You’re alive for a reason. The God of the universe loves you and He has an amazing plan, way beyond what you can imagine! I wish we could sit down, not on a Zoom chat, but face-to-face, and you could tell me your plan to reach your destiny.
Until I put the scenes of my past together, I didn’t recognize the thread woven through my life that led me to write a book.
We all have things in our lives that have happened to us that motivate us, right? Think about it.
When I made my list, I saw the journey I was on.
Do you see themes in your life? Maybe recognizing them helps us reach our destiny?
I always knew I’d write, but I didn’t know why.
Dad aimed to instill the concept that we should all leave this world a better place, but I internalized writing would please Daddy.
Here’s another key that can help us reach our destiny. Not only do we have an earthly father, but we have a Heavenly Father. And He’s not only willing and able to heal our relationships, but He’ll also take the work of our hands and bless it.
Even though Dad is laying in the hospital and may never read my book, that was no surprise to God. All along, I think He’s wanted to use it to help others find the same kind of healing I found.
I’m about to release Mary Me: One Woman’s Incredible Adventure with God and this next scene opens the story.
Yup, she’s right!
“Thinking about God scares me, makes me feel . . . dirty? Wrong? Slightly evil?” My friend sipped her espresso as we sat across from each other at the Manzanita News coffee shop. “I hope I’m good enough.”
“Loved?” I raised an eyebrow, a bagel paused halfway to my mouth.
“Exactly,” she nodded.
“That this God who supposedly made me,” I leaned in, “actually likes me?”
“Bingo!” She toasted me with her cup.
I kept stumbling into these God conversations, which would force me to put my own experience into words. How did I get from “God? No thank you!” to chats like this, with people turning to me for insight?
I grew up in a family with high expectations
. . . skilled in control and manipulation. Eventually, I moved out but ended up with more of the same in the form of roommates and boyfriends because it felt normal. Needless to say, I didn’t thrive in those environments. Who does?
After busting my butt to please everybody else, I quit trying and decided to focus on what made me happy. But I was still circling through codependent relationships as if stuck on the spin cycle; I turned to one thing after another to take the edge off like drugs, alcohol, a new man, or another adventure.
At twenty-six, I had peered inside a smoking volcano, then patted a silverback gorilla in the jungle. I danced. I sang. And I slept under the African skies contemplating incredible beauty.
But nothing quenched my soul.
So, I added a spiritual component to my quest . . .
. . .which was weird because I grew up in the church but didn’t really like it. I never felt like I fit in. I always felt like a misfit and not just in church.
That’s okay. I’m good with it now. Truth be told, I’m not your average bear.
I didn’t go back to the church for spiritual direction—I studied chakras, walked labyrinths, and searched for a sweat lodge. I made pilgrimages to Jim Morrison’s grave, Loch Ness, and the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For what? I could not figure that out . . .
Instead of the norm, a family, and a profession, I had friends and stories. I’d work multiple jobs for a season and run off again.
Something was missing, I didn’t know what.
Okay, I sort of did. Maybe it was the things my parents wanted for me like a husband, kids, and a real job?
I struggled with anxiety and loneliness, even in a crowded room. Never felt like I was enough. I ate Tums like candy. And I know this sounds all beauty-contestant-answerish but I just wanted inner peace, a place to come in out of the rain.
I needed, well, God, really, but you couldn’t have told me that then, not until the crap hit the fan, you know, those no-one-can-save-you-but-God things, an actual life or death experience.
I’m not kidding, I didn’t think I was going to live, but instinctively I cried out and BAM! There God was, not judgmental and mean, but the ultimate friend. He came through in a big way!
I’ll be honest with you, I flippin’ drank the Kool-Aid.
I didn’t set out to look for God.
But He didn’t trick me either. He’s not like that. So much about God is not like I thought.
He’s way cooler than anyone said. And I did need Him, just not in the way others tried to package Him. This One, who’s capable of bringing us out the other side of whatever we’ve been through, is gentle, never hurried, always present, even when He’s silent.
And not to glorify the stray, but it was only at the end of myself that I got desperate enough to give God a chance. Terrified I was about to die, I promised if He’d save me, I’d do whatever He wanted.
He upheld His end of the deal. I decided to keep my side of the bargain since, you know, I was still breathing.
Suddenly, unexpectedly, my entire life changed.
Instead of the massive let-down, I’d always felt I’d been to my parents, I felt encouraged to be me like never before, led, even, on a journey to fulfill my deepest desires, not someone else’s.
I never expected this ride to include God, but His radical love and acceptance blew me away. Nothing else mattered, like who I was or what I’d done. He saw it all and still, He loved me.
“How the heck did you get here?” my old friends ask.
“Right?” I shrug my shoulders.
And I know, as we stand in the checkout line at the grocery store reading the latest scandal sheet, our culture tells us we can boil everything down to ten steps, but when it comes to a thing with God, I can’t do that.
I think He’s got a unique adventure for each of us for those who want it.
“You like telling your stories,” said my friend in that coffee shop, “because you’re secure enough in your current self, the self that’s firmly established in a godly life, that you can laugh at your mistakes, even the dark moments while pointing to the light you stand in right now and say,
‘See if I made it, so can you.’ ”
I believe that.
And by finishing this book, it feels like I’ve placed a puzzle piece in the grande design. It’s like when we each reach our destiny, or a part of it, something clicks. It all fits together.
It makes me want to put together a super fun workshop where we discover the next steps of our destinies, so we don’t miss any, and we make a plan to reach them.
Think about it.
How will God bless others when you reach your destiny?
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