A Space to Meet God

 

Do you ever feel like

you are the last to know?

That’s how I feel today.  If you’ve read the “About Me” section of this website, you know a little bit about my story, and anyone who has read anything that I’ve written could probably easily tell that my writing is usually from a place of heart ache, searching, confusion, or any other “out of order place”, but the desire has always been to write from a place of peace. 

With this desire, came shame because I knew I wasn’t totally there.  There were the spots inside that I could feel that weren't quite tended to, weren’t quite released, weren’t quite resolved.  Today isn’t different in that regard.  I know there are knots in my throat that need to be cried through and released.  There is a seemingly never-ending physical pain in my heart. It’s a poignant flow of spiritual pain that manifests itself in my physical body, and I’ve stopped at nothing to try to shore up that spilling liquid.  

Therapists, gurus, music, poetry, writing, healing stones, healing baths, massage therapy, sharing with friends, church, prayer, sex, relationships, friendships, meditation, and whatever else that I’m not thinking of at the moment.  All of these things have in some way moved me in directions, taught me something, showed me something, given me something to bounce myself off of and see what’s there. Many of these things have indeed helped me heal in many ways.  Still, there are sometimes hours of tears, and I always think that, maybe this time, that pain in my heart will go away if I honor the tears and the message in them. 

Something happened a few days ago...

It was the anniversary of when I mis-carried, but more importantly, the anniversary of a greater spiritual awakening.  And if you’ve followed my journey at all, the pull toward that awakening began when my first child was born.  Along the way, there have been certain marked moments of awakening.  A while back, they used to call them “Aha” moments.  Whenever these moments happen in my life, I feel like that moment when Helen Keller finally understands what her teacher has been teaching her.  Like I’m blind, deaf and mute, and suddenly, something clicks, and I’m able to communicate and understand so much more. 

Then, there is this idea that I can relax.  I talk beautifully about the light and the dark, and about energies and dimensions and angels and God.  It’s pretty great when you are even 2 steps cleared from the heavy darkness that you lived in for years.  And when you get 2 steps from it, you want to be even farther from it.  Towards the light, I would say. 

Go towards the light, everyone says.

Go towards the light, everyone says.  Somehow, we talk as though it’s all figured out.  It’s not.  At least for me, it hasn’t been all figured out.  If it were, there wouldn’t still be this place in my mind that doesn’t make sense, or the tension in my voice that is telling me something, or a pain in my back that isn’t that bad, but it’s still there.  Or that thing in my heart.  What is that?  

People have told me that we can’t ever know everything.  Speaking in the spiritual sense.  They watch me immerse myself in books about how the angels work and listen to me endlessly talk about signs and numbers and how to know if it’s really God talking to us or if it’s lies or what is really happening in the 5th dimension, if anything.  I have to understand the universe and how that sits in space in relation to God, and if heaven is in one of 10ish dimensions that we know about or somewhere else or on earth or within us.  I talk about the universe and the multi-verse and spiritual warfare and those fucking demons that have waged war on my soul.  I talk about unconditional love. People hear me talk about different spirits and the Holy Spirit.  About prayer and meditation.  About mysteries and miracles, and signs and numbers and plant and animal medicine. 

I pursue and read and study until I have another “aha” moment.  Why?  I don’t have a choice.  Some people have to run.  Some people have to cook, some people have to travel, some people have to make music.  Some people have to dance. I have to do a lot of those things also, but I really have to seek.  It started when I was 3 years old.  It’s who I am.  

A few days ago, again, I realized that there is more healing to do.  Sometimes I get really sick of it.  Like, there will be a couple of amazing weeks of being productive and doing what I want to do, but then, something comes up, and I have to respect it.  A night full of tears come.  Messages come, and ancient heartache is released.  This time, it had to with this idea that God is a father to us.  That’s never made sense to me, but I’ve been taught that my whole life. To sum up the scene the other night, there was a lot of crying nonsense, until I understood one reason why I've never understood God as my father concept. It has to do with heartache about my relationship with my dad.

