Finding God When and Where I Least Expected It.
Spirituality. What does it mean?
To me, it didn’t use to mean much. It was just a label I gave myself because it sounded better than admitting I believed in nothing, unlike my maternal grandma.
My grandma believed in God and she thanked him daily (we’ll stick with ‘him’ for the sake of simplicity). She did alright by him too, living to the ripe old age of 103 despite living on soup, protein drinks and sugar cubes for the last few years of her life. Me, though, I had no faith to speak of.
I was raised by a Jewish dad and a Christian step-mom.
My birth mom was Jewish, but she died when I was three and neither one of the parents who raised me was religious. I always figured it was this lack of any religious guidance that resulted in me having nowhere concrete to invest my faith. That’s not to say I blame my parents.
Lots of children of no-fixed-religion find Godly paths by seeking out faith on their own terms. Doing so simply never occurred to me. Maybe I was more of a non-believer than I thought. After all, if my mom could die at the age of 29, could God even exist? Still, I kind of liked the idea of believing he did.
How comforting it must be to trust there’s someone watching over you. A bigger force that has your back. I liked the sound of that. What I couldn’t comprehend, however, was how believers could remain steadfast even when it seemed God didn’t care. I mean, if he did, would he have taken my mother away when I was three?
And then I grew up.
My first marriage ended when I was in my forties, after nine sometimes happy, often iffy years. If I were to be honest, I’d have to say I was more committed to the idea of keeping a family intact than I was to my actual husband.
I knew it though, and I frequently proposed therapy as a means of finding my way back to true love. He’d comply willingly, which gave me comfort. It told me I had some sense of control over our marriage, until suddenly I didn’t. He met someone else and called it a day.
Suddenly powerless, I had two options. I could a) cry about my failed marriage and crumble, or b) cry about my failed marriage and trust that everything would eventually be alright. I chose the latter, and in doing so, I found God, although I didn’t realize it at the time.
I started to trust the Universe.
It was the only way to cope. I decided to surrender to that elusive thing that was more powerful than me, and take life day by day, which wasn’t easy for a planner like me.
Instead of panicking about financial hardship, I trusted that the Universe would make everything alright.
Instead of panicking about being a single mom, I trusted that the Universe would give me strength.
Instead of panicking when an ex-boyfriend from 20-years-prior crept out of the woodwork just as my marriage ended, I trusted the Universe to show me the way, and it did. We recently celebrated eight years of marriage — and, more importantly, love.
The funny thing is, while I still didn’t believe in God, I had absolute faith in the Universe. I trusted it had a bigger plan for me, just as others believe God has a plan for them, even mid-crisis.
That’s when it struck me. That’s when I realized I wasn’t any different from my grandma after all. She and I both believed in a higher power. She had found God. I had found the Universe. It’s not the name of the entity we look to that counts, but the light, guidance, and comfort it brings.
The Universe brings me the light, guidance, and comfort I need to leave in peace. Like never before, I believe that wherever life takes me, I’m going to be just fine — because everything I need is within me.
Do I know this for a fact? Of course not. It’s simply a strong belief.
I believe I’m equipped for whatever life throws at me. That, my friends, is faith.
I have found God.
Perhaps not the same God as my grandmother. After all, my God doesn’t have a gender and there’s no particular temple I can go to for worship. But that’s because my God is the Universe. Wherever I go, so too goes my God.
Viv Singer used to live life with her glass half-empty. Now it fluctuates between half-full and positively brimming over. When she’s not making her living as a freelance copywriter, she’s striving to understand her own motives, actions and responses so that she can learn from them, lead a more authentic life, and do a better job at living for today. Wanting the same for others, Viv launched vivfortoday.com, where she regularly blogs her heart out. By sharing personal experiences and thoughts about her own daily life, Viv inspires others to live life with peace, joy, and positivity. For more from Viv, you can subscribe to her newsletter, or get social with her on Instagram and Facebook.