I am on a spirit journey. I am headed toward living in the Light of God’s presence. I am not where I was when I started this journey but I am not where I want to be either. I have started this blog to help me on my journey and to share my lessons and insights with others. We can always learn something from one another if we are willing to do so. I have kept a journal since I was in middle school. Writing out my feelings and what I am learning has always helped me heal and grow. For these first few posts I wanted to take a look back at where I have been in the past to help me understand where my feelings, thoughts, and beliefs came from and to help me move forward more freely. I think this might also help me identify and heal any past pain that may be hindering my growth. Why did I believe those things that I did when I was younger? Where did they come from? What do I believe now? Where would I like to be spiritually in the future? To answer those questions for myself I need to go back to where it all began for me.
I grew up in a small rural community during the 70’s and 80’s in the buckle of the “Bible Belt”. I grew up believing that love was earned and that there was a limited supply of it. I believed that in order for me to be accepted and loved I had to be perfect. If I messed up there was something wrong with me and I would not be acceptable, not lovable. I was so afraid of being rejected and abandoned. I was a very quiet, polite, shy little girl in public. I was very sweet and kind. At home or by myself I was lively and energetic, always singing, dancing, and being silly. I loved unicorns, fairies, mermaids, rainbows, butterflies and anything that sparkled or was magical. I loved to draw, color, and paint. I was a very creative child. I was closer to Spirit then and gravitated toward the mystical. And I talked to God a lot. In the beginning I did live in the light.
When I was a child I attended two different churches. My parents took me to the small Disciples of Christ Christian church in my home town. There I was taught that God loved me. Period. It was a loving, kind community of people that loved God and each other. I enjoyed going to that church. I have a lot of good memories there of participating in Christmas pageants, Sunday school class, being baptized, and singing praises to God. I felt loved and accepted there.
I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandmother when I was growing up. My parents divorced when I was 8-years-old. Sometimes my mom had to work on the weekends so we would go to church with my grandparents. They attended a very small baptist church literally out in the middle of nowhere. The people were friendly and kind to me but they were strangers. There would always come a point in every service I attended when they would give us an opportunity to come to the front of the church and confess our sins and accept Jesus as our “Lord and Savior.” I was 9-years-old on the morning I went up to the front. I was crying my little eyes out as I walked down the aisle. I was carrying a lot of pain from my parents’ divorce. At this church I learned I was a sinner and unacceptable to God as I was. There was apparently something so terribly wrong with me that God could not love me because I was so sinful. He had to send His sinless son here to earth and have him executed to cover my sin and make me acceptable to Him. I didn’t like going to that church. I didn’t like how it made me feel, like there was something wrong with me. Not my behavior – me. It made me question everything I knew organically in my spirit about God and who He was. It made me question everything I knew about myself and about love.
This was a very confusing time for me and I didn’t know what I should believe. I was being taught that God is Love and that He loves me unconditionally at one church and that I am a sinner in need of a savior to be acceptable in the eyes of God at the other. I was very confused. I began to let go of Truth and became imprisoned with fear and shame. I was afraid of making a mistake and being unacceptable and unlovable. I was afraid of being abandoned and rejected. I was afraid I would die and go to hell and be separated from God for eternity. I was so ashamed and afraid. I was taking steps into the darkness.
Spiritually I was fragmented as a child. I wanted to be that singing, dancing care-free spirit that I was born to be. The one that loved God and knew He loved me. I wanted to be that girl that listened to the spirit of Truth and brought joy and beauty everywhere she went. I was being taught that I was sinful and should be ashamed. I was being taught that I should be small, disconnected, and afraid. I was being taught that my worth was dependent upon my behavior and achievements. I was being taught that if I wanted to be loved and accepted I had to earn it. I listened and believed. My journey was just beginning.