A spiritual awakening?

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by vivian53, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    I went on a ten day trip with an old friend of mine, to Jamaica, so she could celebrate the Feast of the Tabernacles. She belongs to the United Church of God and they are Christians that follow the rules for living (my name for them) as outlined in Leviticus.

    Her church celebrates this feast by taking off work and going to church for two hours every day for 9 days and all day on the 10th day. Since all I had to do was lay around on the beach reading or swimming (man, it was tough on me wasn't it? lol) I decided to attend some services with her.

    The night before I went I had been reading my Al-Anon literature and found a passage in the Bible I didn't quite understand. I asked my friend to give me her interpretation the next day when she found the time, and then I forgot about it and went to bed.

    The next day when I went to services with her the pastor spoke on that very passage, the same exact one! I was so surprised, beyond surprised really.

    When I spoke to my sponsor about it she said I had a 'spiritual awakening'. I am not sure. I know something happened, but was it just a coincidence? Why am I not able to just accept it for what it was and not examine it so closely?

    I read last night where someone had said they were born with a God shaped hole in them. That is me too. I have tried to fill it with all sorts of other things but I think only a belief in a Higher Power, that I call God, can do the job.

    Any thoughts on this from the board?

    peace to all,
    vivian


  2. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    Hey Jam,

    Good to talk to you..are you doing ok? I always like to hear from you and was hoping you'd post.

    Yeah I'm not sure what happened either, but it was positive. I guess I shouldn't look a gift spiritual awakening in the mouth. <g>

    You are so comfortable in your own skin my dear, that 'stuck' is the last thing I'd call you.

    peace to you,
    vivian
  3. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    Yes they were both amazing. Jamaica was dramatically beautiful. I guess I hadn't realized how widespread the poverty was there, thought it was more in pockets. Everywhere we went people were really struggling. They were desperately poor. I had known there was a lot of problems with HIV/AIDS and addiction to cocaine problems though.

    I really felt like the Ugly American and tried to buy from local craftsmen because we were told after we got there our hotel was owed by someone in Spain. I felt pretty guilty and will check more closely about where my money is going when I travel to this type of country in the future.

    So Rain how are you doing?

    hugs
    vivian
  4. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    You have asked me a bunch of thought provoking questions. I do understand what you are saying. I can't determine what is happening to me spiritually through the opinions or insights of others.

    I agree with you. My way of dealing with things is, many times, to get lots of different thoughts from lots of different people. Then I try them on to see if they fit, filter them through my own life experiences etc., and then usually think the ways I originally did in the first place! lol

    It wasn't a spiritual awakening in my sense of the term. Can you tell how hard I am trying on this spiritual thing Cate? It is truly not coming easily and is causing me a lot of grief. It just ain't there.

    My sponsor is so good and Christian and I want to fit in with the rest of the group and work my program, in essence change me, but I can't if I don't believe in something, preferably God.

    Anyhow sometimes I think my posts are what someone else (with any sense) would write in their journals, and here I am opening myself up to the world. Most of the time I feel sorta silly for having done so. This would be one of those times. Oh well, I really have no secrets anyway.

    I appreciate your thoughts and concerns.

    vivian







  5. windblade

    windblade Active Member


    I think that out of all the valuable things in my life, that 'having a God shaped hole' in me is the most valuable. I live a life that is very intimate with God, yet eons from what it will someday be.

    That hunger and powerful desire that you feel is in itself a great sign of spiritual health/life.

    And one thing I know, that I love knowing, is that God/Divine Love greatly desires us. Calls to us, beckons us, surprises us in countless ways.

    In particular, the "coincidence" that you experienced could be God getting your attention. I myself would wonder about it in a happy way, but I wouldn't put all my weight of trust in it.

    Even as a possibility, if it whets your appetite - it's good!

    From almost 40 years of reading the writings of mystics, poets, and the saints (our great explorers) I see in their lives a much greater closeness to God than I have ever experienced. Their experiences whet my appetite, and inspire me, and I follow in their footsteps.

    Where they shoot off like rockets, I walk step by step. But very happily, having such guides.

  6. windblade

    windblade Active Member


    Your sponsor as a person could be a great message to you. Not just in those few words about a 'spiritual awakening'. We don't live in a vacuum, or on islands; and each individual doesn't need to re-invent the wheel entirely for themselves.

    People's reported discoveries from other times, or some valuable people that we know can be the yeast that brings us alive.

    I've always enjoyed that seeking part of you. I find your questions and thoughts to be rich and heart-felt.

  7. jole

    jole Member

    I feel just as Judy does, completely; but also agree with Cate, that you have to answer this question for yourself. In my life, I am totally convinced of God's presence and His desire to have each of us united through Him, and on days I forget, there are "angels" who seem to remind me.

