#40 Grateful for Dangerous Questions

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Yesterday in church the most incredible thing happened.

I just want to add here that it’s the second time I’ve been to church in over 10 years. Also, I know no-one at this church, I just followed this faint voice inside, I listened if you like to a whisper that guided me there and boy, did yesterday prove that whisper was right (whispers from God are becoming louder and louder each day).

I didn’t plan to sit near the front, it just happened that way. I went with my mum and we were discussing the view (like we were at the cinema) and jumped seat to seat until we found ourselves a few seats from the front.

“This will do” she said. I was thinking, ‘holy wow this is way too close to the front! I don’t know if I’m comfortable here’. We stayed anyway.

As we stood to sing this incredible, unfathomable force reached someplace deep – if I had the words to describe I would but some experiences are beyond explanation. I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be an ‘easy’ service for me, the music was loud and beautiful and stirred up a bowl of uncomfortable emotions. All I can say is, holy spirit held my entire being and left me no place to escape. I panicked. I don’t like to feel confined, it’s the biggest trigger for my anxieties, the music was loud and LOTS of people surrounded me. Being so close to the front meant I couldn’t just slip away and having so many people behind me meant I couldn’t watch what people were doing. I guess this has been a control thing, watching people, thinking I know what they’re thinking by how they are behaving. I have felt like this has put me in the drivers seat, always thinking I’m one step ahead of everyone else. I am NEVER one step ahead, I know this now.

After the music stopped, we were asked to shake a persons hand we had never met before, this was easy for me as I’m new and know NO-ONE. The lady next to me turned and introduced herself. She’d been a member of the church community for 30 years and the first thing we spoke about was the music and how powerful it was. Then God gave me the permission I needed, she told me that spirit moves her most when she’s singing and is often moved to tears. The whole way through our short exchange of empowering words I could feel anxiety rise in me. Then as we listened to the readings, I truly believed I was about to pass out. I turned to my mum and said, “I’m going to faint”. She said we’d leave after the reading but as she said those words, something happened.

I heard God . He said, “No, you are here to heal, this is where it starts”.

To my mum I replied “I’m ok, we’ll stay”. Even though I wanted to run the hell outta there, I felt something greater holding my hand.

The pastor began to talk about the dangerous questions we often avoid asking ourselves, about our fears and how this limits the love of Jesus. I could feel every cell in my body resonate with these words. I have avoided searching deeply within, questioning the restrictions I bring about myself to prevent growth, to block from me the love of God – I have blocked out love and trust for such a long time. Always wanting to feel in control.

I wanted to faint, it was getting that difficult to process what I was feeling. I knew I had run from my faith for too long and now was the time to show up. I literally felt his presence behind me, ready to catch me should I fall.

Then I cried. The live band took to the stage, the music began and I cried like I’ve never cried in public before. My whole body trembled and tears streamed down my cheek. I felt His hand over my head, comforting and reassuring me this was exactly right, that I have all the permission in the world to feel, to feel the sorrowful pains I’ve felt as I’ve had my back turned for such a long time.

I cannot explain the release. The lady I had been speaking to handed me a tissue. No questions were asked as I could see others crying too. I could see that everyone in that church knew exactly what I was feeling as they’d been to that place too. I felt loved, I felt forgiven, I felt a lightness, like my heart was held in space beside the stars and the magic of creation. My heart was in the hands of God.

So, dangerous questions are not dangerous at all as they reveal so much about what we still hold onto to prevent unconditional love filling our hearts. Our anxieties and fears are revealed to us by God to show us where we’re holding back, where we’re not letting Him in. Where we don’t trust in his love. I have not trusted for such a long time and if I’m honest I’m scared shitless about happened. Surrendering to Jesus and God’s love is not something I had even contemplated before a few weeks ago. I now see that is the miracle, once we say “yes”, love flows more powerfully than ever experienced before and although my ego wants to question everything, my soul feels more alive and at home than ever before.

SURRENDER! (not so easy)

Ok, so I am held in the middle of confusion but I also know that I never want to turn my back on God again. I trust that all will be revealed, that God has always got my back.

