Going to finish up what has become an accidental series on my spiritual journey.
I was reminded today by something I read on Deena’s blog, Shoes to Shiraz, that life isn’t static, our time on Earth is a process, an evolution.
And so is, I have come to realize, my spiritual journey.
For me to think I can tie this up with a little tape, a pretty bow and consider it all wrapped up (over three blog posts) forever is naive.
But this will be the end of the beginning.
How about that?
The end of my posting about my slight spiritual beginnings.
Once I began feeling God’s presence in my life, I began to notice that He was everywhere I looked. I just needed to take a moment to see Him.
In the fall of 2002, my oldest daughter, Brennyn, had to have an almost surprise surgery. She found a mass in her breast that was growing very rapidly. The doctor said it had to be removed immediately and biopsied. Brennyn had just turned 18 and was two months into her freshman year of college. We couldn’t believe that a teenager might possibly have a malignant tumor but who would have thought an 18 year old would have a breast tumor at all?
Thankfully, we only had a few days from the first doctor appointment to the day of surgery. One of my friends gave me a resin cross with the Lord’s Prayer inscribed on it and decorated with pink flowers. It seemed so ironic that we were facing this tribulation in October, breast cancer awareness month. The cross was the perfect gift to help us through this struggle.
I hung it on my bedroom wall and began starting each day with prayers while touching that cross.
Thank God, Brennyn’s mass was an fibroadenoma and not a tumor. The Mayo Clinic describes fibroadenomas as “solid, noncancerous breast tumors that occur most often in adolescent girls and women under the age of 30.” [source] By the time it was removed, Brennyn’s adenoma was over 5 centimeters long.
I can’t say that I was cool, calm and collected throughout this ordeal but I am certain that I was calmer, cooler and more collected than I would have been without faith in God. Without Him in our corner.
From that time on, I began looking for special crosses to hang on my bedroom wall.
I wanted to have a cross for each of the different people in my life to help me to remember to pray for them. In the house I now share with PC, my prayer wall is in my loft.
And that next birthday in April, I asked my daughters for a cross necklace. Both of the girls bought me a cross! If you know my daughters, you can probably guess which daughter gave me which cross.
If you don’t know my daughters, let me give you a little hint…Brennyn has a big personality and is funny and sarcastic and witty. Lauren is funny, too, but in a quieter way. Both of them are home bodies and kinda shy like their mom but Brennyn is less so.
You guessed right if you said that Brennyn gave me the larger, sparklier cross. And Lauren gave me the smaller, more delicate cross. I love them both as I love my daughters dearly.
At this point, I began doing daily devotionals at my prayer wall. I would pray in the car on my way to and from work, when I would see an ambulance or a fire truck, every time I would look at our beautiful mountains. I started writing my “gratefuls” in my journal and going to a nondenominational church that was recommended by one of my teacher friends, Susan, who has one of the most loving families I know.
When I met PC, we started going to church together and then added Sunday School to our weekend activities. For a time, I even joined a Monday evening women’s Bible study. When we decided to get married, I was disappointed that we would not be allowed to marry in our church because we had both been married before. In fact, our Sunday School teacher said he wouldn’t even perform the ceremony elsewhere. All of that didn’t sit well with me. I felt judged and practically criminalized by the church people who preached ‘love one another”. We were married by the Justice of the Peace at the court house. A few months later we had our home, family and marriage blessed by our Sunday School teacher.
Then our church suffered a tremendous blow. I won’t go into details but the events that transpired over about eighteen months practically tore the church apart. It was difficult for us to continue going to a church that was so tumultuous and strife-ridden.
About this same time, my BFF Sharon sent me a copy of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. As I read this book in the mornings, I could not believe how each page spoke to me. I would follow up my reading by looking up the passages of Scripture suggested for each day.
If you are just starting to set aside devotional time, I highly recommend that you incorporate Jesus Calling into your morning. I think you will find, as I do, that your day will go more smoothly and you will be able to handle the bumps along the way with more serenity and peace of mind. Order your copy here.
We have since found a new church that we both like and are trying to get back into the routine of going every week. They offer a Saturday evening service along in addition to three on Sunday mornings. I love to go Saturday evening because we make a whole date night of it.
My life certainly isn’t stress-free or the proverbial ‘cake-walk’ but I seem better equipped now to handle difficulties and weather the storms of life. I like that Deena reminded her readers of the expression “This too shall pass.” It always does.
Praying that you are developing a relationship with God so that He can help you through this life and lead you to eternity.
Hugs and kisses,