If someone has asked me in the last few years about my faith, I have found it difficult to answer. It is a question I have struggled with, stumbled over, avoided when at all possible for very real reasons...those who know my vocation prior to these years sometimes find this odd, even shocking or outright strange, especially if they are unaware of the circumstances surrounding my journey into the desert of doubt. I worked for "the church" and was in ministry in various areas for more than ten years, even attending seminary at one point, determining a call to ordained service. How could I "abandon" this church, question my God, and simply seem to "fall away" from the kingdom of God?
The desert has not been an easy journey. Dry, long, empty at times and quite lonely. Yet through it all I sensed a presence not so much leading me but "with me" as I stepped along and found my way, as long as it took, whatever route I took. I see with new eyes, eyes more open and a heart more full of the incredibly abundant love of our God and knowledge of Her joy and delight in all of us, ALL of us throughout this world. I celebrate quietly that the journey is bringing me peacefully home.
Today I began "Winter Feast for the Soul" ~ a globally organized 40-day spiritual practice period, believing that "A life grounded in daily practice is one that knows inner peace. It is that peace which translates into peace throughout our lives and ultimately to peace and healing for our planet."
The guided meditation schedules provided are available from various faiths and practices and ages to accommodate all. I found great comfort in "coming home" to the Contemplative Prayer model which today used the practice of lectio divina, reminding me in today's message that the kingdom of God is within me. Such powerful words! Throughout that desert journey, indeed, I was not alone, and I had not "fallen away" as the kingdom of God is already here, within me. What peace that brings.