back in 2010, prior to getting hired at S’ucks (aka Starbucks), and prior to my car being stolen, I had my own apartment on the south slope of Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. it was nothing special, but it was mine. after I left the job I had come to dislike so much, I got very depressed and anxious. my family was (and is) all back in Michigan, right where I left them. I was no longer in a relationship, and I had no job. the other thing I lacked at the time was faith. I felt lost. I was not managing well with the pressure to get a new job, pay rent (and all the other expenses), and had started getting… morose. I experimented a little with self-injury–nothing that broke the skin–but it gave only very temporary relief, and the fact that it was immediately followed by increased shame and loneliness meant that it was not a good tool for coping.
my friend Jessi called me one day during this time, and brought me over to a friend’s house where a group of people had been practicing daily prayer and meditation. people were finding solace in it, and it might help me. I remember insisting that it didn’t seem like God was listening, but she assured me He was. (for the purposes of this post, I will refer to God as “He,” mainly because it’s habitual and easy, not because I think God is male.) I agreed to go with her over there. I really needed to be around other people. I was scared about money and responsibilities and I had no idea how I was going to get out from under.
at first I resisted the method. there were some things that were uncomfortable for me, especially the Christian worship music. I felt weirded out by it, like when adults at my childhood church would raise an arm in prayer. it gave me the willies, like it was…too…personal or something; too revealing. but the music also made me cry. the group’s practice was to do some set prayers and a set reading, and then one person (it rotated daily) would sort of lead with a topic and/or another reading. we would listen to some music, and write what came to us. then we would go around and share what we had “heard” or received.
the idea was that God would communicate with us. once I had gone to several of these sessions, I became more comfortable with it, even coming to love some of the music. the too-cool-for-God facade I had constructed around my heart had been cracked, and was crumbling. I was beginning to receive really comforting, inspiring, and beautiful messages from Spirit/Source/Higher Power/God because the “protective” layer was falling away. and what a refuge I found in it. that practice really turned things around for me, as did my inclusion in that community.
it was during that period that I applied for a “temporary” job at Starbucks, and got hired. and then I moved in with my friend Linda in Ballard, since I had spent all of my savings on rent, and wasn’t making nearly enough to afford my own place. and then my car was stolen. I continued on with the practice on my own by listening to music on my headphones and doing the written prayer & meditation on the bus to work. I did keep up with it for a while, but eventually I stopped. much harder to keep with something on your own than when you’re meeting with others.
years passed, and after having drifted a ways from the practice and those relationships, my friend Jessi reached out to me again and asked if I might be interested in trying to do some prayer and meditation like we used to do. we could do it over the phone even, though we might skip the music in that case. so starting in March of this year, we met by phone or in person, and did our “P&M” (prayer and meditation). more beautiful, powerful messages came through, and Jessi suggested I include some on the blog. (Jessi, too, is a new blogger like me.)
at the beginning of our first phone session (3/22/18), I wrote this prayer:
burn away all that doesn’t serve me, God. make me new. renew me. renew my faith. break through my numbness. burn off the fog. show me how to harmonize with the life you designed for us here on Earth. new purpose. new direction.
on another day (4/27/18) we meditated on the first line in the Prayer of St. Francis: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. this is what came to me:
what is an instrument? it is a tool. what is a tool for? (tell me, God.) a tool is for use. why use a tool? usually a tool increases the ease and effectiveness of achieving a goal. you are a tool–a holy tool. you increase the ease with which I may achieve my goal of increasing love in the world. you increase the effectiveness of my goal. I need you. you are useful to God. the ego tells you that you will be happiest when you–ALONE–have it all: the most beauty, admiration, riches, intelligence. but I’m here to tell you, those things will be like weights you drop into a bottomless pit, never to resurface, never to fulfill. when you set the ego compulsions aside, and you align with my will for you–my perfect design–it is then and only then that you will find the gifts worth having.
perhaps my favorite from these more recent sessions came from meditating on “God is my Provider” (5/11/18).
does a fetus worry inside the womb that its needs will be met? no. a developing life, whether human or animal, knows not about worry. he or she trusts, cannot help but trust in utero. you exist in the womb of my Creation. let it provide the nourishment you need to grow. do you think I designed this system haphazardly? do you think it would work so well if I required you to understand how your heart beats before it would? you needn’t even know what a heart is, or a body, or a brain, in order for these systems to function. before you even know what you are, or that you are, your systems develop and function. your heart knows how to beat just as a seed knows how to become a tree. your worry is not a helpful contribution. relax and take it easy, trusting in my design.
so, yeah. really good stuff. almost always there’s an interesting metaphor. and though I personally may write and express myself well, there is a quality to these downloads (or whatever you want to call them) that is unmistakably more than what I can come up with alone. and it’s heartening. I hope sharing these messages will be useful to you. the method works if you can open yourself to “hearing” what Spirit, or God, has to say to you.
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Faith, not sure you even remember me but you were friends with my sister. I too went through a journey. I had always kept god at a distance due to my issues with organized religion. Much like yours, a couple friends of mine reached out to me and helped me find my own path. I find your words inspiring and thank you for taking the time to share them. It’s comforting to know that someone has shared a similar journey.
of course I remember you, Greg! thanks for reaching out!
Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. ❤
There was a time in my past when I felt that I was hearing God speak to me. It was through my dreams, when my conscious mind was asleep and my unconscious or subconscious mind was awake. These were precious and even powerful communications and I miss them.
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wow Mom, I never knew that! thank you for sharing that. ♥️