This is nothing new.  I’ve known about that brokenness for years, and although my dad is a wonderful person, and I know he loves me, when I was growing up, he scared me, and in many ways, he missed the mark with me.  I’ve known this for years, but there was something different this time.  So, I told God all about that because for me, prayer is a relief, and I think the final portion of that heartache has been released.  

The next morning, for some reason, I got this idea to start a Jesus Journal #2.  The first Jesus Journal was a special journal that I bought about 8 years ago, to express myself in and give God one last chance to tell me if IT exists and if IT cares about my needs AT ALL!  It was a sarcastic spit in God’s face journal, and on the first day that I wrote in the journal, God showed me through a nice couch at a dumpster that indeed, God exists.  This couch became my bed when I had no bed. 

At certain points in our lives, it’s time for our faith to deepen.

I do function from the promise that if we seek, we will find.  Since that first Jesus Journal entry, and the couch showing up, I’ve had a faith in God, that has since been impossible to let go of. Since then, I’ve been eyes wide open solidifying my own personal journey with God.  Seeking.  Hoping to really find...more.

And here we are, Day 3 of the 2nd Jesus Journal, 8ish years later.  This one is different.  This time, I’m not as fired up as I was when I started the first one all those years ago. Many of my needs have been met, many of my wounds have been healed.  I think most of the demons are gone.  I know about intercessory prayer and have experienced beautiful friends who have loved me well. 

The purpose of this 2nd Jesus Journal  was in recognition that I’m ready for the next level of faith, to learn more, and to of course, again, express my needs to God.   

My first entry?  A lot about how after all of the effort that I’ve put in my life over the last many years, after all of the seeking...I feel like maybe I was wrong on everything, and this isn't where I thought I would be by now.  I told God that I need a new batch of faith stories.  Thoughts about my real estate career.  Needs there.  Thoughts about the last couple years since the mis-carriage. Thoughts about love.  Asking the question again about whether Twin Flames are real, and if they are, why? If they are, show me more, and if they aren't, take the heartache and the belief away. Many stream of consciousness thoughts in my second Jesus Journal.  

And then...

“God, just be with me tonight.  Make me aware of your presence.  Not the angels.  Just you.”

And then...  

I opened my Bible to read Isaiah 6:1...”I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him stood the seraphim.  Each had six wings:  with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.”

 

And then...

 

Isaiah 7:9:  “If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.”

 

 

And then...

 

I realized that God is a real being, not just energy, not just light.  Not just something that people talk about. And then, I looked up every part of the Bible that talks about when God showed humans a glimpse of who he is, or when God visited the earth.  God is a real thing, and until now, I've not personally met God.  I thought I had, but I hadn't. 

This wasn’t an aha moment.  This was a “Holy Shit!” moment.

All of those years that I didn’t believe in God or tried to see if God exists, or pursued knowledge of the universe and to spiral up and heal and cleanse, and even my pursuit of learning about Jesus, seems like they were leading to this moment.  Instead of being angry at God for all of the heartache and all that I’ve ever complained about... instead of going into conversation about anything, I felt fear.  

There is no way for me to explain this fear.  I’m not that good of a writer.  In some way, it’s associated with a sound in my body, or maybe it’s a sound in my soul,  and it’s similar to what it feels like when you meet someone for the first time.  You've seen glimpses of that person around.  People have talked about that person, you've heard things.  You look at pictures that people have taken of them.  You feel them everywhere. And then you meet. 

Mysterious and only showing you a moment of themselves, but they are there, and you are compelled.  Simultaneously you are excited and nervous, and you want to tell people that you’ve met someone, and you immediately recognize that this is an incredibly important meeting.  It's going to take time to know more.  It'll probably re-arrange your whole life, but you aren't sure how yet.  It's really frightening because there is so much that is unknown. There's also anticipation and a little grin on your face. You wonder when you'll meet again. You hope it's soon.  Really, you don't ever want to leave. 

Then...

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge."  Wow.  There it is. One of the great mysteries.  

