Embracing my calling as a writer and mystic

It’s amazing the way God plants seeds of our destiny in us that we don’t fully understand until years later.

When I was 16, I developed a random interest in Emily Dickinson, and I received a book of her poetry for my birthday. I was drawn to it and liked the feeling I had when I read some of her poems, but I never fully understood most of them.

When I did my senior seminar thesis on her in college, I gained a somewhat deeper understanding of the mystical dimension of her work, but I still found it mysterious and struggled to make sense of her words intellectually.

Now that I finally realize God created me to be a mystic and writer, I understand that He spoke to me through her poetry, calling to a deeper part of myself that was longing for the mystical consciousness she conveyed through her words.

Her work called to the depths of my soul and awakened part of God’s plan for my life.  Even her lifestyle choice of solitude (that I didn’t understand *at all* as a teenager with a pretty active social life) called to my own deep need for space to contemplate, which has become increasingly important to me as I grow deeper in my spiritual connection.

Now that I’ve spent years following the Lord into prayerful contemplation as often as possible, I can more deeply understand the contrast between the soulful joy of authenticity and the superficial pleasure of praise that motivated Emily to write these famous words:

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish — you know!

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Like Emily, I am SO grateful to be “nobody” and delighted when I meet others, who are kindred spirits in that regard. I  express similar sentiments in this poem called “Embracing Ordinary”.

Now that I’ve been practicing contemplative prayer for many years, I have experienced the paradoxical mystical richness of solitude Emily describes in this poem:

There is another loneliness
That many die without,
Not want or friend occasions it,
Or circumstances or lot.

But nature sometimes, sometimes thought,
And whoso it befall
Is richer than could be divulged
By mortal numeral.

Like Emily, I have a sacred, achy, almost sad “loneliness” in my heart that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world because it’s mixed with a mystical almost magical love for and connection to the Holy Spirit that keeps drawing me deeper into God’s mysteries. I wrote this poem called “definition of faith” to express that exact paradoxical reality.

Lately I am truly amazed at how God is bringing me full circle into my calling as a writer, a mother, a mystic, a prayer warrior and a peacemaker. I hope my words can help draw others to the Light of Christ. Please pray for me to follow Him always and light the spiritual path for others!

Do you know what your calling is? What dreams has God planted in your heart? Comment below, and I’ll pray for you to persevere through the peaks and valleys of following God’s plan  your life!  

 

A mystic’s prayer

I love sneaking away from the crowd to find a quiet place,

where I can gaze at the moon or lose myself

in a love letter,

delivered by ripples of light on the tide.

I love the gentle connection between water and land,

as each wave of Deep Blue Divine finds a way to splash uniquely onto earth.

I will never get tired of listening and waiting for Your messages in prayer, Lord.

Thank You for letting me sense Your presence in the beauty of nature.

Thank You for drawing me  into awareness of Your gorgeous light all around me.

Help me learn to trust that You made me this way for a reason, Lord.

Give me the grace to open up to an even deeper connection with Your love

and power that shapes the world.

Transform me into one of Your beautiful creations –

that points always to Your glory like the stars.

Amen.

whenyoureindarknesspoem

The riches found in prayer

I’m here to tell you the good news:

There is a gemstone treasure waiting to nourish your soul in the quiet depths of contemplation.

If you could begin to fathom the wealth of graces waiting for you under the surface of life,

you wouldn’t hesitate to dive right into the crystal clear pool of silence.

I encourage you to swim boldly into prayer,

deep into the beauty of hope.

Even though it’s hard to let go of  the comfort of surface life and you’re terrified,

while the frosty water bites your skin,

and you imagine creatures hungrily swimming up

to devour your last resolve …

I’m here to tell you:

it’s worth it to carry on.

I know what I’m talking about because I had the grace to believe.

I dove into faith and lost everything,

even my own life,

before I discovered the miracle of infinite riches He’d created for me.

Now I’m alive in truth, bejeweled in dignity.

I finally realize my worth as the daughter of a King, and

I want the same for you.

The question is:

Do you have the courage to take the plunge?

