God Loves You Anyway.

God Loves You Anyway.

The wind lashed at my umbrella as I leaned into the force of the gale, determined to complete my morning walk in spite of Mother Nature’s wrath. When I turned the farthermost corner of my journey, I walked past a church. A young choir inside sang, their voices spilling out onto the sidewalk. I stopped and listened, forgetting the weather. Their voices filled my heart with such sweet innocence, that I was transported back in time–before the hurt, before the shame, before my hardened heart.

My heart ached for all the paths I’ve wandered that took me away from God, away from my goodness. I shivered standing there in the rain.

“I have loved you anyway,” God whispered as the tears I was fighting won and chased my regrets down my face.

“What?” I asked, raising my face to the rain.

“I knew you’d break my heart, but I loved you anyway,” God said gently.

“Oh God, how could you?” I could barely get the words out.

“I created you. You’re mine. How can I not love my creation?” He answered.

“I’m so sorry for all of my mistakes. I’m so sorry I lost my way so many years ago.”

“I know you are. I’ve forgotten all about those years. I wish you could forget them too. Tell the others that even though I know they too will break my heart, I love them anyway,” God asked.

“Yes, of course, I will,”  I answered.

Here is that message: God wants you to know that He isn’t a keeper of wrongs. He loves you, even when He knows you’ll break His heart. You are still His precious innocent child. No matter how far down the wrong path you have journeyed, you can always turn around and come home, back to His arms, back to His heart.

I dried my tears and pushed on, each step propelling me towards home. I savored the company that I was now aware was walking with me—had always walked with me. “Thank you, God,” I whispered, full of gratitude for a love I can only appreciate, never fully fathom.

When You Can’t Be A Light, Be A Mirror

When You Can’t Be A Light, Be A Mirror

“God, I’m in a bad mood,” I said as I washed the morning dishes. “I’ve tried prayer, meditation, singing, even a hot shower, and nothing helped. I may not be able to be a light in the world today.” A finch landed on the feeder just outside the window. Then another. And another. I watched as they happily filled their little bellies with sunflower seeds.
“It’s okay if you can’t be a light,” God said gently. “You can be a mirror, instead.” He said.
“A mirror?”
“Yes. You can reflect my light,” He explained.
“How do I do that?” I asked.
“Don’t complain or in any other way spread negative energy. Be humble and grateful and my light will reflect off of you, even if you are in a bad mood,” He explained.
“Okay, got it. I’ll not complain, and I’ll do my best to be humble and grateful. I’ll do my best to be a mirror today,” I said.
“Thank you,” God said gently.
“You’re thanking me? Are you kidding? It’s me that needs to be thanking you. You created me!”
“I did indeed create you, but I thank you for being a reflection of my light and love. You could choose not to be, but you’re choosing to serve me.” He explained.
“Yes, I want to serve you, God. Even on the days when I feel too out of sorts to generate light. But now I know you are happy even if I simply reflect your light.”
The little birds at the feeder suddenly flew away to do their morning duties. I knew that they were busy being mirrors for God, reflecting His light to me so brightly that it was almost blinding. I smiled. My bad mood was disappearing in that glorious light.

 

 