Am I the last to know?  I hope not.  I would feel really dumb.  Instead, however, it's settled in more... my Helen Keller moment here is that there is definitely more clarity on the value of keeping a journal and what I do here.  I can look back on everything in my life to see that this is definitely a portion of my purpose on this earth. I don’t care who you are, or what you believe about anything.   I care precisely about creating space for people and providing a tool for people that assists them in clearing their internal space, their soul, so that they can meet God.

Amen.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 4.13.36 PM.png

#MeToo

I'm late to the "MeToo" confessions because I believe that the moments in my life, where abuse took place, have been healed.  It's no longer my identity.

But, it's amazing, isn't it, how 30 minutes in a dark room with someone you've known and trusted since you were a young girl brings you to the final nail in the coffin of belief that you truly are just that, a hole in the wall.  Nothing more.  

Amazing, isn't it, how that moment leads you to do things with other men that you would never have done before, because it doesn't matter anyway.  All you are is a hole in the wall.

Amazing, isn't it, how your therapist had to be the one to help you understand and recognize that yes, it was rape because you told him, "No."  Twice. And when he didn't listen and stop, you just gave up. 

And you reach out to people who were supposed to help you because they told you they loved you, and as a young woman, you think things like, "If they love me, then wouldn't they want to know that this happened and want to help me?"

And it's heartbreaking when you reach out, and the response isn't, "Come home, let's help you heal, let's help you navigate this." Rather, it's a bland, "Sorry that happened."  While they finish up their Subway sandwich.  

Then one day, you find yourself making other decisions with your life than you would have if you didn't believe that you were just a hole in the wall, not worthy to be known otherwise.  You want to make those decisions valid because deep down, you care a lot.  You care a lot about life and about others.  You care about others quite possibly more than you care about yourself.  Yes, you care about others far more than you care about yourself.

So, you start to dig deeper, and you go back to childhood.  That's what the therapists tell you to do.  Go back to when the shifts happened.  Before the 30 minutes in the dark.  Go farther back.  Who were you then?  Let's find that girl.  Let's find the girl before now, and before then.  

What did she love?  What were her hopes?  What made her light up? 

You feel something move inside your heart.  You aren't sure what to do with that.

Session's up.  See you in two weeks if you can afford the session.  How can you not afford the session?  You need the session. You check your bank account, and indeed, you cannot afford the $180 therapy session.

You read books and listen to self-help radio for more information because you want to breathe again because you have no guidance and no tools to get yourself out of this hole.  

And there's more. More about hiding in the far corner of a freezing garage in the middle of the mid-west winter, to have phone therapy with someone across the country who cared enough about you to give you her services for free.  You hide in the corner of your garage because your husband doesn't want to know this side of you.  He'd rather you continue to fit his need for you to be a perfect version of whatever you were in his head all along.  

And years pass.

By now, you know the meaning of the word guilt and shame, and you've studied all of the books, and you've healed yourself the best you can, but still it seems that nothing has gotten better.

By now, you've finally heard about this word called, "Grace."  Grace makes you weep so hard on a Sunday morning that you go home and have to sleep all day.  Grace that gives you permission to no longer get up and go to church on Sunday morning because you're required to even if you don't know why you are going in the first place.  Wait.  You know why. Because you grew up going to church and that's just what you do even if the people in the church caused you significant spiritual damage.   When you reached out to them, broken, they didn't know what to do with you and told you to read some verses to make it all better, or if they didn't do that, maybe they would have just labeled you with a scarlet letter "A." 

People who didn't really care to know you or accept you in your current brokenness or help you understand why you behave certain ways now.  Like, why, when you and your friends are hanging out, do you inevitably find yourself in the corner chair, shaking and rocking back and forth in a constant state of trauma?  Why are you afraid of and mis-trust everyone when you are 23 and beautiful and smart and have everything going for you? Why can't you just find happiness or joy in anything.  You are trying so hard to just feel good.

"What's wrong with her?"  I would hear.  I heard so many things that eventually, I knew I was going crazy and knew that I needed to check into a hospital.  But let's go all the way back.  Back to when I used to be such a people pleaser that I worried about how it would make other people in my life feel if I actually tried to get well emotionally and spiritually and check into a hospital.  Everyone knows what to do when someone has cancer, but no one knows what to do with emotional and spiritual illness.  

