I hope everyone had a great Christmas filled with family and egg nog! I took some time off from finishing this series of posts to focus on Christmas and family. But I'm finding I want to have it completed before the new year so here is the 4th and final installment.
A side note that I would like to make first. At the invitation of our awesome neighbors, on Christmas Eve Jerry, the girls and I attended a candelight service at the church that we started out at when we first moved here; the one with the pastor who patiently listened to me while I vented my anger. It was amazing how people remembered us (well, mostly Jerry and the girls since I did not attend but maybe 2 or 3 times) and were genuinely happy to see us! And in talking with them, we discovered that Jerry and the girls had attended church FAR longer than I had remembered! I thought it had only been for about 2-3 years after we moved here (until around 2001). Turns out, they had attended up through 2006! About the time that Emily was too old for Sunday School but still too squirmy to sit through the main service. I want to publicly thank Jerry profusely for continuing to provide for the girls in this way, even when he had NO support from me to help him do so. I will forever be grateful to you for this, my sweetie. I love you.
|You're my lobster|
Ok, on to the conclusion of my journey up til now. In the years following our move out of the city, I began delving deeply into all things spiritual, EXCEPT Christianity. I read book after book after book on subjects such as near death experiences, native american spirituality, out of body experiences, eastern philosophy, chakras. I also read and listened to channelings from beings who said they were from other star systems or beings who were here to help humanity. While looking online, I saw there were others that were searching just like I was. I joined message boards and began conversing with people who felt as I did; that there HAD to be a better way to connect with God.
In 2001 I found an organization that became what I called my spiritual family. I believed that these were souls I had journeyed with over eons of time in other lifetimes. I spent the better part of this last 10 years with them, going to workshops, conferences, making personal friendships and helping out with the organization. At the center of this group was a man who channeled a specific entity who said that we had worked with him before in previous lifetimes and that we were back together now to help with Earth's ascension. We would have monthly meetings (using the internet, they would have a live feed of him channeling this entity for the rest of us around the world to participate in). Sometimes I would even go and participate live at these gatherings.
In the beginning, I tried to get Jerry to join in with me, telling him that there was so much more to God than his limited bible could tell him. I explained concept after concept and could not understand why/how he could not see what I saw. After awhile, I let it go thinking that he was just too "asleep" to understand. So spiritually, I went my way, and he went his.
There are so many other things I could write about from this 10 year period of time, the things I experienced, the people I met, the way I viewed my role as a mother, how I viewed marriage/relationships but I find that I just cannot bring myself to put it all down in writing. I'm not sure I could even do it justice anyway because I am SO not that person anymore.
What I will say is about 2 years ago, a subtle unsettledness was beginning to nag at me inside regarding the group I was associating with. And it grew and grew over time. I ignored it for the most part, but it just wouldn't go away. I was beginning to notice incongruence's between what they taught and how they lived. I tried a few times to leave but I always found myself drawn back in. I had become very close friends with a girl who, over time, had moved through the ranks to become a prominent part of the "inner circle" of the organization. I didn't want to lose my friendship with her.
Things came to a head in the summer of 2009. The organization had just finished a very intense and powerful conference. It was a culmination of all that we had done for the past 10 years so emotions were running high. This friend had invited me to come out to her home a couple of weeks after this event just to chill together and discuss all that had occurred. There was also going to be opportunities to spend some down time with the main people of the organization since they all lived in the same area. Since we rarely saw each other outside of organized events this was a very welcoming invitation. So I flew out to spend a week with them.
And it was as if the scales had been completely lifted from my eyes.
I came home wondering what was wrong with ME. Why I didn't feel like I belonged anymore. Why did I feel like they couldn't "see me." Why did I feel so distant from them? I tried emailing with my friend after I got home to tell her how I felt. She encouraged me to keep writing because she felt that it was about "me not valuing myself enough and not allowing my own power and magnificence to shine through." Well, I kept writing, but as I did, there was a growing sense of conviction that it was not ME that was off, but them.
