It doesn't matter how close you are to someone, even if you live with them, the fact remains: you will always be oblivious or perhaps, out of 'the know' about something about that particular person. I always say that I will never truly know my wife 100%. I say that as a good thing, because I'm constantly learning new things about her, even after 20 something years of being together. Remember the good ol' 7 year itch? Well, that "itch" is true. The "itch" can also mean that it's just the process of growing, changing or setting new beliefs. In fact, our bodies develop new allergies every 7 years. Think about where you were 7 years ago today. You were quite different, weren't you? Think about your political views and even religious views... Weren't they a little different back then? I do know one thing, (maybe two or three) -- that we are constantly growing and evolving into different people, gradually. I'm not saying that every 7 years it's like, presto -- brand new person. "I don't even know them anymore."
When I was in my early thirties, I remember my sister saying something very interesting. She said that when people turn 40 (especially women), they develop more desire to learn, but more so, more ability to absorb. This is why they suggest that people wait until they reach the prime age of 40 before they study the Kabbalah. If you open it beforehand, less gets absorbed and you won't be so 'enlightened' as you would if you were older than 40. As for my faith in Christianity, I recall Joyce Meyer, a Christian author and speaker, she would use the phrase "still on the milk" -- which would means, not fully absorbing the new information --or-- not a mature level of spirituality. So basically, still learning.
But "religion" is taught. Spirituality is developed over a period of time.
I've never reached such a high state of consciousness as I have when I turned 40 years old. It took some rough spiritual beatings to actually get to where I am right now, but I will say this: I am an entirely different person than I was before 40 years old. And that's just a couple of years ago...ok, a few years ago.
I mean, what's better than reaching your highest level of spirituality other than learning about it first. But the deeper you go, (the more you meditate) and not only pray, but listen
to God -- that's when you know you have reached a higher level. And remember, the word "silence" has the same letters as "listen." And when I say a "higher level" -- I do not mean your highest, because you can only go higher and higher without limitations. I truly believe that. Many atheists will laugh at my "fairytale-ish" kinda faith, but this fairytale kinda faith saved my life and it has also given such an amazing amount of peace, even if I was in the middle of complete chaos. I'm not perfect, which is why I still need God to guide me every step of the way. I fully depend on Him for all my needs. If he takes care of the sparrows, wouldn't He then take care of you? I trust in Him to the point of remaining in the present, not worrying about tomorrow, but keeping the necessary amount of worries for today and giving it up to God.
But it's not so easy sometimes.
I find myself tossing and turning at night, thinking about things that are out of my control. My mind spins faster and faster, spiraling out of control until I look up at the clock and it says, 5am. But when I get into the mindset of looking forward to tomorrow and going to sleep in a good mood -- I sleep like a baby cub. Any negative energy (thoughts, happenings in your life, situations) will keep you up at night if you don't 'put it to rest' literally. Nothing is going to change between 9pm and 6am, so you might as well sleep. There is NOTHING you can do about ANYTHING other than trust God, give your problems to Him (I do this mentally) and just go to sleep, knowing everything is in His hands. And they are. When I do this, I realize that not only did I sleep for 8 hours, but whatever I was worrying about the night before was no big deal that morning, nor in the afternoon or evening. Most of the things we tend to worry about never come into fruition. Isn't that difficult to wrap your mind around? That's the bulk of what most people's underlining anxiety and phobias stem from.
There's another thing I learned over the years too. I realized that there are people out there who pray to the same god I do. They pray differently, they live differently, some even having different beliefs within the same "religion" -- and you know something -- that's OK. We're not meant to walk the same exact path. We are each designed a personalized journey to which we discover God, or not. And that's up to you -- free will -- the right to choose your path, and hope for the best. Faith is not "TRUTH" as some Christians will say -- science cannot cover faith. But if you make your faith your own truth, then that is the most beautiful thing you can ever experience. It's gotten to the point where Christians are judging one another so harshly, even the way we pray or worship God has been ridiculed, or "not good enough."
“And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.