#MeToo.  

Why now?  Why join the confessional when I truly have been healed from that trauma.  My sexuality is healed.  My spirituality is healed.  Most of my relationships are healed or at least at an understanding or a place of forgiveness. 

Why throw my voice in when I don't have any need to tell that story any more?  

Why?  

Because I was talking with someone close to me the other day.  We were discussing the #MeToo movement and if we thought that it's effective.

My conclusion is that I think it is, but hashtag-ing can't be the only thing we do to bring about change.  

It was in the middle of this conversation that I realized that I didn't need to join the #MeToo confessional for myself.  I need to join because I know of people who are still hiding in shame.  People who were raped who aren't in an environment where they can get the proper help they need.  So they die inside and shift into disfunction in ways that they aren't able to recognize and heal from because they aren't able to talk about it. They change their voice.  They fake their smiles.  They justify behaviors that harm people closest to them.  They are confused. 

The #MeToo conversation finally compels me because I know people who were sexually abused as a child and no one stood up for them or defended them or helped them heal, and it effects the way they function in adult intimate relationships. And maybe they only are beginning to understand that. 

The #MeToo movement compels me because even after I've told this part of my story to people over the years and clearly see how it ruined me in many ways, even after all this time of healing, I still have moments where I minimize and think, "Ah.  People have suffered worse. Who cares. It's not a big deal." 

It is a big deal.  It's such a big deal that this event along with many others at a very acute moment in my life, in my early 20's,  led me to a daily struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide.  

This blog is a love letter to those of you who are still hiding in your shame and guilt and who don't truly understand and have not healed from the abuse that you have suffered.  

This is a telling of my story so that when the time is right, you may be able to tell your story.  I want to give you hope out of that darkness (that you might not even be aware that you are in) so that you can understand more about why you behave certain ways. 

God has truly healed me from so much of that darkness, a darkness that wasn't mine to hide under in the first place.  

I write my #MeToo story because maybe there is still more healing for me to do, and by writing it out loud, I'll come to some new level of awareness than I had before.  

Healing is available for you.  For me. Find it.  Hide in the corner of your garage on a below-freezing winter day if you have to.  But heal.  For your sake. For the sake of those who truly love you.  And because God loves you enough to heal you. 

 

Love,  

ErinSignature_BrownGraySmall copy.png

 

 

 

      LOVE'S ENERGY      
   
     “ And a hundred messages about inner strength, triumph, leadership, boundaries, ownership...revealed themselves to me in that moment... ” 
   
  
      Putting Winslow in daycare has felt more emotionally painful than the physical pains of giving birth to him.  We spent last fall riding bikes, sitting by the river and having adventures in the forest together.  Bumming around all day with this kid tops my list of favorite things to do, partly because he’s so enchanting, and partly because I’ve learned so many things about life through getting to be with his wise, old, owl soul.  Like the one time we went to the indoor play yard.  He built a whole mountain 3 times his size, by himself, out of foamy blocks and triangles.  He proudly stood on that mountain feeling vigorous, admiring his work, happy with his creation.  I, the observer, witnessed an inner pride settling in his being, a glow overcoming his face just as two older boys noticed his mountain.  I suppose they thought it would be fun to play on it, or tear it down, but Winslow had other plans.  Just as they reached the base of the mountain, Winslow, stone-faced, centered, not budging from his super-hero stance and lifting only his finger in an Obi-Wan wave, firmly stated, “Get off my mountain.”  Stopped dead in their tracks, a bit stunned, and stutter-faced, the forward moving energy that had propelled them toward the mountain, dissipated.   Sheepishly glancing at each other, saying nothing, the boys didn’t even count their losses and found something else to do – 180 degrees the other direction.  …And a hundred messages about inner strength, triumph, leadership, boundaries, ownership, and peacefully getting rid of people who threaten to destroy the beautiful mountains we’ve worked so diligently to build revealed themselves to me in that moment.  He constantly affirms his love for me by telling me over and over and over, “Mommy.  I love you.  I love to be together.”      
   
