GOD! That's right!
God, a three letter word that is so emotionally charged.
Some people fight and kill in His name. Others love and save lives in His name. Some people describe Him as unfair, unjust, wrathful, jealous, vindictive, punishing, fickle, harsh. Others as forgiving, loving, respectful, generous, abundant, caring, merciful.
We talk so much about God but do we really know Him?
We cannot really claim to know someone if all that we know is ear-say rumors based on other people's experiences, weather good or bad. We firstly need to have a desire to know that person, then be willing to receive information from that person about themselves and lastly be ready to share ourself with them in order to build a real relationship.
The first time I met God I was just a child and here below is my short story of how that meeting took place.
When I was about 8 years old I started to develop a fear of death. There were many events going on in the world and at the time I felt there was no way to prevent or control them and that felt unbearably painful. I didn't understand the meaning of life neither I could make sense of concepts like "incurable disease" or "war". I didn't understand why people suffered all over the world and why nobody seemed to have an answer to all that.
For weeks I was obsessed with this fear of the unknown to the point that I developed panic attacks at the beginning of every sunset. I felt like no one could understand my pain. If the entire world couldn't solve the problem how could anyone in my family understand? I didn't see a solution to my problem and the panic attacks went on for weeks until one day my dad noticed my uneasiness. He saw me walking around in circles, staring outside of a window while biting my nails and manifesting all kind of nervous tics. It was my daily appointment with fear but I was pretty ashamed of it since nobody else seemed to be bothered by death so I dealt with it in solitude and silence.
When my father approached me he knew something was wrong but he couldn't guess what it was. He asked me why was I staring with such a worried look at the window but no answer came out of my mouth. He asked me if it was related to school, family or if I was upset for a fight with one of my sisters but I kept silent. I so wanted to talk but I didn't know what to say. How do you explain to your dad that you are afraid of death and how silly would you sound if you specified that you were particularly troubled by the uncertainty that lied around it?
I thought after a few guesses and some silent answers that he would have dismissed the issue and walked away..but he didn't. He brought me in another room, sat down, sat me on his laps and while combing my hair with his fingers and drying my tears with his handkerchief he asked me again what was it that was bugging me. I felt safe for a second and even if it seemed all crazy I decided to tell him what was going on. "I am afraid of dying" I said.
Now..That's a freaking loaded problem to have for an 8 year old girl.
I still remember my dad's reaction when I made the comment. I don't remember the expression on his face neither his body language but I do remember his feeling of confusion and a feeling of "Oh shit, I wasn't expecting that." Now that I think of it, it reminds me of Rachel's famous response to Ross: "OMG are we supposed to answer?".
So anyways, he lied me down on the master bedroom’s bed and asked me to wait there.
One thing my parents are really great at is team work. Whenever an issue comes up, the first thing they do is come together and brainstorm, they merge the power of their minds and souls to find the right solution for the problem at hand. So that's what they did that time as well.
Few minutes after he left, the entire family was reunited in the master bedroom. My sisters jumped on the bed and mom and dad were standing in front of us, close to each other.
My mother took the lead on the talk and she started to comfort me by saying that death is something we normally don't have to face until we are older. Then she went on talking about the news and the events that were happening at the time in the world and she said that they were far from us and that I didn't have to worry about potentially happening to me.
She said many other things but none of them made sense to me. I would eventually get old one day, then what? And what if the events that were currently far from us got closer to us? Then what?
As she kept talking I felt more sad and more hopeless. I knew they would have not been able to solve that particular issue. All the explanations given until that point made me feel temporarily better but I knew they were not THE answer. There was more to it, I just didn't know what it was.
After a long talk and many attempts to make me feel better the conversation finally took a twist and mommy started to talk about God.
God!!! That's right!!!
How many times people had talked to me about God before. In church, at home, in school, on TV. But never, ever before I thought He was someone I could actually run to in my times of need and uncertainty. I saw Him like a distant entity living outside of the universe who I had never really desired to know for myself. He was there, standing big and tall in all His might and power and I always thought of Him as someone too busy and too powerful to bother about a small, scared, lost and damaged little girl like me.
But that day I felt different.
None of the arguments explained by my parents had an impact, but when they finally talked about God my worries stopped for a moment and I stood still on the master bed totally inspired by this possibility. The possibility that God could actually answer that question for me.
So I dried my tears, thanked my parents with all my heart for their incredibly useful support and guidance and I rushed to bed.
I needed to be alone. I had to talk to God and I couldn't afford to be distracted by anyone else. So I hid below my covers, closed my eyes and instead of muttering the typical prayers that they taught me in church I just opened my heart and talked to him like I would to someone I loved deeply.
"God, if you are my creator and if you really are the loving Father that others tell me you are, then please, Father, show yourself to me. I am afraid and I am lost and if it is true that you love me then please send me some of your Love."
I will never forget that night.
A heavy shower of the most precious, pure, strong, deep, certain, overwhelming Love came to me. My spirit lifted from that tiny little bed and that day I finally met God. The certainty of God’s existence washed away my fears in an instant and made me perceive the infinitude of life beyond our physical death.
I had so many realizations in that moment. The first and most important one: God DOES exist.
