I have complete and utter faith that God speaks to us with signs. He/She holds up a mirror for reflection. He/She puts people and events in our path that pulls at pieces of our hearts that we’ve heard whispering for some time, but for whatever reason we have not yet heeded.
Being in that vulnerable space right now, I’m starting to notice the signs.
It started about 6 months ago when I first had my son and became a mother and a new reckoning took place in which I promised my soul I’d step more bravely into the arena by becoming an author.
A month later, I’d make the acquaintance of Glennon Doyle Melton, an icon for a piece of my heart I’d long since forgotten.
A month after that, her newest memoir Love Warrior would release, which would be the exact words this piece of me needed to hear, had been waiting to hear, to come out of hiding.
Then two week ago, the election happened, giving rise to so many -isms, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Then, a few nights ago, while I was up at an unGodly hour (ironic indeed), God came through again putting on my heart a wall of pain and tenderness that I couldn’t ignore. An article crossed my newsfeed that triggered so many old emotions, it stirred the embers of a long put out fire to a full blazing flame and I’m still processing it today.
I’ve felt tearful and vulnerable as I’ve tried to organize my thoughts and feelings and understand what it is exactly that’s pulling at me so.
I look at the election and the state of our country and am curious as to why I feel so afraid. After all, I’m a white woman who has had more privilege than the grand majority. Why would I be afraid?
And then the article happened where it all came full circle.
I’ve done so much healing along my own personal journey working through feelings of shame among layers of sexism and religion and often times sexism within religion, which has always been quite sticky.
I’ve been at both extremes of the fold walking hand in hand with the God I was raised and completely denouncing Him because I never felt like I could be seen, not to mention, measure up.
Over the years, I’ve found myself making my way back to the feet of God although my image of Him has drastically changed to now also include a Her.
I’ve wanted to find a place where I felt spiritually home for so long now and reading Love Warrior was only more validation for this yearning.
It’s taken me years to understand why I never felt quite comfortable in so many places of institutionalized religion. Reading Glennon’s words, a lot started to make sense.
I had become one of the God smugglers she talks about recognizing the fact that I could print my own money to buy my redemption and salvation from God, that I no longer had to jump through the hoops I was taught in order to be seen as enough or worthy of love. I could come just as I was, imperfections and all, and I would never be loved less, I would never be loved more. I was already loved just as I was and that would never change.
I find it interesting still that the concept of enoughness has been so important to me and now I’m curious how much of it has all been wrapped up in religious beliefs or my quest to find the truth – that I’ve always been enough for God and so have you and so have we all.
Everything else has been untruths used to keep the feminine soul obedient and small and quiet and meek – all the things Glennon brings up in Love Warrior.
How deep do these messages go? I want to know. I want to understand. I want to unravel it.
I want to believe that there’s a spiritual place in a religious setting that celebrates women’s power instead of strips them from it. I want to believe there’s an intersection that sees women as equals instead of man’s lesser counterpart.
I want to arrive to my own conclusions just like Glennon did about women being warriors, but I want to know what else I’ll find.
I want a personal homecoming and a pilgrimage with the wisdom I have now.
Over all the years of studying religions and philosophies searching for a definition of God that saw me enough just as I am and powerful as I know I was made to be, I’ve never looked in the place where it all began. I’ve been too afraid to dive into the Bible and Christianity. I swore it off deciding long ago that it had nothing for me.
But as I look at my future and the state of our country, I realize I can’t dismiss something so influential as Christianity. I want to approach it again. I want to find some answers. I want to see this institution through a different lens. But mostly, I want to add a new layer to my understanding of God.
As I think about the direction I’m heading in, there is SO much resistance. Resistance, I’ve come to know, is a sign of where pain can be and most definitely fear. To unearth these is to reclaim our power. I know this to be true because of all the work I’ve done personally and with clients. When we release resistance, we’re free. We see clearly. We heal. We become more whole.
And on this soulful journey of mine, being whole is perhaps the most important. Reclaiming those pieces of myself that I’ve voted off the island, as Glennon says, is incredibly important.
I’ve voted religion off the island for a good long while now, but I wonder if there’s some wisdom here for me. I wonder if there’s some healing.
I’m optimistic that there is and there’s a reason I’m being called back to the church. I’m curious as to what I’ll find.
And as I know from all the work I’ve done personally and with clients, curiosity is all you really need.