I was raised in a Christian home, but I wouldn’t say that there were ever in-depth discussions about religion or spirituality.
There was discussion about values and ethics, and the occasional mention of the Bible; mostly because I went to Christian elementary school so some of my questions and childlike insight came home with me.
We went to church sporadically. Every Sunday during certain periods of time, and then none at all other years.
The specific church we went to changed, but I could pretty much always count on being in some kind of service or mass on Christmas Eve and Easter.
I never felt like I was missing out on church because I got it at school. And I definitely don’t have any feelings of frustration or anger about my religious upbringing.
I’ve never had to question if I believe in God. I never experienced the fire and brimstone moment that many people talk about as their “awakening.”
I’ve always believed.
I feel like I came into this world with a level of faith that I assumed other people shared. Spirituality, magic, and the Divine have always been a part of me.
I believe it has always been a part of you too. Maybe you just lost sight of this because of what the world has tried to make you believe about what it means to be religious.
One thing I know for sure, I never really liked church. I never liked Sunday school. I liked the donuts that came after the service, but otherwise, I wanted to be outside; with my horses, with my dogs, with my cats. I wanted to be with my real friends, not the people I only saw on Sunday mornings.
Looking back, I didn’t want to discuss God with people I didn’t really know. I didn’t want to listen to someone I didn’t know tell me how to understand God.
I wanted to feel and experience God as my own.
Because I think we all understand God in our hearts. That’s where we came from after all.
In the last couple of years, I’ve found my certainty growing. Since I came into this world with faith, I took it for granted. But in the last few years—through various challenges in which I often found myself closer to the other side—I have come to the realisation that my connection to the Divine is the most important relationship in my life.
I’ve been meditating for some time now, but I realised that prayer was less of a habit. So, I thought that maybe I wanted to make this more of a normal practice. I decided to get down on my knees every night before bed and have a conversation with God, Source, Spirit, the Universe, my guides and ancestors. You get the idea.
And on the fourth night in a row of prayer, I found myself crying. All of a sudden. Out of nowhere.
I can’t really explain it. I don’t know what happened. I was not talking about anything particularly emotional or moving.
It’s like it just hit me all at once. The goodness and profound grace that is this life.
I was moved to tears by all the people in my life. None of whom are a coincidence. People I believe I must have known in a previous life. People who I believe I made pacts with. Pacts that no matter what we would find each other in this lifetime.
I was moved to tears by the joy I find in what I have the privilege of doing every single day.
And pure gratitude that I was led to this place right here, right now. For the grace that brought me to this planet, at such a time as this.
And that’s when I realised.
The reason church doesn’t work for me, is because it limits my understanding of God.
I see God in the hummingbird that flies outside my 3rd floor apartment window.
I see God in the repeating 1’s and 3’s I see all day long.
I see God in my dog’s wagging tail whenever I come home.
I see God in the unconditional loyalty and love of my horse.
I see God in each member of my family.
I see God in the friends that have become my family.
I see God in the opportunities that flow into my email inbox every day.
I see God in the magical inspiration and ideas I am gifted each day.
I hear God in my best friend’s kids when we talk on the phone.
I feel God when the sun shines on my face and the summer breeze blows.
I taste God in that damn fine dinner I just cooked.
Don’t get me wrong, God is at church too. And if that is where you experience God, I won’t judge you. I’ll see you at Christmas.
But my God is everywhere, all at once. My God is limitless and expansive, and sometimes church just feels too compressed for my God.
God isn’t in church for me.
God is in you. God is in me. God is everywhere.
“Seek and you shall find.”
The Divine is in every aspect and detail, big and small, of your life. You just have to remember who you are and where you came from.
I believe that cultivating a spiritual relationship of your own understanding is one of the most important things you’ll ever do.
Ultimately, you decide how you connect to Spirit. I’m simply suggesting that you find what works for you. Maybe you want to try a daily prayerful conversation.
Look. Listen. Feel. Know.
God is waiting for you to come home.