    My brother and his wife were in Jamaica years ago, and they too spoke of the horrible poverty there. They won an expense-paid vacation and stayed on the beach in a hut, which was attended to by a Jamaican houseboy. They slipped him some extra money when they left, because he had a large family and was their only source of income. The beach area was beautiful...resort area...but they also traveled back away and saw the horrible living conditions of the "real world". They also bought some souveniors (sp) from local families, and this was totally out of character for them.

    But I think visiting with the "angel" (houseboy) awakened them to the lives of others and their ability to help just a little bit. They were not the type people to generally see others as being worse off (my brother), and had always been complainers. This showed them how much they truly had to be greatful for in their own lives.

    I rarely believe in coincidences myself....perhaps I look too hard to find a reason for things, and sometimes it takes a long time, but I usually find an answer. I hope you do too.......Jole
  8. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    Yes you all remind me to appreciate the mystery of it all, once again. I am such a concrete thinker I even surprise myself with it. Surprised I would have chose such an elusive field to get involved with as a career.

    I could never take out someone mental health and examine it in the palm of my hand. I can't do that with spirituality either. It will come, or not.

    And I do learn a lot from others. I have learned so much on this board. I have learned from my sponsor also.

    She offered to lend me her faith, to believe not in her God, but believe that She believes in her God. I can do that.

    love to all,
    vivian



  9. Doznclan3

    Doznclan3 New Member

    I like to say it simply. If a person is really interested in knowing God and his son, read. Read, the scriptures..then ask..prayer doesn't always come easy for some, but like windblade said, it seems the hunger and desire is there. Read, ask, listen..be quiet for a time after asking about a certain scripture...an answer usually comes when one is humbled in a way that the Lord knows you are sincere. A spiritual awakening, I like that thought. It is promised in the Bible, ask and ye shall recieve, knock and it shall be opened unto you. It's a wonderful feeling!
    Love always, Cynthia
  10. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    Vivian, you gave yourself the perfect example...

    You can't take someone's mental health and examine in your hand, but yet through education, interest, time, experience and observation, results are there...others may not see what you see if they haven't made the same observations or taken the time to learn how to see it...if you didn't dig for some sort of understanding or take an active interest it would be even harder to work your career, I'm sure.

    The scriptures say "No man may see me and yet live" Exodus 33:20...so since he is a spirit, we wouldn't be able to see him with our physical eyes.

    Here is an illustration which I hope will help...as it did me and I've never forgotten it. BTW, your questions are great ones and I'm glad you are open enough to put it out there, as you certainly aren't alone in your desire to make sense of what tugs inside of you...

    Okay, you live in HOT Texas...would you ever dare look at the midday sun, really stare at it? Probably not, at least not without doing some serious damage to your eyes...well, think of our little sun and all the other countless suns in the universe. Imagine the SOURCE of the energy that created all that brilliance. You may not be able to perceive "God" but you don't need to see him to find out about him...there is a lot of concrete evidence surrounding us, and a treasure in the scriptures that allow you to understand if you want to. Don't hesitate to ask for help. Pray specifically that you are a concrete thinker and need understanding...pray that it's hard for you to have faith-- I don't know if you are able to pray much but it's a good start, even if it doesn't feel sincere.

    Love,
    SJ



  11. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    Thanks for your thoughts. Cynthia what you wrote gives me hope and SJ I love your example and I do understand it.

    Oh and I do pray, all the time. It may not be the down on my knees kind, but seems to be a constant stream of thoughts going out of me. I just ask that I be able to know of Him and of His will for me to carry out my day.

    I ask myself the question frequently, "why would God make it so hard for me to know him? If there is a divine creator why would he not give me a good God receptor?" Have I been made with a defect?

    These questions really do bother me.

    love to all,
    vivian
  12. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member


    I ask myself the question frequently, "why would God make it so hard for me to know him? If there is a divine creator why would he not give me a good God receptor?" Have I been made with a defect?

    NO!

    Well, aren't we all born flawed... the fact that we are by birth imperfect...the fact that it has been harder for you doesn't necessarily mean HE'S made it hard. Some of it may just be your make up, your upbringing and circumstances that make the journey difficult for not just you but so many.

    You weren't born into a family that felt comfortable with religion or faith-- that's not exactly a defect but a product of family tradition or non tradition and did affect you in many ways. So it doesn't mean GOD did this to you or even that you did this to you...it's just circumstances.

    Ultimately you have control and it looks to me as if you are sincerely seeking answers. You are not held to what you were born into if you don't want that or it didn't bring satisfaction. Many are born into what would seem to be the right circumstances and reject them. That's because right now the world is in turmoil, as it has been since we've all been around.

    Not being born into a religious family, or not being a religious/spiritual person, not believing in God or believing he's unknowable is common

    It doesn't mean that lack of faith or a spiritual attachment (or whatever it's called) means there is a defect in a person necessarily-- no more so than someone who does profess to be religious. I'm sure anyone can name someone who claims to be religious and has no moral ethics or principles, just as there are many non religious persons without morals or ethics...that to me is a defect.

