The day we moved into our new home was crazy. We had decided at the last minute to pack up a U-Haul (no lesbian jokes please), grab some of the nephews and move in. It was haphazard and it happened in the middle of the night the day after Christmas. When we did finally get moved in we were dwarfed by the size of it all. Our furniture looked like dollhouse furniture against the ten and twenty-foot ceilings. We couldn't believe the size of it: seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, sauna, steam room, gym, game room, movie theater and the biggest most beautiful pool I had ever seen outside of a resort. All of this on the 18th hole of the golf course with breath-taking views of the lake and the well-manicured nature. Our last name could have been Jefferson 'cause we knew we had moved on up.
Six years later I was packing a U-Haul with my stuff, my memories, and my kid and headed to Florida to start all over from scratch. It should have been the worst time in my life, but that would come later. The Universe has a way of putting things in perspective. To say I was devastated by the circumstances of the end of my relationship would be an understatement by any account. In an instant all that I knew of as my life was gone. My love, my identity, my business, my home, my finances, my stability, my future - everything gone gone gone. I didn't know what I was going to do or how I was going to do it. I got a job. I quit the job. I started a business. I stopped doing the business. I prayed. And then I prayed some more. You find out what you are truly made of when all of the trimmings (or trappings) fall away.
Prayer opened the door to new understanding. Where others saw loss, I saw gain. I knew I had an opportunity unlike any other. I could either dwell on all that I had lost or focus on all I had in front of me. My life hadn't been destroyed. I had been given the most remarkable of gifts: a blank canvass. I had a chance to truly and completely paint the picture I wanted my life to be. What an unimaginable present! I had no idea where to start. When I heard a voice saying, "Just start somewhere!" I realized I was going to need some help with this one, so I turned to God.
I've always been a person who prayed. As a child the rote memorization of my Catholic prayers offered comfort of some sort. As a Baptist seminarian learning to pray I often felt inadequate in my prayer life. But I have always known that I could talk to God and intuitively knew that God talked to me. So that's what I did. I talked to God and I have to say, I've had some great conversations with God over the past couple of years. I pray and God listens to me. I meditate and I listen to God. It is a pretty good system we have worked out. I asked what I should do and I listened in the quiet for the answer. I got it and I have been writing ever since. I love the picture I have been co-creating with God's help. It has been amazing.
In a time when everything I valued disappeared I could have called out in anguish and anger. And yes, I had my moments, but I dug deep and found the Faith I knew had always been there. And in taking the time I needed to be still and look inward, I found me there waiting patiently for my own arrival. It was as though the God in me said, "I knew you'd show up. Here's a brush; now, let's get started." Me and God have been creating the most beautiful life I could ever know filled with wonder and awe and abundance beyond measure. I have been blessed in ways I couldn't even begin to express. I have abundance in ways that have nothing to do with a big house or a fast car. I have more joy and more love than I have ever known! And yes, all of the goodies that come with it.
Last month I was given a gift and had the privilege of attending a Unity retreat hosted by Unity Center for Practical Spirituality. The retreat was held on a lovely resort-like campus in West Cornwall, CT. We were fed deeply satisfying spiritual, intellectual and creative food. The setting was remarkable. I was surrounded by beautiful nature, mountains, rivers, and some of the most loving, gifted, intelligent people you could ever meet. One of whom I met there was me. Fully cloaked in who I have been ordained to be I unveiled this picture God and I have been creating and it was marvelous. One of the best works ever! I liked it so much I decided it should be a part of my permanent collection. I am keeping it out where everyone can see it. I hope you like it as much as I do. I am expanding on the vision of this original painting, adding some color and depth here and there. It IS a work in progress you know.
And if you think that first canvas was fire... HA! Wait until you see what God is creating in me now. Stay tuned. It really is AMAZING!