzies, and I “spoke” with God in my head more often (thinking that was prayer). Well because of my wondering mind, I often found myself off on tangents in my head and apologizing to God for getting off track.
Recently, after my mastectomy (I know “mastectomy five years in???- I will touch on that later), I received a gift from a lovely Nun in Santa Fe, that had been communicating with me over the years. She is close to my amazing sister, who lives there. The gift was a book of prayers. It has been one of the best gifts I ever received, and have already begun sharing it. After a night of nonstop reading, which I rarely do these days, and going through a half-box of tissues, I had a new awakening. The prayers had given me a template, so to speak, to arrange my own prayers more meaningfully?? AND to not just “talk” to God, but to kneel and pray. I had always given him thanks for my blessings, etc., but now I am much more specific, and always begin and end my prayer with thanks. Wow, I now go to bed, feeling complete? Good? Blessed? I cannot describe it adequately in words.
I still am not clear entirely what my “purpose” is and maybe I am not supposed to know. But I ask God every night and day to stay with me (although I now know he never left, I did), not to give up on my stubborn brain, and to help guild me to fulfill his intent. That, in itself, is such a blessing to me. I am not a prophet or messenger, or are we all and just don’t know it??? I just know I have to share my experiences with the world. Hence, the start of my blog - My stab in the dark at my purpose.
Not all posts will be “religious” but spirituality is a huge part of my life now, and it will intertwine or be the subject of many posts.
May God bless you all.