My relationship with God is ever evolving. I allow it to grow and change and become whatever it is supposed to become. I relate to God through the earth, through tactile experiences with my children and husband, in sacred ways through meditation and music, and through appreciation of Their divine presence in my life.
My relationship with God started when I was a little girl. My cousin and I would attend our Marmar’s church. She would wet down and brush our hair into tight (hurting!) side pony tails. It was the late 80’s. All I really remember from that time is hearing my grandma sing. She smoked for so long that her vocal cords were not the greatest, but I could tell she was still singing in tune even if it was less beautiful—and truthfully to me it was beautiful. She sang her heart to God and taught me this: “It doesn’t matter how well we sing. We don’t sing for the people at church but so God can hear us.” She learned that from her dad who she said couldn’t sing at all but was the loudest singer at church.
Other than those few times we went to church with her, my family did not attend church. My parents had grown up in very orthodox ways and had decided that they would let us figure out God on our own. I was randomly drawn to churches that friends attended and had a couple of experiences that helped me know that something was there. I remember one night praying and asking if God was really there and if I was cared for. I had the strongest, warm feeling in my heart. Recalling that memory floats it to the surface. I even turned on my nightlight and in my diary wrote, “GOD IS REAL.”
In my late teens I did not have a relationship to God and didn’t care. I really wanted the time to delve into Wicca or Paganism because they always called to me but I did not have the time, and my egocentricity led me to focusing on myself and not a connection to God. I considered myself agnostic. I have found out that gnostic means seeker of truth, or knowing truth. Agnostic would be the opposite. I was not seeking anything. I was in fact feeling very depleted, depressed, and anxious about my life.
The first question I ever asked a pastor was at a daycare that I went to. I caught him in the hall and asked who God’s mother was. He told me, “God doesn’t have a mother.” I asked, “How can He not have a mother? Where did He come from then?” He responded, “He has just always been. He’s always existed.” That was not satisfying.
When I was 21 I joined an organized religion. When I brought this question up in this church, I learned that He does in fact have a mother, as we all do, and that He has a Wife. That was satisfying. It gave me some glimpse that I have an extra purpose that is not an appendage to a man. Over time I learned that we don’t really discuss this in our church. We don’t discuss much of anything that helps a woman understand her place in the eternities. I started feeling like I needed more of Her in my life and spirituality so that I could better understand who I was to become. My relationship to God seemed like it needed to be laid out in a very precise manner, otherwise it didn’t count as spirituality.
My meditative practice dwindled and even though I was praying to feel God’s love for me, to understand that I was still supported and loved, I was finding more and more teachings and quotes that made the cognitive dissonance so hard to bear. I had a couple of panic attacks late at night at the thought that God cared less about me because I am a woman. That God would actually allow and sanction the use of concubines (or slaves). That God would believe that I am better than those who were victimized because I live in a time and place that He does not sanction concubines (or slavery). How free I must feel now. Thank you God! But, the truth is, I am not better than a concubine or slave. I am not better than any woman who feels subservient to her husband, and God doesn’t feel that way either.
All of these emotions caused me to be so angry at God. Why was I angry? Because God chose to make a man before a woman (which is biologically impossible). And he made her after him because he couldn’t be alone (procreate his posterity). He chose to ask women to give more of their heart than their husbands had to in order to be more selfless in polygamous marriages. He chose to give women away as if that is possible. He chose to expect women to serve without complaint. He chose to give (mainly white) men power and authority over women (and other people on the earth). He chose to let us suffer. He chose to let me suffer. He kept Her hidden.
That sank in so deeply. My relationship with God that took years to build was crumbling. I was not feeling the presence of God even though I prayed constantly, was having faith, started meditating again, listened to mantra music, hymns, and songs of Christ almost daily, attended the temple, and was at church and took the sacrament consistently. I couldn’t comprehend that God would leave me in this place or even lead me to this place.
Then, I let Her in. I let my Mother into my life. I let Her into my spirituality. I prayed to Her. Over and over I asked to feel love. I felt assured that She was there for me, had always been there for me. I felt an assurance that my anger with God was not making Him angry with me. Of course God can see all of our life and the generations of ancestors that are living through us. He knew exactly what I was angry about. Generations of women in bondage. Generations of women feeling beat down, trodden, and incomplete. He let me mourn. He let me reach for my Mother because that did not take away from His status as God or His status as my Father.
Slowly, I reached a point of apology to Him. In that prayer I felt loved; I saw both my Father and Mother hug me as a united family. They blessed me and offered comfort and support. I knew I was on my own path and my way to Them was different than other people’s.
Although I had such a faith-promoting experience, it did not leave me any more supported during church. I still felt the sting of everything I saw that was wrong and hurtful. All the things that didn’t, and still don’t, ring true in my soul. After a huge shift happened physically for our family, I realized that what was still providing hurt in my life was church. God does not want me feeling hurt and spiritually wounded every week of my life.
God (She and He) want me happy. They want me to feel them deeply every moment of every day. They want my happiness to carry me into singing my own song and singing it loudly in my own way. God speaks to me through meditation, through the plants, within energy, through music, within my family, through my husband and children, through friendships, books, the zodiac, and technology. God sings to me through the ethers. They have been calling me in harmonious ways. Take what feels true, leave what doesn’t. It is all working to one great whole. That whole is a whole me. A woman who is strong, true, pure, holy, righteous, sexual, smart, cunning, bright, cheery, loud, zoned-in, chaotic, lunar, cyclical, loved, lovely, adventurous, beautiful, and enough. Right now, I am where God wants me to be. All my past steps have been stepping stones to now and as many stepping stones as are in my future will still lead me to God—and grace within Their harmonious song is what will guide my steps to my next stone.
Louise is a happy woman. She chooses to spend her time with her husband, children, with God, and learning.