Second: God DOES love us. Third: God cannot be seen, heard or touched. God is FELT. It was my sincere feeling of wanting to receive His love that opened the channel of communication with Him. I didn’t need any rituals, priests or specific words to reach out to Him. All that I needed was a heartfelt prayer or, in other words, a true desire. Fourth: God loves us so deeply and purely that He respects and honors our will at all times, even when we decide to use it in a direction that pulls us away from Him.
I realized that it wasn't God who was too busy for me, or too powerful to even notice I existed. It was me all along pushing Him away due to wrong beliefs and emotional injuries. I had often desired to give my love to him but never before I had desired to receive love FROM HIM. And God respected my choice until I finally opened my heart and allowed Him to shower me with it.
What a realization! What a shock! I had never approached him or desired to create a personal relationship with Him and He kept honoring my decision in the hope that one day I would change my mind and ask for His love. So when I finally did, how quickly and how easily were my prayers answered! I got so much Love from Him that day that I couldn't cope with it. I silently cried and laughed while my Soul exploded in an ecstasy of joy.
In spite of that wonderful experience, few years ago I decided to move away from Him and live life relying on my own sense of right and wrong. I never stopped thinking of Him and I knew He existed but it was a time in my life where I was questioning everything: religion, values, beliefs and relationships and I decided that I needed to take a break from Him too to find the truth about life.
Instead of being guided by His Love and Wisdom I decided to challenge His Laws and rely solely on myself. As I started to experience hardship I decided to shut down my feelings as well and stifle the voice of my conscience therefore closing the only means of communication between me and Him.
Those have been some of the toughest and darkest years of my life.
It's funny how we operate though. We move away from our Father, we decide to venture out and live life according to our own rules, we make mistakes, tumble and fall, hurt ourselves, repeat the mistake until pain becomes suffering and at the end of it we blame God for it all!
We blame Him for making us weak and vulnerable and for making this world unjust and painful, forgetting that all of that is our own creation (as individuals or as a society) and as such WE need to take responsibility for it.
What hurt the most in my case was to discover that not only all the things that happened to me were a direct consequence of my own actions (and not a punishment of God for moving away from Him – that was MY OWN WRONG BELIEF), but also that He kept loving me with the same intensity as before and that he had been patiently waiting for me all along, trying to gently show me the way while having compassion and forgiveness for all my mistakes.
Coming back to Him reminded me of how safe and loved I felt under those covers years before and made me realize how unshakable and constant His love is for us.
Today I feel I am the closest to God than I have ever been. I know I haven't even scratched the surface of the potential we can reach in our relationship and I know I still have a lot of injuries towards Him but I also know from my previous experience that our level of closeness is solely based on my own desire to know and Love Him (and to receive His love for me) since He is already ready to give Himself fully and unconditionally to me.
Who knew that the main desire of the most powerful and loving entity in the entire universe (and beyond) is to build a personal relationship and to love each and every one of His children with the sweetest, deepest, most unconditional Love that we can ever think of. Most of us find this idea so hard to conceive, given our experiences, that we discard the possibility and label it as utopian and absurd before even trying it.
I hope, my dear brother or sister, that you won’t make that mistake and that you will love yourself enough to explore this relationship with God. I hope that you will allow Him to heal your wounds, transform your Soul and make your life an eternal bliss through the reception of the Love that only a truly loving and caring Father can give to His beloved children.
Friends - Drunk Ross Makes a Toast
For more info on Prayer for God's love please watch:
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Prayer for God's Love:
My Father, Who is in Heaven, I recognize that You are All Holy and Loving and Merciful, and that I am Your child, and not the subservient, sinful, and depraved creature that false teachers would have me believe.
I know that I am the greatest of Your creations, and the most wonderful of all Your Handiworks, and the object of Your Great Soul’s Love and Tenderest Care.
I know that Your Will is that I become at-one with You and partake of Your Great Love which You have bestowed upon me through Your Mercy and Desire that I become, in truth, Your child through Love, and not through the sacrifice and death of any of Your Creatures.
I pray that You will open up my soul to the inflowing of Your Love, and that then will come to me Your Holy Spirit to bring into my soul this, Your Divine Love, in great abundance, until my soul is transformed into the very essence of Yourself; and that there will come to me faith – such faith as will cause me to realize that I truly am your child and one with You in very substance, and not in image only.
Let me have such faith, as will cause me to know that You are my Father, and the bestower of every good and perfect gift, and that, only I myself, can prevent Your Love from changing me from the mortal to the immortal.
Let me never cease to realize that Your Love is waiting for each and all of us, and, that when I come to You, in faith and earnest aspiration, Your Love will never be withheld from me.
Keep me in the shadow of Your Love every hour and moment of my life, and help me to overcome all the temptations of the flesh, and the influence of the powers of the evil ones who so constantly surround me and endeavor to turn my thoughts away from You to the pleasures and allurements of this world.
I thank you for Your Love and the privilege of receiving it, and I believe that You are my Father – the Loving Father who smiles upon me in my weakness, and is always ready to help me and take me into Your Arms of Love.
I pray this with all the earnestness and sincere longings of my soul, and, trusting in Your Love, give You all the glory and honor and love that my finite soul can give.