Not a man in the sky

I often get asked if I believe in God. As if somehow the idea that I believe in something greater than myself somehow collides with who I am and what I do for a living.

Sometimes there is a shock in the face asking the question “Do you believe in God?” when I reply, “yes I believe in God.” My relationship with God has been at times complicated. I was raised in the Methodist church. Sunday school, acolytes during Sunday service, and church choir were among the routine of my childhood. I was baptized as a baby and confirmed as a teen. All of those things would’ve been proof of my connection to God. The thing is during those times I really had very little connection to the spirit of Jesus, or God. I was going and doing church because I was told to, not because I yearned to be there.

As I grew older I strayed from my church. Oddly though when I’d visit, it’s familiar smell and the faces with in it felt like home. I’ve never felt uneasy with in its walls, only loved and welcomed. That has everything to do with the congregation and something that I never connected to God. I truly love the church I grew up in, it just never made me feel spiritual or a connection to God. Looking back I can see god in the people from there, I couldn’t see that as a kid though.

I went through a time of disconnect and anger with God, when Laura died I couldn’t fathom a God who would take such a beautiful person from her children and loved ones. I told myself there was no God. My friend at that time who is a pastor and presided over the funeral, would sit with me and say “You’re in bewilderment, your anger will subside and you’ll return to God one day. For now this is where you are and he understands” Her words will stick with me forever. Her ability to hold space for me without judgement was a gift then. She never preached with condescending words, her words of god were channeled to me in ways I could hear them at that time.

Life would go on and as I’ve written so many times, I was in a dark and heavy place after my friend died. As my life changed in ways I didn’t see coming my connection to anything spiritual faded with it.

Then a tiny mustard seed was planted through an unexpected person. My now dear friend Jess, who’s friendship at that time was in the early stages of us connecting as friends. Our pasts were complicated and our reconnection is nothing short of divine. This a blessing I wouldn’t realize in it’s entirety for a while longer. She had randomly reached out to me. She had been feeling a nudge to see how I was. I was not in a good place and on a night of a big beautiful full moon I wrote so many things to her that I hadn’t told anyone else. The following week she’d send me a pocket sized devotional book. Something I’d never buy much less use. I’d begin to read a page a day. The messages would resonate and so tiny bits of me began to open up to the idea of something bigger than myself existing once again.

Eventually I’d begin to heal the parts of myself that I thought were broken forever. As the fog lifted so did my connection to God. I could feel, hear and see Jesus often. I began to resonate with this spirituality that has lived with in me my whole life. I just never realized these things could be my connection to God. I thought my only connection had to be through church. I found God in myself and the people around me instead.

So yes, I believe in God. I believe the spirit of God lives within us all. I believe Jesus was a beautiful and humble healer, who was a human just as we are. I might not feel drawn to pews, but I connect through actions, and helping others heal. I feel God in a Pearl Jam song, or a favorite hymn from my youth. I feel angels and divine energy in trees, plants, and bumblebees. I feel god in the wind of the eagles wings, and the gaze of the red-tailed hawk. My connection to God reminds me that I’m going to get it wrong some days, and that just trying to be better than yesterday is enough.

I believe you should connect to your spirituality in whatever way is meant for you. Some people eagerly seek a community and church. While others connect to God through their careers as teachers, librarians, or volunteering. I think how you connect to God and your spirituality has little relevance. I think most have a complicated relationship with their spirituality. How can you not when life is so painful and hard at times?

I used to see God as man sitting on a cloud in the sky. I now see her as a spirit that lives within me. God has given us all gifts that are to help spread more of his spirit into the world. I believe God lives within those gifts. When I want to find God, I look for it around me…in the people, animals, and trees.

So wherever God lives within you I believe that should be treasured. I believe we should allow each other to see feel and hear God in the ways that resonate with us. If you happen to be in that bewildered, confused, and angry state of spirituality, that’s ok too. I welcome you wherever you are.

I’m a f-bomb dropping, beer drinking, people helping, mistake making human who believes in her connection to the divine world. ✝️✨🌙 I hope you stand firm in your connect too. 💖

My eagle friend from the Portage River, Elmore, OH.

One response to “Not a man in the sky”

  1. Laura, Such beautiful words. The church is struggling to deliver this message AND get people to attend to be spiritual together. I feel much like you but I also love being together on Sunday mornings and that opportunity is in peril now with our church. I have no answers, only prayers! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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