Living Life Everyday with God
Ever since I can remember, I knew I was a child of God. I was born into a chaotic environment and from a young age, understood that there had to be a reason, a purpose for my path. My relationship with God was fed by my maternal grandmother. At home, there was more religious discourse than solidarity because my parents focused on the legalism behind their religions rather than letting God be a priority. Through my conversations with my Gram, my scripture readings with her and sermons we would listen to on the radio, I felt peace, belonging and purpose. Sort of a way to make sense of all the chaos.
Growing up I was jealous of my friends who got to go to CCD. Even though they felt dragged to Sunday service, I longed for a greater relationship with the church. I don’t know, maybe because I didn’t have it and we sometimes are guided by what we don’t have, right? I can still remember just wanting to have more knowledge about God, more conversations about God and more exposure to the community of God.
Fast forward to my 20’s and my grandmother’s passing, I let life get in the way of my spiritual teachings. I was more interested in advancing my career; money; partying; my beach house; my fancy car and making bad decisions. Let’s be clear here. I loved moving up the corporate ladder, the parties that came with it and the money. I believe vacation homes are important and any time I can drive in a fast car…I’m in! My problem was that I looked to these “things” to make me happy. I looked to these “things” for meaning. For purpose and validation.
When I reached my thirties and became a parent, the idea of God became important again. I thought about God as a priority. And, once again, the idea of living a deeper purpose and meaning was gnawing at me. I started reading scripture daily and including it more into my life. Including it into my daily living. We attended church, became part of a church community, talked to the boys about God and made God more apparent in our lives. Sounds all good. However, the truth of the matter is that I included God in my daily living more when it was a convenience and a benefit for me. I wouldn’t call it a true relationship. God, please let it be sunny today for the big party. God, please, I pray my son’s team wins. Please get us that promotion. If I could insert an eye roll here, I would! It was so surface. I would say out loud that God was a priority, God really wasn’t a priority. I wasn’t asking God to guide my days; guide my marriage; guide my life or my parenting. It was a weekly church session and some scripture readings and a prayer for something that I wanted here and there.
Fast forward through a divorce and a re-creation of myself and I realized that I was suffering from what I like to call spiritual anorexia. I felt numb, void and lost. It was December 2015 and I needed God. I really needed God. I was at my lowest spiritually; mentally and physically. I remember hearing someone say, “how you leave this year is how you will enter next year” and I thought….no way. I couldn’t continue feeling this empty. There had to be more to life. It wasn’t about things anymore, it was about feeling. Feeling alive, feeling joyful, feeling love so deep that you felt filled up. It was a Saturday in December of 2015 and I fell to my knees and asked God to help me.
I’ve been coaching now for many years and there’s a common theme I experience. It’s what happened to me. Spiritual Anorexia. I see it in others because I know what it looks like, I know what it feels like, I can even describe it to you in color…. oh wait…. there is no color. It’s void of color. See, purpose for our lives has been programmed into our souls. It’s there, we just tend not to listen. I turned it into searching for meaning through fitting in; looking like others; having what others did; the demands of life; having everyone over scheduled; homes and various vacations. Again, as I said up above, stuff is ok. It’s how we view the stuff! I often ask myself, are we slowly spiritually dying because we are too busy cramming someone else’s idea of life into our heart? Into our life? Excessive eating, excessive drinking and excessive debt. Stress, overworked and exhausted. And very little communication, exposure and adherence to God.
When I fell to my knees and really begged for help. I was lost, said, tired and didn’t know how to make it better. I immediately picked up the Bible that had been sitting on my nightstand untouched for years. The same one my Gram and I would read from together. Immediately I began to rediscover God. To live everyday including God in my thoughts, my words, my decisions and my family. I call it Living Everyday with God. What I love so much about my new journey since December 2015 is that I for sure am not a perfect person! And that’s what’s so wonderful about the love and guidance I receive from God in my life. God has changed my thoughts, my actions, my heart……everything about me. And I’m still learning to be a better version of myself. I can still turn to him even though I swear sometimes, have a tattoo, lose my patience or say mean things to those I love. Everyday living with God is helping me serve, have meaning, purpose and live a life way kinder and gentler than I ever could.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! Lots of love, Jen