Since leaving my job, my life has been focused on learning…on expanding my understanding of Universal truths and what I’m meant to do. Because Mr. Universe expressed a distinct belief…and because I’m marrying him…I felt it was important to go to church this morning. I felt it was important to put myself in a position to better understand not only his beliefs but to expand my own.
At the same time, though, I knew I couldn’t walk into a situation that was completely out of my element. I wasn’t going to be comfortable walking into a mega church with loud music and people’s hands raised to the sky. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…hear me, not.that.there’s.anything.wrong.with.that. It’s just not my thing. I needed to find a middle ground…for both of us.
So last night, I did some research and I thought I’d found a compromise…a place to start. But this morning when I woke up, I knew it wasn’t right. The church I’d selected wasn’t something that was going to make Mr. Universe comfortable and as a result, I would’t be comfortable either.
After some additional early morning research, I found a service within walking distance…non-denominal…that believed the same doctrine as Mr. Universe but was open to welcoming all kinds of believers. Point was, they rather have you walk in the door than stand outside. The church was accepting of various types of believers…races…socioeconomic status. It was exactly what I’ve felt church should be….and we both enjoyed the service.
Early on, as we sat there, I felt a heavy weight on my shoulders. It was like that feeling of needing to expand…of needing to stretch. (I completely get the irony of me feeling this standing in a church service.) As I sat there, literally in pain, I asked what the purpose of the pain was. Was it to punish? To teach? To open me to a message? I live in my body….that’s where I feel messages. So the fact that I was feeling a message during a church service was important…and I needed to understand.
As I sat with the feeling, eventually I saw a vision of Jesus behind me gently rubbing my shoulders. The touch was soft yet alleviated the pain. Once the pain subsided, I felt him standing next to me…hand still on my shoulder…smiling. I felt an overwhelming feeling that despite my doubt, he was next to me…supporting me through my journey…available to alleviate the pain…if I allowed him too. But more than anything, I felt no judgement. No shame about my alternate way of thinking. I felt warmth….almost an embrace. If I dare say, I felt approval.
I know in my heart, I’m a good person…and I know I’m working everyday to be better than I was the day before. After this morning, for the first time in a long time – if ever – I feel an acceptance via the church.. I felt a sense of community delivered via church. The same sense of acceptance I’ve felt through yoga…my friends…my shamans.
There are no accidents. It’s just whether we hear…and feel…the message.