Tearing Down the False Idol of Man-Power ∞ My Journey Into Abundance Full of Grace
I am 11 years old. This old preacher has just tapped me on the forehead. I hear him say, "Someday you will be a mighty witness for the Lord." It's the last thing I remember before I lose consciousness in the wake of his touch. "Slain in the Spirit" is what they call it. Basically, it means I have just been touched by someone so steeped in the energy of God that I cannot remain standing. Embarrassed, my mother starts hauling me up and I regain consciousness somewhere between the floor and the upright position. Interruption!
She was always interrupting and she was always more concerned with appearances than she was with anything else. She knew more about God's punishment than she knew about His love. She and the church people reminded me of my inadequacy every chance they got.
Damn they made it hard to see Jesus.
They stood between me and Him like a tall, thick, immeasurably ugly, brick wall. The brick wall of judgment! Did they ever actually read that book they were always waving at me? I am not sure.
It wasn't long before I was divided from the church. Was that old preacher onto something?
I am 14. I am slipping away.
I am 16, I am lost in a world of dangerous promiscuity, rebellion, hardcore drugs and violent, pornographic sex. The ugly underbelly of this world has sucked me into its womb of despair with supernatural force. This womb is about death - it stinks of ruin and destruction. This is the womb that takes us out of this world prematurely. I almost lose the battle with its magnetic pull towards my own unhappy ending.
I am 17 years old. I feel my father's hands reach in and pull me back from the brink. Maybe my mother's prayers too?
I am 22. I have just regained my footing only to lose it again. I have just rediscovered a version of God I can live with in the midst of a sobriety I am sure has saved my life.
Again, divided...Amazing Grace is playing. My father is somehow in that casket up there. It isn't that I wasn't expecting this, it is that it came too soon in my young life. I still need him. All the reasons to stay sober somehow collide with the reasons not to. It doesn't turn out to be a deadly division though. Five years of sobriety have changed me enough that addiction has become a foreign thing. I move on with my life.
The division holds.
I am 24. The police have just handed me the keys (as if I will know what to do with this house, this doorway, this moment). I am standing in the front entrance of my mother's house. I am looking at the three-day-old, dried pools of her blood and the footprints of her killer highlighted in traces in blood and Luminol. I am wondering how this could really be true.
Divided from the divider before the divisions could heal!
Suddenly she is gone and that brick wall she erected in the middle of my relationship with divinity has became like a permanent, thick, heavy veil over my eyes.
Amazing Grace again! Today is her funeral.
I in my early 30s. I have fallen in love with an evangelical Christian. I know what this is about. I am being called back to the church so that I can find what is beautiful there. Just like the Buddhist monk said!
I go willingly. I find a great deal of beauty and a great deal more confusion.
One day I ask Jesus to make my hands His hands and to allow me to continue His healing ministry on earth.
Soon, I feel the division again. Maybe even Jesus can't hang in church!
Either way, I am experiencing a growing rift that is too big to manage at this point. No matter where I look in this place, I cannot see my own image reflected anywhere in the midst of all these masculine pronouns and in the midst of all this man-power. I am to submit and always to some man. I am denied my own, independent relationship with God.
I ask Jesus for the remedy. I ask for him to reveal to me the feminine face of God so that I can find myself in divinity and divinity in me.
There's that brick wall again. Goodbye lover, goodbye church, goodbye Arizona.
I am walking through the parking lot at work. I suddenly understand that I am being called to midwifery. But I won't be delivering babies. I will be teaching people to birth their dreams. I will be the dream catcher.
I feel the dreams moving in my hands. I do not understand this feeling. But the ache to fulfill this vision becomes the constant thorn in my heart. I yearn like I have never yearned before.
I am 38 years old. I am standing before my altar. I am cutting every tie with every last thing that is inconsistent with the fulfillment of my dreams. Among my dreams is a healthy, well founded outcome for my daughter. I have a hunch this means she must leave me. I somehow don't yet believe this is true. But I said everything. I meant everything.
45 days later...job gone, house going, child gone to live with her father...I am sitting in the rubble of my cord cutting. Thank God I also grounded the resources to make those dreams a reality. The resources come, thousands and thousands of dollars come flooding into my life. I go from having $50,000 in the world to having over a quarter million dollars. I am blessed in my act of absolute faith and commitment. I will need every last dime! This dream is bigger than I ever imagined. It will not be born on my time table. I am not even sure I am spirit-womb pregnant yet.