Thank you for dangerous questions and the strength and courage to answer them as truthfully as I can. I am always learning and I trust the path will unravel, all I have to do is show up in love.

#39 Grateful for 40 Days of Reflection

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So, seeing as I’ve not even thought about lent for the past loads and loadsa years, I want to use the next 40 days to fast from something that really makes me think and pray and requires loving commitment – to break an old pattern that no longer serves me, God or anyone else.

I don’t eat sugar, I don’t drink coffee or alcohol and I’m rarely on social media these days (I can turn my phone off all day and not really notice). As a child, for lent I would give up chocolate but this felt like an empty act, I was doing it because… well just because and I rarely reflected on the meaning behind why. This year it’s different. I want to go deeper than material restrictions.

I’ve decided to fast from complaining – venting petty, disempowering words to others and to myself, about myself. No words of belittlement, no moaning, no ‘sorrowful’ words to dwell in ‘woe is me’. I do have a tendency to turn my thoughts to dissatisfaction, especially when things are not going as I planned – my separated-self wanting to take the wheel. This is going to take lots of surrender and prayer but I feel excited about the prospect of watching my words, noticing when these feelings of smallness and worry take over. I feel like I am only beginning this close relationship with God (even though I know he has been with me always) and although I feel stages are early, I know for a fact that God wants us to shine and words can be healing treasures or weapons to knock us down. I choose healing treasures! đŸ™‚

With God in my heart, I have no need to complain. I have all I need, I am rich. When I remember this, life feels clear, there is clarity in my thoughts and I reach out to others. However, when words of discontent and lack fill my heart (often feeling before thoughts register that such words are not welcome), I shut down.

I Edge.God.Out.

This year I am letting God back in.

#38 Grateful for my Christian Roots (Home)

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Me, a Christian?

Me? No way

Me? Nope

Me? Not me

Going backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards and sideways and backwards, I’ve been having the above conversation with myself… a battle if you like for the past… wait for it… 20 years!

I’ve researched many religions, many philosophies over the space of 5 years. I’ve searched and I’ve read many texts, valuing greatly the time and opportunity to do so. I enjoy learning about different cultures and belief systems – how societies all over the world have varying beliefs in something greater than themselves. I guess during this process I was rediscovering my relationship with myself and my faith. It seems that the more I research the more I am led to where I came from, back to the unquestionable faith I had as a child, my Christian roots. As I turned my back on God and my faith, I turned my back on myself.

The previous week has been one of enlightenment if you like, a week of letting go to receive Gods love, listening without any restrictions or requests. I have opened myself fully and in doing so, I have come to feel empowered, discovering that when I invite God back into my life, I feel like I am home again (which is the most incredibly calming and settling sensation ever!)

Home is the best way to describe how I am feeling. The last time I felt like I was home was when I visited Texas in 2014. I am a London girl, born and bred. I’d never been to the US before yet when I stepped off the plane in Austin, Tx I felt a softness, like my soul had elevated to a place unknown to me – I felt like I was home. This has baffled me for some time, why there and not in the place I have known my whole life? Yet, opening my heart to God has given me the answer in a very fast and simplistic way. When I went to Texas I let go. I let my guard down as even the miracle of getting on the plane to America was an inspired action of courage, one I never thought I’d be able to carry out. I didn’t think too heavily about this at the time but I allowed myself to surrender all egotistical control. I felt like I was home because I believed. I believed in myself and as a consequence I shone brighter than I remembered I could. The whole holiday was full of miracles, I cannot even begin to explain how magic rippled through each moment. I offered no resistance to the unlimited power of spirit and I know for a fact I met angels, yes beautiful, soul-enriching Angels. Now I see that angels come into my life everyday, especially when invited đŸ™‚ I can’t say the holiday went according to plan but that just accelerated surrender.

I’ve turned my back on light and Love for too long. I’ve dampened my own spirit and I’ve shut my heart to God. I am so grateful to be able to acknowledge this, I feel so blessed that Love has become my primary goal each and every day.

I am so grateful to feel like I’m home no matter where I am as God’s love is everywhere… LOVE is present, always. God Loves, God Loves more than our human minds could ever imagine possible and what greatness this inspires! Greatness beyond expectations.