Don’t know the bigger vision for your life? Just follow the little crumbs…
Hi, my name is Tree.
I run a successful blog and business over at www.FindYourInnerHappy.com where I teach sensitive souls how to get in touch with their inner strength and power.
I’d been fully and happily immersed in this for a few years when one day, I was writing in my journal and asked God what I could do for Him. After all, everything I have is because of God, so in a moment of thankful appreciation, I wanted to do something for Him instead of asking Him to do something for me, which is most often the case.
I heard clearly, “Build a church.”
This struck me as hilarious and a bit absurd because I’m not a religious person at all. In fact, I’ve only been to church (formally) once when I was a little girl and all I remember from that experience is that I couldn’t stop laughing. My mom and I somehow caught the giggles while the man at the podium (Preacher? Minister? Father?) was talking about something seemingly very serious and everyone else was seemingly paying very serious attention to his very serious speech (sermon? See – I really am clueless!).
It took everything in me to stifle my laughter but each time I finally had it under control, I’d hear my mom let out a brief uncontrollable yip beside me and I’d lose it again. My dad, embarrassed and angry, felt we were being disrespectful and told us to leave and wait outside.
We never went to church as a family again. That was our first and last time going to a service together and I don’t think either of my parents ever stepped foot in a church since.
My other experience with churches was in my twenties when I was actively looking for God. I was severely depressed and desperately searching for proof that God existed. And if He existed, I needed to find a place where He’d hear my prayers because He obviously wasn’t hearing me from my bedroom where I cried myself to sleep every night. So every time I drove by a church, regardless of its religion, I’d stop and ask to go in so I could talk to God. Some let me in, some said if I didn’t belong to their church, I wasn’t welcome inside.
This is when I learned there’s a difference between a church and a temple. To me, any place that gathered together in the name of God was a place of worship, and it didn’t matter what it was called. But one man told me it was an insult to call his temple a church and besides, no matter what it was called, he said, I wasn’t allowed in anyway because God only allowed men to go inside the temple. I was not worthy.
Needless to say, I never found God in a physical church nor have I ever followed any particular organized religion, so the idea that God wanted me to build a church was hilarious, indeed.
The only “church” I know is the one in my heart.
The only “place” I go when I want to talk to God is inward.
I asked God to please explain exactly what He means by “build a church,” but I haven’t received any full, clear answers as of yet.
But here is what I know from my 40+ years of living, questioning and experiencing God:
- 1God rarely gives us the whole vision. We only get bits and pieces of it. Instead of zooming out to show us the entire map, complete with street names, stop signs, left and right turns highlighted for us, he only leaves a trail of crumbs for us to follow. Sometimes all we get is one single measly crumb and we have no idea if it’s even a crumb or sign left by God or a damn bird just happened to randomly drop it as it flew by.
- 2It’s up to us to TRUST each crumb as it presents itself before us and have FAITH that one crumb will lead to the next.
- 3If we do everything we can and make the most of the one measly crumb, we will be shown the next crumb. And the next, and the next.
- 4Eventually, we will have reached the end of the vision. And then we will be given another measly little crumb to follow to fulfill a bigger vision, of which we’re only shown bits and pieces of. It’s a never-ending cycle of questioning, doubting, surrendering, trusting, following, appreciating, loving, questioning, doubting, surrendering and on and on.
Creating this website is my first action following a “crumb”. I have no idea where it will lead or where the next crumb is. All I know is that there’s a feeling deep in me, not in my physical body, but deep in my being, that whispers and nudges me to build this online, virtual place of worship where I have promised God that I will honestly express everything I feel about Him, good, bad… and ugly.
I’m sure it won’t be pretty sometimes because God and I have had some brutal knock-down-drag-out fights. I have been so angry with God in the past that I raised my fists in the air and between snot and tears and gasping breaths, cried out that if he had eyes, I’d gouge them out with a knife (this is when I found out my dad had leukemia and was going to die).
My sudden, unexpected and spontaneous outburst of rage terrified me to my bones.
But somehow, these ugly experiences where He drags me, usually kicking and screaming, toward a stronger faith turn out quite beautifully. And it’s not until I’ve been spit out on the other side of my own ego, resistance and stubborn will that I see the beauty, grace and divinity of it all.
My relationship with God is, if nothing else, HONEST. I don’t sugarcoat my feelings for Him. Sometimes I truly hate Him. Like when I watched the sweetest, most gentle and loving person in the world, my vibrant mom, lose her beautiful silky knee-length hair and become a shriveled up, confused chemo-brained shell of a person crawling on her knees to the bathroom to vomit every morning as she struggled to battle breast cancer.
But I have learned that I belong to God and therefore my feelings belong to God too. If God fills me with a feeling, even if it seems inappropriate to the world, like laughing uncontrollably during a church service, I will honor Him enough to accept those feelings.
Whether I’m laughing or crying, in rage or in joy, God loves me no matter what.
This is the kind of church I think He wants me to build.
A church of unconditional acceptance of our pretty parts, our ugly parts, our moments of pure faith and our moments of pure fear.
But before all that….
First, a crumb.