I call my mission Abundance Full of Grace. I am really naming myself. I become a Reiki master (among other things). Same feeling! Reiki feels just like those dreams moving in my hands.
I am in the mountains of Southern Mexico where the struggle is live and alive.
I have lost my faith, I have no idea where true north is. Abundance Full of Grace is but a distant memory. I have no sense of assurance left. I am deep in the fires of the underworld, in the all consuming, sulfur-rich, rotten-egg stench of purification. I think my soul is burning.
In this place, instincts matter. I don't have any access to mine, at first. I learn!
Until I do, by grace, my partner protects me with his. He bird dogs me convinced I will die if he is not there to sense and to convince me of the danger. He might have a point.
He plays the part of every personal demon afflicting my heart too.
Imagine my confusion.
I am nearly 43 years old. The flap on my eyes has burned away. I have removed my mother from my relationship to God and given her over to Him.
Suddenly I need a big, abundant, unending Daddy God. I cry out in my need.
It's my spiritual wedding day. My Daddy God walks me down the aisle and kisses my forehead and says, "This is my daughter in whom I am well pleased." I open up a huge space in me (just as He tells me to do). I call it need. Suddenly, I am what I have always been. I am the Bride of Christ and I am Christ. There is no division remaining. My body is His body. My womb, my need, my wide open space is Her. He fills me, fills Her. I am the structure and the void and the grace that fills the void and the void that gives birth to the structure. I am the life force that animates the whole scene and the scene in need of animation.
I no longer know where He ends and I begin. My hands are His hands. My feet are his feet. My heart is His heart. My eyes are His eyes. I hold nothing back save my consciousness. My consciousness is consecrated to Her wisdom, Her being-ness, to the being-ness of Abundance. I now have a God-Dess.
Funny thing...My Christ arrived riding bareback on a golden calf. Hathor!
If you have ever read the story of the Exodus, you will certainly appreciate the joke.
In Her I have now found my reflection. I see my face everywhere in divinity. Or is it divinity I see in my face?
I am Abundance. This is my identity. I am filled with Grace. I am literally occupied by it. There is no more room in me for the inappropriate doing that lives in disconnection from the feminine wisdom that is the foundation of everything. I am the space, the need, the feminine womb filled with all I have ever truly hungered for. She is my consciousness. He is my doing. I am Her. I am Him. I just have to keep saying this lest it evaporate in intellectual meanderings.
The division is gone.
I have finally come into submission. I am having a total experience of divinity. There isn't a man in sight. I have torn down the false idol of man-power.
Suddenly I realize, the division was never really there, or maybe you could say, it was only a persistent illusion.
All I went through, all I touched in that black womb (and in the division) was, every last part of it, my destiny calling me. I was broken and I was given, piecemeal, the understanding that allowed me to WHOLE (or is it HOLY?) myself. It came piecemeal because I had to understand every single facet of it. It is, of course, still coming.
The old preacher was right. I am a mighty witness to the restorative power of faith, grace, intention. I am in touch with God-Dess. I know what S-He is now: Wholeness.
God-Dess is that which contains the definitive pattern of my wholeness (and yours and ours).
When I cut that cord, I smashed the wall, rent the veil of separation. It just took me nearly 5 years to complete the rending and the smashing.
This is my season. This is my fruit. I am a tree, rooted in the deep rouge of my passion, filled with the gold sap of grace, nourished by the red sap of passion. I am at peace in my identity. I am Abundance Full of Grace. My heart has emerged!
I was a seeker. I became a finder. I am now a keeper. This is my legacy. This is my work. I take a seeker, I make him/her a finder, soon he/she becomes a keeper.
Keeper: One who is kept, transfixed, held fast in the truth of his/her wholeness.
This is my Resurrection Story.
It is my daughter's story too. Somehow this healing thing was never about anything else. I remember the day when the altar call came. I can't tell you what the man on the stage said. But I grabbed my child and I stood there with tears streaming down my face and I swore an oath: Not on my watch. Not my child. No matter what it costs me, the violation and the stench of rotting potential stops at my back. She will walk free of it.
And free she walks.
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