     “ I live for this bliss ” 
   
  
      I live for this bliss.  But, all too soon, it came time for me to go to work.  As much as I didn’t want this day to come, at least he gets to go to a school with teachers that view him as I do – A human being, only little.  The morning routine hasn’t changed since he started school.  Basically, every day, he tells me he doesn’t want to go, and getting him there is my least favorite part of the day. We usually make it to the car through some form of bribery with a bag of Pirate Booty or the promise that he’ll get to play Angry Birds on my iPhone.  If I’m lucky, we’ll sing songs together on the drive to school.  If I’m unlucky, he fusses the whole way…about not wanting to go.  This hurts my ears, and my heart.  Still, we go.  And, I try to comfort him, making sure that he knows I’ll be thinking of him while I work.  I also tell him that it’s okay for him to have fun at school without me.  He’s not so sure about this.  Upon arrival, he peels his coat off, and we place his backpack on the hook just under his name tag.  “So, you have all of your things, sweetie.  Your stuffed snail to cuddle with during nap time.  Your hat and mittens for when you go outside to play…and your boots….I love you. Please eat lunch today, okay?  Give me a kiss, I have to go now.”  …and then, the tears…and then, the scraping of the child off of the mother’s legs….and the weeping and gnashing of teeth as if it’s the last time he’ll ever see me.  We, drag ourselves to the window, and he plops his sad forehead against it.  Sobbing.  I do my best to pretend things are fine as I rush out the door, but my heart races in anxiety.  Every ounce of universal mother’s guilt rushes over me, and I wonder what kind of damage I’m doing by leaving him all day.  I also feel the weight of my own sadness.  I will miss him.      
   
     “ It never feels like the best snowball fight ever. ” 
   
  
      When there is snow on the ground, I throw snow balls at the window to try to make him laugh. He usually does, half-heartedly.  I laugh too, half-heartedly.  It never feels like “the best snowball fight ever.”  As I pathetically run to my car to make it to work on time, he pathetically slides down the wall away from the window.  Sad.  Slowly turning and staring aimlessly at the big room in front of him.  Facing his new reality.  After a few weeks, I noticed that he’d begun engaging in the options available to him, and that he’s become a prolific drawer.  He usually has no less than 6 or 7 drawings to bring home each day.  Each day I ask him, in hope, if he’s been playing with some friends.  Sometimes, yes, but most times, not really.  Most of the time, he’s waiting out the day until I come to get him, he says.  One day, I picked him up, and he was sitting doing a craft by himself. He’s really into the melting beads, so he was organizing them in the shape of a heart.  I sat down next to him to observe him honing his craft.  After he explained that after you carefully place the beads in the shape of a heart, you put it under the iron and they all melt together, a little blond, curly-haired girl had something to add and strolled over to our table.  She leans in like she’s slinking up to a bar and mentions to me, “I’m gonna be leaving town tomorrow.”  “Oh, yeah?” I’m intrigued.  “Yeah,” she says. “So, uh…” and she lifts her finger to draw my attention to Winslow, “I’m not gonna see him for a few days.”  “Oh. I see.”  Pause. Silence. Blank stares.  “He’s really good on the tires.”  “Is that right?”  “Yeah. Sometimes I help him, but he’s reeeeaaaallly good.”  Winslow, sitting very, very still, eyes wide open.  Awkward.  As we leave, I ask him who that little girl is.  “I dunno.”      
   
     “ Even after a couple of months...Winslow still struggles every day. ” 
   
  
      Even after a couple of months and an introduction to a very friendly curly-haired traveler, Winslow still struggles every single day.  Thus, do I.  And we painstakingly engage in this conversation every single day.  “Mommy. Do I don’t have to go to school today?”  “Yes, honey, you have to go to school.”  “Oh, mommy. WHYYYY? I don’t want to go to school. I want to be with you. I love you!”  “I love you too, honey, but we get to be together on the weekend. We’ll go on a hike or ride bikes or do whatever you want to do.”  “Is tomorrow the weekend?”  “Yes, honey.”  “And then there are two weekends?”  “Yes.”      
   
