I started out in life with a very warped notion of who or what is God. I understood from my Catholic upbringing that he was a man in a robe, sitting on a throne in an area of the sky called Heaven. I imagined him to be a bit like ‘big brother,’ observing our every move.
I understood from what was shared with me that he was someone who was judgemental and had the power to send people to hell for all eternity.
I also realised that he practised favouritism, as I was told that the Catholic Church was the only true church on earth and therefore only Catholics could be redeemed and enter the kingdom of God. All those outside his favoured religion were heretics and would be sent to hell, as nothing unclean could be in God’s presence.
I also saw him as someone who demanded absolute obedience to his laws. So, to me he was someone to be fearful of, as he would punish those who did not live by his rules.
I now realise that what I learnt from the ministers of the Catholic faith was not the truth, but a version that was possibly created to hamper me, and many of the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, from finding God. We were led to believe that he was in Heaven, while all the time he is much closer to home: in fact so close he is within us.
Around the age of eighteen I moved away from the church, and the unloving God who resided in the sky.
Knowing that there was a bigger picture to life, I embarked on a search that lasted nearly 40 years in an attempt to discover what I thought was the meaning of life, but I now know I was searching for God.
I looked high and low in my search. I allowed myself to be enticed by the many new age spiritual practices, from tarot cards and crystals right up to having sessions with a trance medium. All of this seemed to bring temporary relief from the deep unrest within me. This relief was short lived because I was searching outside of myself for answers, not realising that these were much closer to home; so close in fact they were inside me, in my inner heart.
This realisation started to dawn on me when I attended a presentation by a man called Serge Benhayon. The first few times I heard Serge mention God, I felt uncomfortable and I remember wishing that he would move onto another topic. Gradually my resistance subsided as I started to discard the notions that I had held for so long about the nature of God. The God that Serge spoke of and has a relationship with felt so different to the one that I learnt about when I was growing up. The God that I started to become aware of loved us all equally as we are all his children, whatever church or religion we belong to. A defining moment for me was hearing that God is love and to know that he lives in us all and that we can connect with him through our inner hearts. No need to go through Priests, Vicars or Popes. No third party needed.
I now know God to be love, and that he resides within us all: he is also all around us, in all the animals and plants, the planet and the universe.
As God is love, by being his Son I too am love, as is everybody else, equally so. It is up to us individually and collectively how much we allow ourselves to be love and to express it.
Now that I know the nature of God, I am in the process of unfolding a deeper connection with him. The focus of my life now is to let go of what is not love, so that I can receive and express more love. I am doing this by being more loving in how I care for me and my body and all that I come in contact with, by dealing with my issues and hurts and by introducing rhythms into my life that are supportive of me in my connection to my inner heart, the doorway to God.
It has been mainly a long, wayward and painful journey that I embarked on when I made the decision to separate from God’s love. Knowing that I am now on the path of return to what I parted from… feels Simply Divine.
By Elizabeth McCann, retired from radiography and now committed to various voluntary roles within my local community, Salisbury, UK