Things culminated at the end of Aug. 2009 when I did something that I still cannot believe I did to this day. It may seem like an inconsequential thing, but with this group, it was HUUUGGEEE. At the time that all of this other stuff was going on, there was a massive thread that had been started on the message board that we all posted on. It began in July and ran nonstop night and day for over a month. I don't know why. It was just one of those rare things that sometimes happen on a message board. People who never got along before were all posting and everyone was accepting of everyone else and we were all sharing our deepest secrets as well as being as silly as we could be. And when I say non-stop, I do mean non-stop. When one side of the world was asleep, the other side would post all night long, and vice versa. It was more of a chat room than a message board because of the constant live interaction going on. I believe we were well into the thousands with the page count. It really was quite amazing. Towards the end though, it turned very nasty. A few people came on and decided to "sling mud" in every direction at the participants. People began fighting and arguing with one another. Some left by deleting their accounts all together. It was ugly.
You can imagine the kind of response that ensued. If I had tried to get out before, I had totally succeeded this time. I was banned from the board and many of my friends, including the one I was closest to, had decided I had gone crazy and told me to stay far away. One person had even suggested that I was having a spiritual crisis.
And in retrospect, I now realize that a spiritual crisis is what it was. God had been prompting me for some time to leave that group and I didn't listen. While I was at my friends house, He most decidedly "lifted the veil from my eyes" so that I would see what was really going on. It sucked though. I'm sorry but it really did. It hurt like heck. And I have no doubt that the prompting to delete that thread was not only so that I would HAVE to leave that group but so that I could also see the truth about the friends I thought I had there.
For the next year I spent my time in a sort of spiritual void. I had decided that my relationship with God, whatever that was, was going to be a solo journey. I still checked out the main lightworker information sites but did not participate directly with any one group. And yet, through ALL of this, I still felt what I can only describe as an irresistible "calling."
The truth is, I have felt this calling all of my life. And in a myriad of different ways, I have tried to answer. Albeit, always on MY terms. I thought I had to "do" the searching for answers myself. In my own power. I thought my own mind was powerful and wise enough to uncover the secrets to life and master my own destiny and that my own heart was big enough to encompass the love and compassion needed to change myself and the world. Yet, in this last year in particular, I was shown in many different ways how utterly untrue this was. Through several different experiences with my boss, with my husband, with being a musician playing the flute, through an illness of one pet and the death of another, rather than feeling like god, I was instead, incredibly humbled.
So when November 11th, 2010 rolled around, I was very ripe for the surrender that was necessary for God to reveal Himself. His unceasing call of Love never waned. It was my own resistance to surrender to it that kept Him from me. It was only when I realized that I could not, on my own power, reach Him that I realized why Jesus is so incredibly important. It is in our nature to resist this surrender and try to do things on our own. To believe that we are the creaTOR rather than the creaTED (and that is not just limited to new age thinking). It was this wall of resistance that Jesus came to remove so that THROUGH Him we could be reunited with God. God already has it all figured out! All He asks is that we surrender our will to His and He will guide us with His own personal plan for us. It is not for us to "fix" this world or to even "fix" ourselves. All we have ever had to do is to desire to Love Him with all our heart and all our soul and through that communion, He, in His perfect wisdom will complete it through us.
And so this brings me full circle to that moment so many years ago when in the simplicity of my childhood desire to Love, I loved my "imaginary friend" in the form of my "puff the magic dragon tree." But now, after all this time, after all these years, I have found that “imaginary friend.” And He’s not imaginary. HE’S REAL. And He will never betray me, and He will never ignore me, and He will never manipulate me, nor lie to me nor tell me I am loving Him too much. I am free to love and love and love and love and love and love and love to my heart’s content and He will never tell me to stop. He's there, giving my heart a hug every single day and loving me back in a way I have never, ever known.
That’s the bottom line of what life is all about. Loving God. And knowing now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He truly resides within me, there are no words on this Earth to express what that means to me. This communion; it really is the bottom line. What He does with that through me are the miracles, the glorious expressions of that communion for the world to witness.
And I now get to do this for the rest of my life, even for eternity.
To me, that IS Heaven.