     “ Tears and frustration happen every single day when we say our good-byes. ” 
   
  
      Still, tears and frustration happen every single day when we say our good-byes.  This last Wednesday, I picked him up, and he was at his usual end-of-the-day craft table.   There was a new little girl that I hadn’t seen before standing next to him, collaborating with him, together creating a melting bead star. They were the only two left waiting for their parents to pick them up.  Carefully, they arranged each colored bead into their place.  Red here, orange there.  Yellow.   She noticed me before he did.  Pause.  Stare. Blink. Blink.  She checked me out, head to toe. Lifted her little finger and pointed at me.  “I like your dress,” she said, dryly.  I’m amused.  …And then I quickly realized that she had the same brown hair as I do. Same haircut, and, oh my gosh, the same gray dress, only the little girl version. And black boots!  Just like me.  “Well, I like your dress too,” I felt obliged to return the compliment.  At that point, her daddy walked in to get her. She jumped in his arms and gave him hugs.  They re-connected after not seeing each other all day, and as they were about to leave she demanded that her daddy put her down.  “Winslow,” she called out, “HUGS!”  And she darted over to him to give him a hug before she left. He awkwardly attempted this embrace.  “Hug.” She instructed.  And he finally figured it out.  Interested in this moment, her dad and I stood there silently, in observance.  I felt like I was supposed to get all weird and say something like, “Oh, here we go. Just what I need.  Little girls chasing after him already.  I’ll be the only woman in his life, thank you.”  But that’s not what I actually thought.      
   
     “ A form of tenderness and understanding washed over me. ” 
   
  
      A form of tenderness and understanding washed over me. What a sweet sight to see two human beings, only little, giving each other hugs.  Both of them smiling. Her rosy, plump cheek smashed right up against his rosy, plump cheek.  A surprisingly long 5 seconds passed.  Her daddy told her it was time to go, and as she skipped out of the room with him, she exclaimed, “Daddy, I’m going to marry him!”  Off they went.  Silence.  Pause.  As Winslow gathered his drawings, I asked him if she was in his class.  “Yes,” he says quietly.  “Oh. What’s her name?”  “Julia,” he says softly.  On the way home, I gently asked a few more questions about Julia.  “BRRBRBBBBBRRR” (a roll of the lips), he responds.  “What does that mean, Winslow?”  “Love,” he admits.  “Oh. do you love Julia,” I ask respectfully.  “Yes.”  “Oh. What do you love about her?”  “I dunno.”  The next day, I told the story to his teacher. Turns out Julia is a good girl. “A leader.”  Also, the next day, I happened to drop Winslow off just as the kids were lining up at the brick wall to go inside from the playground. Julia was there already in her fluffy white tutu and black leggings. Pony tail.  Bangs. Chuck Taylors. Very Busy.  As soon as she saw him, she ran right over and stood next to Winslow, joyfully saying his name. And they assumed their position in line next to each other.      
   
     “ And there they were, a line of human beings,  only little, ready to go inside and begin their day. ” 
   
  
      And there they were, a line of human beings, only little, ready to go inside and begin their day.  And that day, there were no tears from Winslow, no clinging to my legs, no need for a half-hearted, one-sided snowball fight.  Only smiles, as he blew me kisses and waived.  “Bye Mommy.”  Getting myself to my car seemed too easy.  Knowing that I actually would make it to work on time, seemed too simple.  The air was void of grieving energy. I took notice.  What had changed?  Oh.  Seems like God may have sent a sweet bundle of feminine energy to help Winslow balance out his emotions and settle into his new reality.  Oh.  Seems like this might be the reason he loves her.

LOVE'S ENERGY

Putting Winslow in daycare has felt more emotionally painful than the physical pains of giving birth to him.  We spent last fall riding bikes, sitting by the river and having adventures in the forest together.  Bumming around all day with this kid tops my list of favorite things to do, partly because he’s so enchanting, and partly because I’ve learned so many things about life through getting to be with his wise, old, owl soul.