Recently, in so many words, my mom said I've changed, and she's right. Over the past three years I've gone deeper into my faith. My heart sees things it didn't see before. Thoughts that once seemed so important look foolish to me now. God continues to reveal truths to me, little by little, and I grow closer in spirit. I can tell you that before now, I would have never written such spiritual things. I would have never mentioned God because I was afraid of being looked down upon or cast out. Now I see that even if some people don't believe the same way I do, they can still love and respect me. And vice versa.
And so I find myself wanting to get past all the shallowness of religion and labels and go deep into the true work of God. There are so many decisions weighing heavy on me right now, so many people saying this is the right way, no this is the right way. But I don't want to do anything - I don't want to go this way or that way. I want to go somewhere quiet, be in stillness and solitude. A place with no Facebook, no internet, no books, no people. Just my spirit and God. I want to hear my own thoughts.
What I know for sure is that I am not meant to live a good, normal life. That is all I really hear from God these days. And I don't really hear it. I feel it. I quit my day job four months ago to become a freelance writer, and although it was the right step, it was only the next step. A step I'm not meant to stay on for too long. I feel the aching to do something bigger. My soul work. I know for sure that I am meant to live a great life and do even greater things than I can imagine right now.
I want to get rid of all of the worldly noise: the commercials, the enticing store displays, the constant chatter, the information overload, the stuff that grows and grows and even when you get rid of it, it somehow creeps its way back in. I just want to sit beneath a tree in a forest far away, feel moss beneath my feet, a thousand God whispers in the wind across my cheeks.
There's a reason I posted a picture of Aslan (of C.S. Lewis fame) at the top. In making a yearly mandala, Janet Conner invites us to choose a word and an image for the coming year. I chose Expand as my word and wrote it at the bottom of my mandala, but I wasn't sure about what image to paste in the middle to represent this word and my hopes for 2013. So I closed my eyes and asked God for guidance and a big lion face appeared in the dark of my mind. His eyes pierced me and I knew that's the symbol I wanted to use.
Afterward, I watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe because the image reminded me of Aslan, the great and powerful protector of Narnia. I always cry when he gets sacrificed for the children and comes back in all his great glory.
Listen more carefully
To what is inside of you right now."
"Perhaps each of us has a starved place, and each of us knows deep down what we need to fill that place. To find the courage to trust and honor the search, to follow the voice that tells us what we need to do, even when it doesn't seem to make sense, is a worthy pursuit."