Here’s the thing about faith.
When you’re by yourself at 2:30am and the only noise you hear is your AC as it whirls and you wonder exactly how you’re going to face tomorrow after America once again shook with devastating news and you’re feeling insecure and you’re no longer taking those meds that kind of helped, but also didn’t and the book your reading is really motivating you, but also making everything else but your dream feel like an added task…you only have God.
You only have God in the moments when it feels hard or sad or scary or a combination of all three or other equally difficult things.
God and my whirling AC helped me enter this Wednesday. That’s it. Before I had God, I often talked to myself at night. I’d envision what my life could look like, I’d role play various scenarios like reading from my first book at a bookstore or winning an Oscar (okay, we’ve all done this I know we have). I thought hey maybe I’m just a tad crazy, but I never thought once…oh I’m in conversation with my intuition and God. I’d often feel a tug in a definitive direction and think, maybe I should listen, but would manage to talk myself out of it pretty quickly.
Listening to my gut wasn’t for me.
And, even to this day I still run the gamut before ultimately choosing my gut and God – they make quite the synchronized pair. But, my gut and God have a lot more to say than just talking me out of bad decisions and into better ones. When I talk to God, I talk to someone who loves me no matter what. Elizabeth Gilbert spoke these very powerful words on an episode of the “We Can Do Hard Things” podcast and I want to share them here for you:
“I’m right here. I see you. I love you. I know you are in a lot of pain right now. I’m not going anywhere. And I have no where better to be. If you need to be here in distress all night, I will see you through this, because you are my beloved, and you are my child and there is nothing you can do to lose my love. If you lose everything else in the entire world, I will be there still.”
On my hardest nights I’d pinch the inside of my palm and I’d think to myself: I don’t know how, but you’ll do this. My tattoos are my external armor—one even says, “I don’t know how to do this, but something inside me does,” (a quote from my friend Lauren McKowen), but my gut is my internal armor.
My gut protects me when I need it to. It stands up for me when I have doubts or when I think saying yes is much much easier than saying no.
My gut works with my God as a tag team—God may know what’s best, but sometimes I just can’t get quite enough to hear him and in comes my gut. I will often feel physically sick if something is wrong. I’ll get cold. I’ll almost black out if things are traumatic enough. That’s all my gut sending out it’s Bat-Signal. Abort! ASAP! Jump ship! Do not pass Go.
It can be scary, but my gut is never wrong.
I say scary because I spent years of kicking it to the curb and doing anything to talk over it: drinking too much, burying myself in relationships, overeating, and overworking. Finally, quieting down to listen to it is like that awkward silence on a first date: “Hello, gut? Are you there?”
But, God meets me where I am. Or, better put, I meet God exactly where I am knowing He knew I would be right here. Hafiz says, “the place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.” I never really understood what that meant until a couple months ago and then I still didn’t really get it until recently when I realized, God knew all of this!
He knew I would be okay!
He know I would fall in love!
He knew that I would find this passion project and feel sparked and energized like I haven’t in ages!
What else does He know?
One of the hardest decisions I made recently was deciding to stop reading tarot. It was a personal decision not because I didn’t love my clients or love the practice or think what I had to say was worthy, but because I’ve spent years trying to plug my God hole with every imaginable self-help / Amazon purchase / future-telling tool. While, I think those things work for some people, for me they simply became excuses to fight God.
I fought my faith like I was a 5 year old demanding a later bedtime.
I fought my faith like a teenager who rolls their eyes when they know you’re right, but don’t want to admit it. I fought my faith like the rain fights the clouds right before it begins to pour.
I fought my faith and when I couldn’t fight it anymore I stopped and cracked open.
Not every day is easy. Not every moment. 2:30am when you’re overly tired and buzzing with ideas with a full plate tomorrow missing your girlfriend and craving coffee. Not easy. But, it’s significantly easier than fighting. The world needs less of that. The world needs less fear. The world needs way more faith.
I heard a pastor say a few Sunday’s ago, (and I’m summarizing here), but in light of terrible things happening our question is often how do we go on from here? We know the answer, though. We act in love. We re-dedicate ourselves to God. We move forward. I don’t know why terrible things happen in this world, but I do know that tomorrow I have a choice for how I show up in this world and I’m going to show up a lot better with my gut and my God hand-in-hand.