A friend recently reminded me when she found God several years ago I told her, "This doesn't mean you have to start wearing denim dresses and wooden apple necklaces." You're wondering, What does that mean, right?
It means I was jealous and intimidated.
To me, she encompassed everything I wished I could be. She had the courage to be open to the vulnerable topic of God and faith--not exactly common conversations in our urban circle of twenty-somethings at the time. She had hit the Godly jackpot of connecting and feeling a sense of purpose and direction--things I was so desperately wanting to find for myself.
Ironically enough, I have always been a church goer. In college when my friends were sleeping off hangovers, I was either working in public radio or walking to church, two equally non-Ohio University weekend activities. I've always felt a peace and calm when I'm in church, but my faith itself has always been more of a lukewarm cultural sentiment that would come to the forefront in times of need or fear rather than being the characteristic that navigates the way.
As I age, I know my own belief in God and my faith in the mystery of it all, is actually where my connection with God lives. It doesn't live in the constant wondering why I'm here or what my purpose is. My faith lives in letting God lead me instead of me whining and pouting that this path does not come with luxurious vacations or an effortless lifestyle.
When I was younger I assumed I would one day feel this overwhelming change if I just kept looking for it, but it has come to me in moments of seemingly mundane activities. The other day I was in my car and I just sort of chuckled out, "Just take over, God. Whatever ya want, ya got it. Just show me the way."
No glitter came dancing out of the sky.
The heavens did not open.
Car horns still sounded.
The prices at the Whole Foods store I was parked at did not magically drop to an affordable level.
The world was still the world, but it feels different when I take a step back from my earthly ego and ask God to make sense of the mess I have a tendency to make.
Most of us tiptoe around spirituality, don't we? We don't want to offend or we don't want to be open about such a personal part of our lives, but I wish there were more of this act of letting each other in and of asking questions and sharing. I've had friends laugh at "believers" or paint all Christians in a negative light. I admit, this has scared me away from giving voice to my beliefs. What a damn shame that is.
Faith in God and trusting that I'm here for a purpose does not come easily for me. I have no idea why that is because I wish it came with every breath.
I am, in fact, a confused Christian who wants to grow closer to God by living like Jesus did, but I make a lot of shallow mistakes along the way that are guided by envy and greed. That's my truth, and I welcome that hot mess with open arms and a willingness to keep striving for more.
That is what my messy spirituality looks like.
Maybe one day I'll graduate to wooden apple necklaces, but I doubt it. Too tidy and fake.