sunday night encouragement piece – awakening
Here is the Sunday night encouragement piece I do every Sunday
Tonights subject is “spiritual awakening”
Today I encourage you to ask yourself if you have ever gone through a spiritual awakening. What was that experience like?
My spiritual awakening came to me 2 years ago when I turned into the parking lot of Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church” – it changed my faith and spiritual life forever!
I was going through a really tough moment that night. I was 3 years into therapy at the time, and it was the beginning of some really hard triggers of reopening the past.
I remember that night like it was yesterday! I was listening to some music, and my eyes were welled up with tears! I was looking for some answers on how to get through this hard place I was in at the time.
I looked over and saw a church, and turned my car right into the parking lot. I was at a “catholic church” – I felt a pull that night, and there was a reason that this happened.
I always knew that the doors to the “catholic church” were always open 24/7. So I took a chance, got out of the car, and walked into the church at 10:00 at night.
It was dark, and I went and sat in the sanctuary! All I could see was this little red light flickering in the right hand corner of the church. They call it the Paschal candle. It’s lit all year round starting at the Easter vigil, and then blown out on “Good Friday”.
When sitting in the front pew (where I sit even today for the past 3 years) I prayed! I looked up at the crucifix and even though it was dark, I could make out the shadows. I felt God was watching me, and praying over me.
I kneeled and I prayed, and I asked God to give me some strength. I prayed and asked him to open up something for me to see, and to feel. I needed to have something back into my life that gave me grace.
Years before I started therapy I was angry with God. I was angry that he could see me go through such pain, and not protect me from it. I thought I did something wrong to deserve all that I went through – “how could God watch a child, a teen, and young adult go through suffering?”
It wasn’t until I started therapy that I realized that God was watching over me, shaking his head at all that was being done to me, but the free will of others is what God did not have control over”.
When my therapist made me realize that, I was numb! I thought all these years of being angry with God that it was my doing, and I was being punished – when all along, he was watching over me, and crying himself that I was being wronged.
As I sat there in the sanctuary, I continued to pray, and I had this overwhelming feeling of LOVE that I have never felt in my life come over me. I felt Gods love for me, and realized he was there all along, I just needed to accept it.
I felt his hand on my heart, and I knew in that moment I was going to welcome God back into my heart, and find the grace once again that I lost for a long time.
The next day, I went back to the church while I was light out. I went back to the sanctuary to look at where I was the night before. Again the same feeling of love was filling up my heart more and more.
When I went back and saw where I had been the night before for 2 hours, I was amazed that I could be somewhere in the dark, and someone in the light the next day, with whole new feelings.
That was my spiritual awakening.
I went through the process of becoming Catholic like I always wanted to as a child. I joined RCIA with Deacon Bill and Shirley. It was a big class that ran from August up until the Easter Vigil.
I loved every moment of those classes. I felt loved, and welcomed. My sponsor Gail was very comforting to all the process of coming into the faith. I felt closer to my Nana and was so proud that I was finally doing something she wanted me to be a part of my whole life.
I confirmed at the Easter Vigil. I took my oath and accepted my first Eucharist.
My entire support system was there that night watching me make movement into the faith I was meant to be in.
Still to this day, every Sunday, I still sit in the same seat I sat in that night when I showed up at 10:00pm. The very front pew up in the right hand side of the church, Sunday 11:00am mass, and I still look at the red flickering candle and I smile, to know that is where it all began!
What was your spiritual awakening? I would love to hear your story!