As I look at how my life has ‘transformed’ over the past five years (It’s 2018 as I write this) I’m amazed at what God used to make me more aware of God’s always-there presence and love. That awareness was something that had been missing from my life, or intermittent at best.
I used to live my life using external things to affect my life. I used to seek things to make me happy, to not feel sad. I thought that if other people treated me better then my life would feel better.
Even my God was external, just beyond my reach. Now and then I would get ‘close enough’ to feel that presence and that I had pleased God somehow. The danger with that thought process is that I could be distanced and that I could also be displeasing to God – something that became my life. The Yoyo effect. This is the life of ‘separateness’ and not the oneness Jesus talked about.
But, since I was told by God in a wilderness prayer cabin in the fall of 2013, that my pristine Catholic life was about to get messy, my God has become the God who dwells within me as well as around me.
My joy and my peace are driven internally and rise from deep within. When the inside is taken care of, the outside takes care of itself.
I am still very involved with the Catholic church I grew up in yet it’s funny what God used to bring me into this depth of awareness of God’s continual presence that fosters a deep peace and a knowing beyond words.
When I was in my early twenties, God used the Charismatic Renewal movement to bring me into an awareness of the powerful gifts God has instilled in us, the greatest being love.
It was a movement of the Holy Spirit that swept through the mainline churches in the eighties. I heard of, and in some cases saw, people’s legs growing back, meat being cut to share with those who are poor and the meat never running out or getting smaller as it was being cut. I saw people get cured of all kinds of illnesses, including cancer. I witnessed being in an open air stadium where the city it was standing in experienced the worst flooding from rain except for a circle around the stadium where our Charismatic Conference was being held. The are around the stadium experienced only sunshine. Even the news reported it.
When God knew I was ready for my next stage, many years later, he brought an Anglican Deacon into my life to be my Spiritual Director. This is someone who meets with you once a month and asks you about your life and then helps you discover where God is on this path you’re on. That began four years ago and still is today. She helped move my view of God from a distant and punishing God to a God who dwells within and cares about me deeply.
This was the beginning of my interior journey into the depths of my being, to rediscover God there. She called it the peeling of many layers that I had basically placed there myself.
It was through the New Age Movement, alternative spirituality – with those who acknowledge the same loving creator except with different yet similar language, different yet similar imagery, different yet similar theology, where my life got messy.
It was there, through meditation and other tools, that God became more real to me than I have ever experienced. It was through this period that the boundaries I had established between Catholicism, Buddhism, New Age Spirituality etc became less clear.
Then it dawned on me today, if God didn’t use boundaries to bring me into a closer awareness of God’s presence and in my case to Jesus Christ (this is my life remember), then why are we?
Why are we using boundaries? Why are we placing boundaries on where we can discover God and experience God?
If we believe that God is beyond words, beyond anything our finite minds can imagine then how can we limit God with boundaries?
God led me across boundaries. Will you be led there too?