    I'm going around the bush to try to say simply that you are imperfect, but not defective. For those that have not had to struggle with belief or faith or hope, well, even then it's a struggle but for those who don't feel that emptiness are more than willing to help those seeking. My belief in a change in the future is very concrete and therefore my faith and hope are just as concrete...and I'm certain it can be that for you and anyone else seeking.

    If you hadn't been interested in the passage from the Bible, if you hadn't asked the question to your friend, and if you hadn't gone to hear the service, there would've been none of what you have been reflecting on right now...so isn't that wonderful? I think so!

    Keep praying, digging in the Bible, keep asking for help and see if you can find someone or a group to help you understand. You can be upfront and say you're not committing to anything or anyone...get that knowledge. You can't borrow anyone else's faith but you can DEVELOP your own!

    Okay, I've been typing this sitting up and hope at least some of it makes sense. I can tell you are conscious that you have a spiritual need and you should give yourself lots of credit for your seeking evidence and proof. And you don't need to feel foolish ever for asking questions or popping in about your thoughts. There are so many people afraid to discuss religion, or to explore what's deep inside, and it's very personal of course so I think you are very courageous...and so much variety out there for sure, it can be confusing.

    I'll have to recheck this tomorrow and see if I made any sense...sorry about that Viv...I don't do well sitting up but my keyboard is stuck. I usually type laying flat. But I just hope I didn't confuse you more!

    Love,
    SJ


  13. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    No need to recheck it, you did a good job and know me pretty well.

    I have faith that you have faith.

    I know that my relationship with a Higher Power has not come naturally to me. It has always seemed to me that most people were born knowing.

    I found this post from my online 5th Tradition Group:

    "When I came to Al-anon, I heard that faith replaces fear. However, I thought that faith was something I either had or I didn't, as if it were granted or withheld by something outside myself. I didn't know faith was a spiritual skill to be cultivated."

    let's keep talking, I'll keep praying and learning.

    love ya,
    vivian
    [This Message was Edited on 10/22/2009]
  14. Doznclan3

    Doznclan3 New Member

    Ahh, there's a question that a lot of people ask. I personally do not believe that God makes it hard to know him but I do believe that Satan does. You aren't doing anything wrong. You are a good person. Life, I believe, is a test. I think you've tested "good." :)) I think you know him more than you realize. I know what you mean about having a constant stream of thoughts going through your mind..that's a great thing. I love talking to him all day off and on also..and when I have a question about something, I feel that I need to do my part, and trust in him to do his. We won't get all of our answers "right out." We may not know what he's done for us. For me, that's ok. Live life. Live it for Him. Serve in any way that you are able. Just being on here is serving. You help by asking just the questions that you do, by bringing up our wonderful thoughts and knowledge of him. It makes us feel good to be able to share. To try and help. Trust and faith, two very big words. Trust him, to help you see the things that you have learned in your hardships. Have faith in him to do what he knows is best for you in this life..because he knows what you can bring from learning from those hardships. As I said, one being by sharing your questions...service.
    Love and prayers, Cynthia
  15. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    Thanks for the tested good compliment. : )

    I need to work on my understanding of 'the process' part of spirituality. Letting it happen maybe instead of trying so hard. like jamin was talking about.

    Maybe He is answering my questions and guiding me and I don't know what to look for, how to know it is happening.

    I am like you Cate, full of thoughts all the time. I do meditate and pray, but those are the only time my mind isn't working overtime. Oh the conversations that go on in my head! : ))

    I appreciate you folks talking to me, this board is so good for me. Where else could I meet so many wonderful people from all walks of life with such a broad base of knowledge and experience? A spiritual think tank at my finger tips.

    Hope everyone has the best Friday possible.

    vivian


  16. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    Rainbow I just started a meditation group that uses the chakras and guided imagery for centering and getting rid of negative energy. I went to my first meeting today and liked it. I don't know much about it so I have a lot of learning to do. But for now I think I'll just go with the flow for once.

    Thanks for the heads up Jam. I do like Joy, I haven't watched her show though, just see her on the view. I'll be looking for the movie to come to San Antonio.

    I hope that as I am writing this you are walking on the beach with your friend, enjoying yourself, and that your back and knees are holding up just fine.

    love to all,
    vivian

  17. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    Oh Jam, it gets hard on us sometimes doesn't it? I wish I could do more physical stuff than I can, I think all of us do. You do plenty, and yes, our body parts wear out.

    I know you'll be better soon.

    Yes the charkras are interesting Rainbow. We are working on the first three for the next few weeks.

    In this group they rotate who leads the group about one a month. I need to learn more before I can do that. It's handy that I have good teachers.

    love,
    vivian