When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” ~Matthew 6:5-8
Sometimes I have a difficult time praying with other people, or praying over somebody else, which is the most amazing thing you can do. It says in the Bible, that when two are more are gathered, He is in the midst, when it comes to healing someone, or the laying of hands when somebody is ill. I'm pretty shy when it comes to praying publicly, or even just with someone. Yesterday afternoon, I was really upset. My mom didn't feel well and my friend Eva texted me at just the right moment and asked, "Are you ok?" She called me up and prayed over the phone with me. It meant the world to me. More and more I'm getting used to praying with other people. My mother and father in-law were over last week, and we all got into a circle, held hands and prayed for my mom's health. The feeling, the power, the anointing that came over me was so overwhelming -- I felt God there. There was no denying it. It was the first time in my life when I fully believed that praying with others is one of the most powerful ways to receive God's favor. It doesn't mean that God doesn't hear your prayers when you pray alone, it just means, there is more healing power in having more people of faith along with you, helping you, instilling their own love of God into the same prayer of favor. Now I understand why so many people are addicted -- yes, addicted to fellowship and going to church every Sunday. They feel that huge presence by being surrounded by others who believe in the same thing. It's absolutely magical.
I should've been dead two years ago, but because of my constant communication with God, I'm giving all credit to Him. Maybe I'll write about it sometime soon, but I will say one thing: any time I don't pray, communicate, meditate -- my entire day is 'off'. I feel weak, defeated, I tend to delve into my own sinful nature and that's when the devil attacks the most -- when you're at your weakest. But if you admit to God your weakness, your weaknesses becomes God's strength. So even if I'm too tired to pray, I do it anyway. And when there are days when I can't, or just feel too defeated, it's a day I repent for. The devil wants you to feel guilt, this way, you feel ashamed to come to God -- which only puts separation between you and God. That's the whole purpose. We all fall short, but we can go strong with constant communication and meditation. When I say "meditation" -- I don't mean go sit somewhere Indian style on some flimsy gym mat and "ommmmmmm" your way through it. (You can, and that's OK) -- but what I mean is, LISTEN. Wait for His answers, whether it's an impression on your mind or if it's a sign from outer circumstances. And remember that sometimes, unanswered prayers are the biggest blessings.
My keys to maintaining a "constant joy" -- not what the world deems as "happiness" -- but just a constant feeling of gratitude.
I mention three things that I am grateful for that day. I do this every single day. And ever since I have been practicing this into my prayer time, the world looks different. It doesn't look as drab as it used to. I'm starting to see the good in things and holding less pity parties for myself.
I thank Him for my daily bread -- the manna that He provides. If I hoard it, or become cheap and stingy, it'll be taken from me. I learned this through a Bible story.
In Exodus 16, God provided the Israelites with manna from heaven. It was called “the bread which God has given you to eat." That manna was given to sustain them for that day. Fresh manna was provided by God on a daily basis. But what did the people do? They tried to store it up, to hoard it, to find some other security in knowing that there was “sufficient for tomorrow,” etc. But the manna of God was not for storing up purposes; it was to be eaten on a daily basis. When they got away from the simple commands of God, they soon discovered that “the manna from heaven” very quickly degenerated into a stink ~ “it bred worms and stank." We would ask, “How could it be that such a gift from God could be turned so quickly into something we would reject because of the way it turned out?” We find it hard to equate that something from heaven could become worm-ridden and carry such an awful stench. Yet, unfortunately, that is the way it can be. God wants us to live in such a way that our relationship with Him is a daily relationship, where He supplies us with that “bread from heaven” (revelation) of what He is wanting of us at this very present point in time. We have to know His voice to live like that.
And to know His voice, we have to ask for discernment from God -- to fully understand when He is the one talking. Many people are praying and communicating, but sometimes, it can be from different sources. You truly have to be careful when you're opening that veil of communication. Seal it with the name of Jesus, and try to ask for discernment when you are praying and communicating, especially when you are listening, or at least, trying to.
I know this is a longwinded article, but I wanted to share my faith with you. People see me live stream and cook, make light-hearted jokes and what have you. But there is a much deeper side to me, something rarely seen by my friends or family. Be rest assured, I am always praying for my friends and family. I also pray over the food I cook for them, asking God to bless it with love, health, laughter and happiness. I may not look like your "typical Christian" or act like it sometimes, but my faith is even stronger than my own earthly reality.
It's the one thing keeping me alive today.
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