Don’t know the bigger vision for your life? Just follow the little crumbs…
Before we talk about me, let’s do something more important and talk about YOU!
If you were filling out an online profile about your personal relationship with God, you’d check the box marked: “It’s complicated.”
Sometimes you feel Him so deeply your heart overflows with love… sometimes every cell in your body aches in the void of His absence. You’re told He’ll never leave nor forsake you, yet there are many experiences in your life where He was nowhere to be found.
You want to believe He carried you through those wrenching times, and those set of footprints were His. It’s so lovely and poetic to believe that… but deep down, you’re angry because you feel like he abandoned you.
Remember that time you lost everything and you fell on your knees in your bedroom, crying out in desperation, begging Him to help?
Where was He?
You’ve been told it’s not good to be angry… especially at God. And you’re a bit ashamed and afraid of that. But you can’t help how you feel and if you were truly, completely honest with yourself, you might even admit that at some point in your life, you might’ve even hated God and turned away from Him.
But He abandoned me first, you might say.
It’s complicated, this relationship between you and God.
How can God love you, knowing who you are and what you’ve done?
How can you love a God you don’t truly know and understand?
How can you trust a God who allows such hardship and pain upon this world, especially to innocent children and animals?
When you look outside, when you scroll your facebook feed and watch the news, you wonder if God even exists.
When you look inward, close your eyes and silence your mind, you feel His presence. You KNOW he exists and you KNOW he loves you and the world, but you can’t quite figure out the dissonance between what you see and experience externally, and what you feel deep down in your soul.
So you yearn for a deeper relationship with Him.
You ache to understand His ways.
You so desperately desire to know Him.
Not the version of God that religion or society has told you about. You want to know HIM.
You want to cut through all the weeds of doctrine and stigma and get to the core of WHO and WHAT He is.
There’s a fire inside you that burns to know Him.
I’m here to tell you…
God IS the fire.
This yearning you feel for Him is God Itself living inside you.
He’s nearer than hands and feet.
God is calling you to Him.
When you surrender to the calling and let yourself fall into Him, you will no longer ache and yearn to know and understand.
Your cup will be filled.
And you will know.
God is here.
Always has been, always will be.
And He loves you.
Always has, always will.
Exactly as you are.
Then, and now, and forever.
No matter what.
Hi, my name is Tree.
I run a successful blog and business over at www.FindYourInnerHappy.com where I teach sensitive, loving souls how to get in touch with their inner strength and power.
And that’s my whimsical muse, Stick Girl. She reminds me not to take life so seriously.
I’d been fully and happily immersed in this for a few years when one day, I was writing in my journal and asked God what I could do for Him. After all, everything I have is because of God, so in a moment of thankful appreciation, I wanted to do something for Him instead of asking Him to do something for me, which is most often the case.
I heard clearly, “Build a church.”
This struck me as hilarious and a bit absurd because I’m not a religious person at all. In fact, I’ve only been to church (formally) once when I was a little girl and all I remember from that experience is that I couldn’t stop laughing. My mom and I somehow caught the giggles while the man at the podium (Preacher? Minister? Father?) was talking about something seemingly very serious and everyone else was seemingly paying very serious attention to his very serious speech (sermon? See – I really am clueless!).
It took everything in me to stifle my laughter but each time I finally had it under control, I’d hear my mom let out a brief uncontrollable yip beside me and I’d lose it again. My dad, embarrassed and angry, felt we were being disrespectful and told us to leave and wait outside.
We never went to church as a family again. That was our first and last time going to a service together and I don’t think either of my parents ever stepped foot in a church since.
My other experience with churches was in my twenties when I was actively looking for God. I was severely depressed and desperately searching for proof that God existed. And if He existed, I needed to find a place where He’d hear my prayers because He obviously wasn’t hearing me from my bedroom where I cried myself to sleep every night. So every time I drove by a church, regardless of its religion, I’d stop and ask to go in so I could talk to God. Some let me in, some said if I didn’t belong to their church, I wasn’t welcome inside.
This is when I learned there’s a difference between a church and a temple. To me, any place that gathered together in the name of God was a place of worship, and it didn’t matter what it was called. But one man told me it was an insult to call his temple a church and besides, no matter what it was called, he said, I wasn’t allowed in anyway because God only allowed men to go inside the temple. I was not worthy.
Needless to say, I never found God in a physical church nor have I ever followed any particular organized religion, so the idea that God wanted me to build a church was hilarious, indeed.
The only “church” I know is the one in my heart.
The only place I go when I want to talk to God is inward.
I asked God to please explain exactly what He means by “build a church,” but I haven’t received any full, clear answers as of yet.
But here is what I know from my 40+ years of living, questioning and experiencing God:
- God rarely gives us the whole vision. We only get bits and pieces of it. Instead of zooming out to show us the entire map, complete with street names, stop signs, left and right turns highlighted for us, he only leaves a trail of crumbs for us to follow. Sometimes all we get is one single measly crumb and we have no idea if it’s even a crumb or sign left by God or a damn bird just happened to randomly drop it as it flew by.
- It’s up to us to TRUST each crumb as it presents itself before us and have FAITH that one crumb will lead to the next.
- If we do everything we can and make the most of the one measly crumb, we will be shown the next crumb. And the next, and the next.
- Eventually, we will have reached the end of the vision. And then we will be given another measly little crumb to follow to fulfill a bigger vision, of which we’re only shown bits and pieces of. It’s a never-ending cycle of questioning, doubting, surrendering, trusting, following, appreciating, loving, questioning, doubting, surrendering and on and on.
Creating this website is my first action following a “crumb”. I have no idea where it will lead or where the next crumb is. All I know is that there’s a feeling deep in me, not in my physical body, but deep in my being, that whispers and nudges me to build this online, virtual place of worship where I have promised God that I will honestly express everything I feel about Him, good, bad… and ugly.
I’m sure it won’t be pretty sometimes because God and I have had some brutal knock-down-drag-out fights. I have been so angry with God in the past that I raised my fists in the air and between snot and tears and gasping breaths, cried out that if he had eyes, I’d gouge them out with a knife (this is when I found out my dad had leukemia and was going to die).
My sudden, unexpected and spontaneous outburst of rage terrified me to my bones.
But somehow, these ugly experiences where He drags me, usually kicking and screaming, toward a stronger faith turn out quite beautifully. And it’s not until I’ve been spit out on the other side of my own ego, resistance and stubborn will that I see the beauty, grace and divinity of it all.
My relationship with God is, if nothing else, HONEST. I don’t sugarcoat my feelings for Him. Sometimes I truly hate Him. Like when I watched the sweetest, most gentle and loving person in the world, my vibrant mom, lose her beautiful silky knee-length hair and become a shriveled up, confused chemo-brained shell of a person crawling on her knees to the bathroom to vomit every morning as she struggled to battle breast cancer.
But I have learned that I belong to God and therefore my feelings belong to God too. If God fills me with a feeling, even if it seems inappropriate to the world, like laughing uncontrollably during a church service, I will honor Him enough to accept those feelings.
Whether I’m laughing or crying, in rage or in joy, God loves me no matter what.
This is the kind of church I think He wants me to build.
A church of unconditional acceptance of our pretty parts, our ugly parts, our moments of pure faith and our moments of pure fear.
But before all that….
First, a crumb.