A Life Designed for Faith
Fear can be a blessing. It can drive us harder and faster toward the light, more so than complacency. Standing in a place of peace can appear like complacency sometimes. It’s hard to balance doing and not doing. I’ve been guided to spend more time in the quiet, so I thought writing might be distracting, but it almost seems like it enhances the soft voice within. This is the quiet. I am in a place with absolutely no distractions and no interruptions. I am here, with my thoughts and fears, knowing I’m spending time with you, and my best friends who are unseen, who Guide me with Grace. Yes, I believe in angels. I believe in Jesus. I believe in Meher Baba and all those who came to incarnate as God as man. I believe in Perfect Masters and Spiritually Enlightened Beings. I think Mother Mary is a superhero, and I just began learning about her in the last few years. I grew up Lutheran, where God, Jesus, and the apostles seem to be the stars. There’s not much mention of Mary except around Christmas time. So I’ve been enjoying getting to know her more lately.
As a child I willingly went to church because I loved feeling the Presence of God. I also liked the music. And when I was 9 years old, there was a short period of time when I could go to the church services instead of Sunday school, and lay my head in my mom’s lap, while she stroked my hair. I soaked up that attention, only then realizing how much I needed it, hoping it would never end. I think sometimes I’d go to church, hoping to get that feeling of attention and nourishment back again. But I never did. However, long before the age of 9, I knew the church wasn’t where I found my best time with God.
I always felt God’s Presence. I don’t remember a moment when I didn’t know God. I thought of Him as my best friend. And yes, I say Him, because that was what I grew up with. It helps me to have a way to manage the idea of God in my mind. Otherwise it’s just a free-floating energy out there in the Universe that I can’t begin to grasp with my intellect. So God, in the image of a man, helps me to have a relative point. It makes it more of a personal relationship.
When I was little, my mom prayed with me each night simple words from her heart thanking God and then asking God to help those in our lives. Ever since I could remember, I prayed to God. But I didn’t just pray, I talked to Him. I felt that He was a friend and always listened to me. I would also ask God for help in desperate situations. I knew that He would always be there for me.
For instance, when I was 3 years old, we had an above ground swimming pool in our backyard. It was portable, but a decent size for four kids and a parent to swim around in with a little edge to sit on and a soft lining inside. My dad was in the water with us – which wasn’t a common occurrence, which makes the memory even more vivid. I was sitting on the edge of the pool, taking a break, dealing with a little cough that had been nagging me for a couple of days. It was a little tickle in my throat that persisted. My older brother, who was almost 10 at the time, had grown tired of it. Finally, out of exasperation, he said, “Stop coughing! It’s just a fake little cough. Dad, make her stop! She’s driving me crazy!”
My reaction was one of joy. Finally I’m going to get help! Yes! Dad can help me. He’s a doctor. He helps sick people all the time. He didn’t notice me, he didn’t know that I needed the help, and I learned not to go to him for anything. But he loved my older brother, and even though he was angry about it, the fact that he asked my Dad was the perfect solution. Finally, I was going to get the help I needed.
I was completely unprepared for what came next. He stopped for a moment to listen to the cough coming out of my tiny 3 year old body, and said with definitive intention, “Stop coughing. If you cough again, I’m going to get the paddle.”
I went from relieving joy, to shock to great fear in a matter of seconds. He was going to beat me with the paddle if I coughed again. I was coughing for days! How was I going to stop coughing? My only hope was God. My best friend. My superhero. I put my hands together in prayer, looked up and closed my eyes. Quietly under my breath, I begged for help. “Please God, please help me. Please God, don’t let me cough. Please help me to stop coughing. Please God, please. I’m in trouble. He’s going to beat me if I cough again. Please God.” As I prayed, I monitored the cough. One little cough slipped out under my breath, but I contained it the best I could and kept praying. I prayed until I knew it was a done deal. No more coughing. God had helped me. I knew He would. I was saved from a beating from my dad who was a professional general family practitioner. I was 3 years old, who was fully present in the now. A 3 year old, who most people think don’t even know what’s going on. My sister even commented when we were adults how funny that moment was, and how they all laughed at me, but I probably don’t even remember it. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I don’t remember them laughing at me, because I was in a deep place of communication with God, the only one who was going to be able to help me. And He did. It was always like that with Him. He never failed me.
There are many instances of praying to God and being heard like that. This life I’ve been living has been designed to be a life of faith. A life of focus on the One that knows all, that Loves beyond measure, that comes to the rescue, that is there for a conversation and will listen to anything that is on my heart. This Beingness created beautiful flowers, the stars, the earth. He’s the One who gives life, who teaches us how to Love. Life is filled with contrast, the world of opposites presents good and bad day in and day out. My relationship with God provides me with a larger, more stable view. It’s grounding and full of hope, love, faith and filled with potential for growth, strength, and joy. There’s so much that I don’t know which can give into fear of the unknown. But having Him as my focus, I know I can rely on an outcome that will always take me to a better place – a place of clarity, understanding, and wisdom. And an undeniable knowing that I am seen, heard, and above all, unconditionally loved.