I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had periods were our faith is not nearly as strong as it had been in the past for whatever reason. For me, I had always believed in God but my idea of him was vast and complicated. At this moment in time, I had not yet known Jesus and so without the Bible I had only my heart to base my beliefs as well as all the influences I had encountered through my life.
On April 3rd, I was crying and driving to yoga and called out to God to please help me believe in him. I had spent the last two months trying all types of churches and looking for a community of people I could make friendships with. I had moved to another state almost a year ago and had yet to make new friendships. I was starting to feel really lonely and was missing my old friends back home. Unfortunately, some of the churches I tried were an elderly only community, others had great events on their calendars but when I went, I ended up being the only person there, others I had called or emailed and never got a response, one was just outright crazy with people lying on the floor saying they were having conversations with God (we literally ran from that place) and so I was starting to feel like giving up. I debated just going back to my solitary worship. And so with all this feeling of hopelessness I called out to God praying that if he wants me to worship him with others to please help me find the right church and community.
Being in the upset state I was, I was nearly in two car accidents on my way to the yoga class. I wondered if it were God showing me he was protecting me when I had come so close to being hurt. Then when I went into yoga I was lying underneath a fan and the light reflection on the blades looked like a pair of two crosses. I wondered if that were confirmation that he was with me in those two moments. But I disregarded it saying things (good or bad) always happen in 3s, not 2s. Then I said to myself that's too easy of a sign to make myself see. So I said, show me a sign with mother Mary (thinking that would be harder to make up in my head). I looked around the room and saw an angel carved into a Himalayan salt lamp but said no, that's me trying to see something that's not there.
A moment later the teacher came to the front of the room and said "I don't normally start the class with chanting an Om, but Mary at the front desk is having a really stressful day, so I told Mary we'd all chant her a nice loud Om so she could hear it all the way out there." I almost missed the sign and then realized how fast God had answered my request. I began crying again. Then 30mins into the class the fire alarm went off. I completely froze into the fetal position with my hands covering my ears. It took me a few moments, enough that everyone else had left the studio, before I could see straight enough and start to move on autopilot. I grabbed my shoes, coat and mat and headed out of the studio, down the hall, and out the main door in a head haze. Only when I got to my car did I realize if I hadn't panicked I would have realized I was sitting in front of an emergency exit door on which the other side was my car because it was the last parking spot available when I had pulled in. So there was my 3rd save of the night on top of my Mary request. The next day on April 4th I found my church, one with a large young adult community that has been extremely welcoming and has many events.
For many years I've celebrated the changing of seasons. I've honored the directions and the elements and given thanks for the many blessings nature gives us. And in each ceremony, even before I knew Jesus, I could feel the presence of him with me. God has been by my side all along. And so I want to be able to thank nature for helping me see God. Or maybe I should say thank God for helping me see him in nature. So I wrote this simple ceremony, blending my old traditions with my newfound love and relationship with God.
Casting a circle of love and light with Jesus:
1. "Thank you Jesus for the direction of East. The place of the rising sun. A place of new beginnings. And for it's element Air. Like the Wind we can feel your presence always with us even when we cannot see you."
2. "Thank you Jesus for the direction of the South. The place of everlasting light. Like the Holy Spirit you shine your light through us. By the element of fire you warm our hearts and guide us through the darkness."
3. "Thank you Jesus for the direction of the West. The place of our first and second birth. Through the element of water we are born and reborn in baptism washing away our sins and coming forth as a child of Christ."
4. "Thank you Jesus for the direction of the North. For the fertile land that provides us with all we need. The element of Earth is one of your greatest gifts to us after salvation. It is out home until we meet you in the Kingdom of Heaven."
5. Once the circle is cast, it's time for the honoring of the season and/or the sermon. Here you can reflect on the meaning of the season and how it connects with the bible. For example, Spring is a time for new beginnings and second chances. We can connect this to the Bible by remembering the resurrection of Christ and his forgiveness of our sins so that we may be given a second chance in our life to connect with God and enter his kingdom of heaven.
6. Next spend time in prayer or if you like to sing then sing. You could also hold a drumming circle. Or if words escape you, make something to honor him and give thanks for the blessings of nature.
7. Now take time to pray for others. Or if you are with a group take a moment to go around the circle one by one and allow each person to ask for a prayer that is either for themselves or someone they know who needs it.
Closing your circle of prayer:
8. "We thank you Jesus for connecting us with the direction of North and the element of Earth. May you always guide us on this Earthly plane."
9. "We thank you Jesus for connecting us with the direction of West and the element of Water. May we continue to try to strive for an honorable life now that you've washed away our sins."
10. "We thank you Jesus for the direction of East and the element Air. May we stay strong knowing you always with us."
As a trauma survivor I have learned to move forward in my life and heal from my past by exploring many passions such as spirituality, art, travel & herbalism. I hope my blog can help inspire healing in others and let them know they are not alone on their journey.