God Gave You Your Dreams

God Gave You Your Dreams

“The way to get started Is to stop talking and begin doing.”
~Walk Disney

The spray of the shower hit my back like a July rain, soothing and stinging at the same time. I felt an old familiar tugging at my heart as I reached for the shampoo bottle. “God?”
“I want to talk with you for a moment,” He said.
“I’m in the shower,” I said.
“I know.”
“Ummn, it’s a bit awkward. I’m, you know, naked.”
“Yes, I know. What, you think I don’t know what you look like? I knew you before you started wearing flesh and bones,” God answered. “Look, I want you to do something that will benefit you and others, Will you do it?”
“Of course,” I answered. “What do you want me to do?”
“Follow your dreams.”
“You don’t want me to go on a mission? Feed the homeless? Help orphans?” I asked.
“Those are other people’s dreams. I want you to follow your dreams. I gave you talents and desires. Use them.”
“But it’s scary to follow my dreams,” I said. “What if I fail? What if other people don’t understand? What if they make fun of me?”
“Don’t worry what other people think of you. Think only about what I think of you,” God said.
“What do I do first?” I asked.
“Finish your shower and then get started. Do the next right thing that moves you closer to your dreams.”
“What if I don’t know what that is?”
“You do. It may be buried deep inside of you, but it’s there. Listen for it.”
“You make it sound so simple, I said as I turned off the water and reached for my towel.
“It is simple, Dear Child, God said. “Take a step. Then take another. And then another. When you follow your dreams you shine my light for all of the world to see. You bloom fully.”
I looked in the mirror, my green eyes gazing back at me, yearning to do what God asked me to do. I smiled. “I’ll get right on it, God,” I said.
“Good,” said God. “You do that. I’ll open the doors for you as you go. It’s what I do for everyone who uses the talents and desires I gave them.” I got dressed and sat down at my desk and started writing these words here, for you, inching my way into my dreams.

 

 

There’s Something To Be Said For Sobriety

There’s Something To Be Said For Sobriety

“Strength of mind rests in sobriety.”
~Pythagoras

Years ago, I sat on a metal folding chair in a room full of strangers and confessed that I was an alcoholic.  I wasn’t a fall-down drunk. I wasn’t an angry or obnoxious drunk. In fact, not many people knew I had a drinking problem. They weren’t aware that I had very few skills to cope with the slings and arrows of life except to pour myself a glass of red wine and numb my feelings. I don’t know if my drinking was from emotional immaturity, childhood trauma, or just a genetic fluke that made me crave booze. But whatever the drivers of my drinking, I didn’t know how to stop until I found the peace and understanding of God.

In the first year of my sobriety, I wondered how I’d ever get through life without drinking. Now, I can’t fathom how I would ever manage my life without my sobriety. How would I wind through my days without a clear mind and faith in something greater than myself? And that’s the heart of sobriety; replacing fear with faith. And in that faith dwells love.

Healing ourselves requires that we put away the things that we use to run away from our thoughts and feelings. Healing requires that we live boldly, turning towards the things that frighten us, reaching out for God’s hand, for it is only then that we can be truly happy, joyous, and free!

 

Creating The Future.

Creating The Future.

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
~Erich Fromm

Picasso said that the act of creation is first an act of destruction. Its been that way since the very beginning. God called forth the universe and the darkness, the void, was destroyed, forever changed. In its place sprang the heavenly bodies and the myriad forms of life. It is the same with us. When we create something new in life, a new job, relationship, a move, a new way of thinking, new beliefs, etc., we’re destroying the status quo to one degree or another. And that’s the part of creating the future that scares us the most. We have a hard time letting go of our current state of affairs and moving forward. We may fear not knowing exactly what’s ahead.

But move forward we must if we want to live fully. Deeply. It is with faith in God as we understand God, that we navigate the path of the new, for He is the ultimate creator. We go forth with an open mind and an open heart, childlike in our curiosity. We let go of certainties and we allow the future to unfold, much like a flower opens up her beauty to the world, one petal at a time.

Our lives are the ultimate expression of our creativity. We can create amazing journies out of our time here on the planet if we understand and allow the destruction that comes with creation, and the faith to move forward, holding God’s good hand.

 

 

 

Expanding My Focus

I snapped on Shakespeare’s leash and took him for his last walk of the evening. It was delightfully cold; a winter’s night that made me want to hold someone’s hand. Instead, I held a big flashlight, shining a light for us to walk safely in the dark. I watched the little orb of light bob to and fro just ahead of our steps. Shakespeare busied himself with sniffing every vertical surface he passed. We were almost home when something nudged me to take my eyes off the ground and to look up. The dark sky was dotted with blinking stars.

I stopped and stood for a few moments and stared at the heavens. I thought how often I go through life focused on what’s in front of me, unaware of anything else. Had I not stopped and looked up, I would have missed the beauty of the night sky. What else might I be missing by focusing only on my next few steps? There is a bigger picture to my life that I will miss if I don’t expand my focus. Oftentimes, all I need to do is to pause and to look upwards; pause and look to God!