How much are you willing to surrender to dive ever deeper,

into the sacred mystery of His love for you?

Are you willing to lose yourself completely?

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www.uniteinprayer.org (41)

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Related Scripture

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” -Luke 9:24“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” -Luke 9:24

 

The problem with contemplative prayer

When we spend time in silence contemplating God’s powerful unconditional love for us, He pours the perfection of His Spirit into us. It’s a beautiful thing.

James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” 

Contemplative prayer gives our Heavenly Father an opportunity to pour His miraculous gifts into us. God is the source of everything good that we could ever possibly want in our lives including joy, love, healing, power, peace and so much more.

The problem with contemplative prayer is not with God: It’s with us. 

The more time we allow Him to pour divine love into us, the more we discover all the the clogged places in us, which prevent His Love from flowing freely through us into the world. Resentments, fears, limiting beliefs and unhealed emotional wounds are a few examples of the guck we unconsciously hold onto, which block us from experiencing healing and miracles.

Often, when we enter into contemplative prayer and start to notice our own negativity instead of the mystical revelations from God we’d hoped for, we decide we’re not good at prayer and run for the hills.  Though that is understandable because it’s scary to realize how far we are from perfect unity with God …

I’m here to tell you: Don’t quit.

If you continue to retreat into the silence of contemplation of God’s infinite goodness, He can liberate you from everything holding you back from fully experiencing His love and pouring it into the world, which so desperately needs it. 

Thomas Merton said “We are able to decide whether we ourselves, and that portion of the world which is ours, shall become aware of His presence, consecrated by it, and transfigured by it’s light.”

The question is: will you persevere in prayer through the obstacles or not? 

I encourage you to educate yourself about the power of faith and prioritize taking time to meditate on God’s infinite love for you. Invite Christ’s love, mercy, forgiveness and healing power into the darker parts of yourself, and never give up until you’re free of them and experiencing the fullness of life in Christ.

Unity with God is a lifelong process, but perseverence in prayer pays off in the short run too.  Even just one encounter with God’s love for you will change your life in the best possible way.

Prayer

God, please inspire anyone reading this to step away from the frenetic pace of modern life to spend some time in silence focusing on Your goodness and love. Infuse them with the grace of motivation to persevere in prayer, even when it requires them to confront parts of themselves they’d rather not see. Fill them with Your Spirit, and give them a life changing encounter with Your Love, along with the grace to persevere through all inner healing and trials they encounter until they rest secure in perfect unity with You. Amen.

Action step 

Set aside some time each day (even just 15 minutes in the morning before the household wakes up) to allow God to pour the richess of His love into You. Try saying an Our Father or a simple invocation for God to fill You with the Holy Spirit, then rest in His love for you. Just keep returning your thoughts to God and patiently work through any distractions until you learn to “be still and know that I am God.” Another option is to read a scripture verse and ask God to fill you with the Spirit to understand it.

 

 

Flood of graces

The more time I spend contemplating Divinity,

the more I notice enormous waves of Love welling up in me.

Like typhoons of gorgeous light,

a Power Beyond Me rises up and asks to be unleashed in the world-

I say yes, and galeforce angel winds

blow seeds of grace to God only knows where.

I don’t need to know exactly what’s going on –

it’s my job to surrender to this Luminous Being,

who has earned my trust in every way.

It’s only natural for God to work wonders through prayer.

I’m just a woman with an open heart,

allowing a heavenly storm to surge through me into the world.

 

 

Silence and Spirituality

spirituality and silence

Before you enter into silence,

I think you should know how shook up you probably are

from living in this world.

The moment you get still,

you’ll notice debris of doubt and fear floating inside you.

You may panic and want to run back into your busy life,

but I pray you have the courage to be still and know

that all really is well.

And if you stick with the silence long enough,

you’ll get to watch every dark thought sink to the bottom

and transform into solid ground for Pure Light

to shine into your life

and illuminate every fiber of your being.

It’s the best thing that could ever happen to you.

But beware: the more you experience the Truth for yourself,

the more responsible you’ll be for shining it into this dark world.

