I grew up in a family that was and is very much rooted in Christianity and the church. My father was recently “installed” as the pastor of the church I grew up in. My mother is now a first lady and missionary. One of my grandmothers is a church mother, the other is an evangelist. My uncle is a Pastor and my aunt is a first lady as well…you get the point because the list goes on. As a kid, I was active in Sunday school, the youth choir, the junior usher board, and the youth ministry programs and activities, but as I got older, none of it felt authentic to me. It was as if I was programmed to practice Christianity because that’s what my parents practiced and their parents and so on, but I never felt like I belonged there. I felt fake. I felt like I was going through the motions.
When I got to college, my first couple of years, Christianity and church were the last things on my mind. I was in a new environment completely free from my parents who didn’t wake me up every Sunday morning to get dressed for a long day in church. I felt free. I felt liberated from it all. Somewhere along the way, I tuned into all the background noise telling me I needed to be in church, and I needed to read my bible and I needed to pray and there I was feeling guilty because I wasn’t doing any of those things. So once again, I found myself in church, and attending campus small groups during the week trying to fake it until I made it. I pledged a Christian sorority and found myself with more questions than answers trying to reach a standard I really didn’t care too much about in the first place. I got tired and burnt out from trying to keep up. So I stopped. Continue reading “Living My Spiritual Truth”→
A few months ago I downloaded the Saved in the City app because I felt like it was a great network to stay connected with other Christian women and to be inspired. Once a month they host an empowerment call and I always hang up feeling extremely empowered and refreshed. Like “wow, someone else gets it.” They also send morning inspirational texts to my phone via push alert from their app. Lately, their morning messages have really been speaking to me.
With that being said, I settled. I’m not ashamed to admit that for the last three months, I settled. I was uncomfortable, tired of being home all the time, tired of being broke and I just needed my life to pick up…quick. I needed a change. A change of scenery, a change of lifestyle and a change of habit…so naturally I jumped at something that wasn’t for me, but would give me that escape I was looking for either way. I found myself going down a career path that didn’t intrigue me at all. It mean sure the salary was high, but I didn’t need that type of misery in my life especially if it wasn’t doing something that I absolutely love.
Last week, I talked about figuring out what’s causing you to struggle. There are two types in my case…one, I was at a place where my social life was placed on hold because I had to work on my foundation, you know, things like finances, bills, etc. So my life wasn’t going as quickly as I wanted it. Plus I was buried under deadlines and trying to organize everything I had going on. The other was me trying to find comfort in uncomfortable situations. I wanted to be done with everything that was causing me to struggle regardless of if it was stretching me and to move on to something safer. Safe is a bad place to be…as ironic as that sounds. It’s boring, you don’t learn anything and you’re certainly not growing into all you could be.
So I started this week fresh. I dropped all those dark clouds hanging over my head. I learned to be my own sun…as Shonda did in her Year of Yes book. I adopted the mindset that I am the curator of my life. God is handing me opportunities and I’m curating accordingly.
So this morning, my morning inspirational text left me with this message:
But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right–everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. (Isaiah 30:18)
It’s take so much willpower to be patient and listen when you’re being told to wait. You’re not being told to wait to slow you down, or increase your financial issues, or issues with love…you’re being told to wait because there’s so much better in store for you. Those who are hasty miss out on great things while those who wait reap the good. Imagine what being hasty all the time would look like. Constantly jumping the gun on every thing in your life. You’d have a life full of regret. Well needless to say, I let that job go, I let that relationship go and blew a carefree bubble, jumped inside it and decided on carry on.
There’s nothing like a man that can open up your mind and expand your learning by dropping some knowledge every once in a while. There’s really nothing like a man who can crack open a bible and spit some scriptures to you, pray for and with you, and make sure that you’re spiritually good though. According to a Gallup study, 70% of Americans claim membership in a church or synagogue, with three out of five adults indicating that religion is “very important” in their lives. Of the 90% of Americans who reportedly pray, the most common prayer (98%) is for the “well-being of their families.” With religion and spiritual journeys being so prevalent to many, it got me to thinking about how that plays out in our spiritual connections with others, specifically our romantic partners. I mean often times we ask for a man or a woman who’s spiritually grounded. We often ask for a man who’s chasing after God. We want our “Boaz,” but the thing about spiritual journeys is although there might be similarities between ours and our partner’s, they’re still very much different, so what does it really mean to be spiritually connected?
So after a few Google searches, I was frustrated to see so many links to psychic websites, so many sites that tied being spiritually connected to being physically connected through sex, and so many links that just didn’t answer my question at all. So my next and most obvious option was the bible. I had to tweak my original question because even though I wanted to know what that meant in romantic relationships, I realized that we are still two individuals so rather what does it mean to just have a spiritual connections with someone else?
“In him you are also being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22, ESV)
You remember those old cartoon, the ones before Looney Tunes where they would always have the characters as factory workers or on an assembly line at a construction site and they had a certain rhythm going as they worked on the line laying bricks, spreading the cement, laying another brick. If one person messed up the flow or the rhythm of things, it could throw the whole line off. More importantly the bricks were laid in a specific pattern, like putting together a puzzle. This pattern made for a solid foundation and insured that the higher the brick laying got, the less chances there were for everything to topple. Spiritually, we are meant to fit together like bricks in a new building. It’s essential that the parts of a building fit together. You aren’t safe otherwise because there’s no spiritual support.
“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:4-5 ESV)
Back to this building process. There’s someone way in the back making and mixing the cement. There’s someone laying the bricks. There’s someone who spreads the cement. There’s someone who supervises the workers. There’s someone who holds the blueprints. The point is there are so many roles and responsibilities that go into building this…well, building. I assume that even though our spiritual journeys are quite different from each other, the fact that we are on a spiritual journey is enough to connect us. Even though we are different, each of our journeys contribute to that of the other.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4 ESV)
I’ve seen buildings covered in vines, I’ve seen trees covered in vines, I’ve seen people covered in vines (just kidding), but I realize that anything a vine touches tends to eventually consume it. The interesting part is that it creates a beautiful ruin that somehow preserves the structure of what it’s covering. Think of that spiritually. One the outside and in this world we are a complete mess, but if we are covered in vines (Christ) think about how much that protects us? I imagine that’s what it’s like being spiritually connected to someone. Then there’s also the maintenance of those vines which figuratively include praying, reading your bible and staying close to others on the beaten path.
Literally it includes the process of pruning. A few years ago, I taught a healthy habits class to children in an after school program and for Earth Day we planted flowers. I had to teach them how to take care of their plants. They had to learn how to prune which meant snipping away weeds, dead branches and leaves that were also dying. Being spiritually connected to someone means cutting away those distractions, and subtle evils that can make for a rotting vine.
So as they said, “If bae don’t pray, bae can’t stay…” but then that also forced me to check myself as well and make sure that I’m doing my part.
What does being spiritually connected mean to you?