There were times when I was little I used to pray “up” to God. My home could be a scary place and in the late hours of the night I could find myself sunken back in a dark corner, head in knees praying for it all to stop. I begged, pleaded, prayed over and over, hoping to be heard.
I was raised in a super Christian home. My mother taught Vacation Bible School, we went to church every Wednesday and Sunday. But what I was taught seemed to always make me feel worse about what was happening around me and within me than better. In my early 20s, I had a falling out and crisis of faith.
I didn’t understand why God never came through for me, why my life had been what it had been and others had it so seemingly easy. I struggled with so many things back then and by all accounts I was a damned. My religion only made me feel shame and disappointment. Where was this God I was told about?
Now, in my mid 30s I see that it wasn’t God or Jesus I didn’t have faith in, it was the men preaching words that didn’t match what I knew was true in my heart. AND what I was being taught didn’t really help a person like me. A person that was surrounded by darkness.
I can’t imagine how different it would have been if I was taught that God wasn’t “up there.” That our genderless God was both the great father and the great mother. That the God that is so much bigger than the labels we have wasn’t in some far away place, but was actually in that room with me holding my knees, wiping my tears, whispering in my ear it would be alright.
If I had known how to look for God where it actually was, where it really mattered, when it really mattered, right beside me, instead of far away from me, how much comfort that could have brought me.
If I would have known that in those moments I could have called on Mother Mary and Archangel Michael and they would have been beside me in an instant holding me through it and protecting me, I might not have grown up as deeply wounded.
I see every bad decision I made in my 20s that made me feel too ashamed to call myself a Christian as the moments I was with out a doubt closest to God. Because in those moments, where I needed someone to hold me unconditionally, God was the only person there.
But I was blind, because I hadn’t been taught to see. Amazing Grace is a beautiful song, always used in funerals, but we don’t have to die to awaken and become conscious to the divinity all around us.
Because I do spiritual readings, there are times I will get comments or messages about how my work in helping people find their truth is blasphemous and that people should turn toward the bible.
The thing is, my work brings people closer to the God I’ve come to know so deeply. The God that is right here in this moment, always guiding us, always showing us the way, always here to hold us as we cry if we’d just open ourselves up to feel the presence.
Those comments make me deeply sad for all of the people who will never have a deeper, more intimate relationship to God. Who won’t go beyond the limits of the institutionalized religions to see that we each, individually, have the power to experience, feel, hear, see God in our everyday lives.
That we don’t have to wait ’til death to feel Heaven on Earth.
While God is in the church, the church is not God.