Related quotes and scripture

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Saint Teresa of Calcutta

“The fruit of Silence is prayer. The fruit of Prayer is faith. The fruit of Faith is love. The fruit of Love is service. The fruit of Service is peace.” -Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Psalm 46: 10 “Cease striving and know that I am God.”

Reflection
When’s the last time you quieted your mind in prayer and meditation to sense the presence of God in your life? Do you struggle to take time for silence in your life? Do you value it or are you too caught up in busyness to even know what you’re missing?

Prayer
God, please send an outpouring of Your Holy Spirit to bless everyone reading this to get a sense of Your spacious, loving, peaceful presence in their lives. Help them carve out time to connect with Your Still Small Voice in prayer and meditation, so they can truly learn to discern Your guidance for their lives.

Action Step
Before the rush of the day, try to wake up a little early to intentionally spend time with the Lord in silence. With a quick prayer, offer God your day and invite His loving presence into Your life. Whether using scripture or a favorite prayer, continue returning Your thoughts to Your desire to connect with Him. Don’t quit if you struggle with negative thoughts, stick with it and your spiritual connection will grow stronger all the time.

 

The Empathy Journey

beauty beyond brokenness

I prayed for wisdom and got sorrow instead.
Funny after all these years to finally realize
she was the best gift God could have given me at the time.
She followed me around like a puppy dog,
only she walked too slow and didn’t know how to play.
And believe me, she wasn’t cute or small …
She was nice enough, but I always felt like she was weighing me down with her lumbering gait …
I’m not sure why I didn’t have the heart to shake her off –
something in me felt the need to wait …
and wait and wait and wait, as patiently as I could
for her to catch up.
The thought of leaving her behind felt like an amputation –
I couldn’t abandon her,
but I loathed her at the same time …
I lamented missing all the fun because
by the time we got anywhere, the party was over,
or when we’d finally arrive, she weighed down the room,
and the crowd quickly dispersed …
Again and again, I was left alone with only her burdensome presence by my side.
So I finally surrendered and let her choose our path …
This is when the miracles started to happen –
She led me beside silent waters, sparkling and clean –
to quiet places of beauty I could have never found if I had stayed with the crowd.
She showed me natural wonders that whispered wake-up calls into the depths of my soul …
I started to trust her, and she never stopped amazing me.
I inched behind her up the skinniest, steepest trails I’d ever seen,
risking everything along stone-edged cliffs because it was worth it.
The views were pristine –
Majestic ravines of unspeakable purity energized something at the core of my being …
something essential that had been waiting patiently inside me for a very long time.
She led me into pitch black caverns, where there was nothing to do but pray
and learn to love the silence with her by my side.
In her own somber, winding way, she taught me to slow down and forgive, to let go –
to love more deeply from afar than I ever could up close-
She gave me space to make sense of things that had always troubled my soul,
which were the reasons I’d prayed for wisdom in the first place, all those years ago …

Even now, she calls me further along the treacherous winding road, and
and I will gladly follow her into the abyss of majesty, mercy and wonder,
wherever she leads.

The funny thing is now I’m the slow dog lumbering in sweetsad kindess,
looking up with peace-filled puppy dog eyes,
welcoming others to join me on the journey to the depths of reverence.
My heart smiles playfully,
imagining they probably think I’m just sadness.

Related scripture
John 16:20: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.”

Reflection
Do you create space in your life to embrace the fullness of your emotional experiences? Or, do you find yourself doing anything to avoid feeling painful emotions in yourself and others? Can you make more room to open your heart to the fullness of empathy and compassion, in order to create a more authentic spiritual connection to God? It’s worth it, I promise!

Prayer
God bless anyone reading this to have the courage to embrace the fullness of their emotions on their journey toward authentic spirituality. Help us to avoid the temptation to skim through life on the surface level, missing the joys found in a deeper relationship with self, God and others.

Action Step
Take some time to read the psalms, and journal about the ways you can relate the feelings expressed in your own journey of faith. Did you know even Jesus read the Psalms in His youth? A life of faith isn’t easy, but it is worth it for the depth of peace Christ brings to the fullness of our human experience.