💭 God vs. Universe
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the word God. Growing up at a Catholic school, I didn’t like what was being shoved down my throat. Something seemed off — so many of the people I knew that were “good Catholics” were some of the most judgmental people I knew and I had so many questions. When I questioned things, I was told that this is what we believe and the main messaging was this: if you want to belong, don’t trust yourself, don’t ask questions, and be a good girl. *rolls eyes*
Naturally, I walked away from the church and stayed that way until I started struggling with myself and wanted to belong somewhere that gave me hope. I should have known that the place that told me to not have any doubts and to not trust myself should not be where I go, but it looked so different now. I found a church that wasn’t boring as hell, had good music, had funny pastors that could be married, women could be leaders, etc. I was hooked. I was still struggling, but I just thought I had to pray more, volunteer more, and be a good girl. Certainly I shouldn’t turn inward because I could not be trusted. I was a sinner.
Inevitably, I once again found myself feeling something was off. I was in a leadership meeting with several church staff when one mentioned that no small group leader could live with their significant other (because surely they must be sinning?), be gay, or be trans. I’m sorry, what? I knew that the Catholic church held these beliefs, but I had zero idea the place I called home believed this. I immediately felt ill — how can I (remember, I am still a sinner), be allowed to lead, but my friend who is gay and a much better person cannot. I was told that the Bible is clear (LOL*), and they love gay people, but they just can’t be in a position with a microphone (aka they are welcome, but they have no voice). How can you love someone and at the same time tell them they are not equal. They are less than. All men are created equal? Not if you’re gay.
I was heartbroken. I was fearful that if I left I would never find a community like it. I would never find another church that believed that love is love, I would lose all my friends, and even worse, I would never find a good Christian man to marry! 😱
Turns out this story has a good ending. There is a whole lot of people experiencing this same thing, but when you’re in it it seems so lonely. I did find a church that believes love is love, I didn’t lose all my friends and actually made more friends that aligned more with me, and I found a man that had a similar experience.
Then there’s the pandemic. Churches were forced to close and I was able to realize that God is not found in a church, he/she is in us. If we are created by God, then we certainly have their genes. Today, the word Universe sits better with me. That word comes without all the judgement and shame. The universe created us and is waiting for us to realize our true power is within ourselves. “We are not a drop in the ocean but rather the entire ocean in a drop.” — Rumi
I am not dogging churches. The community aspect is wonderful, and it can save people’s lives. But, the church is not the end all be all. Coming back into my body and best of all trusting it, I’ve found more health, growth, and healing than I could only hope for when I was in the church and wandering around, lost, but praying. Your body is waiting for you to come home.
*The Bible is one of the most unclear texts of all time. There are various scriptures that contradict one another, and the Bible also tells us to stone our children when they are being disrespected. Is that clear?