Spirituality is expansive, beyond the confines of religion.
The glory of the Lord is so much MORE than a single religion or book can contain. I think this understanding is the beginning of a new sense of connectedness to nature and Spirit in the world all around us. A NEW delight in spirituality.
Look up at the sky! Look how it stretches so far beyond what our eyes can see.
Look at the ocean! Teeming with creatures from shore to shore, all unique, all beautiful. Abundant! Millions of creatures. None as precious as YOU.
Nature has an order and logic to it, a power beyond what we can understand, and that we have no control over.
Look at the STARS. There is so much power and delight in the sky!
Look at the STARFISH. To my knowledge there is no reference of the starfish in the Bible, yet the starfish is an amazing creation! A quite simple creature, it doesn’t have a brain and isn’t created in the image of God, like a human is. Yet there are 1900 species of starfish! They inspire me because they also reproduce in all sorts of ways. Some male & female, some asexually, and some species even change from male to female and from female to male.
I could go on and on about the beauty in nature all around us. The power. The abundance all around us on this earth. If we stop to take it in, it’s usually very peaceful. Powerful, yet, peaceful. Nature is never in a rush to get somewhere. It exists in its beauty and each creation serves the function it serves and does what it’s here to do and so it is.
WHAT DO WE EVEN KNOW?
“None of the rulers of this age understood it. For if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Rather, as it is written: “ No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God”
1 Corinthians 2: 8-10, Berean Study Bible
Spirituality is our connection to the Divine Spirit, Source Love, who was and is, and is to come.
There is a Spirit we feel connected to when we walk outside and see a rainbow, or the wind blows and a beautiful breeze hits us and makes us feel alive. When we stop to take notice, we can feel it. And somehow, we know we are connected to it.
I deconstructed before I knew what deconstructing even was.
I was raised in the Lutheran church. Due to a traumatic situation (that I blamed myself for), I found myself walking away from church in the 7th grade. I would not return to church for 7 years. In those 7 years I experienced a lot of difficulty and darkness.
After my son was born, I was heading for a nervous breakdown. I got into counseling and was invited to church with a friend. The message of HOPE and LOVE that I heard there, the LOVE of Jesus, I felt it in my bones. I had a radical conversion experience! I was saved, baptized, and gave my life to Jesus.
I was 19 years old, that was in April of 1995.
Life was good then for a while! I settled into Christianity; I even had a fish bumper sticker on my car. (Which if you know how I drive you know that’s a bad idea anyway!)
I met my husband, we got married in 2001, and 5 years later in 2006, we had a beautiful daughter!
My son was thrilled as he always wanted a sibling! Just a small 12 year age difference between the two, but it has worked out very well.
Then in 2008, tragedy struck. After only a yearlong battle with cancer, my mom died. She was only 54.
It doesn’t seem like the kind of situation that would send someone’s faith toppling off a cliff, but the right combination of past trauma and current grief can really mess a person up.
After she passed, I began deeply struggling with depression and grief, which I attempted to self-medicate with alcohol. I had been a devoted Christian, & even taught Sunday School for 9 years, but drifted away from the church we were attending at the time. I experienced what I would call a “dark night of the soul” which lasted for too many years.
I threw myself into my career. With a high stress job, I started depending on alcohol to relax and unwind, along with managing my grief. That was a lot of pressure to put on alcohol!
I became addicted to working, making money, and drinking. And for the next 10 or so years, those things completely consumed me, and I feel like I lost myself. I didn’t want to be in that job, I didn’t want to be shackled to my career and money. And as much as I loved alcohol, I was even annoyed at my dependence upon it to have a good time. Whether I was happy, sad, celebrating or crying, alcohol was always the answer. Anyone who has struggled with alcoholism knows that it gets old after a while, especially the day you realize you’re a slave to it. I always told myself I can quit anytime!
I guess I also had a little something called “mortality motivation”. Basically, realizing that life is short & I’m going to die someday, and maybe someday sooner than I thought. So I better get on with the party, let the good times roll!
I was angry at God, angry at the world, even angry at myself. I still believed in God, but I was frustrated, confused & figured at this point I had been written out of the will anyway.
So, something interesting that happened during my time away from church, this # started to appear to me, and I felt called to take notice of it. The number would appear in all sorts of random places, on clocks, receipts, in books, and addresses. Wherever I would see it, it would stand out to me. And for some strange reason whenever I saw it, it would speak to my heart, “God still loves you”.
This number is 1111, and it’s what I call my God # or angel #. You can google 1111 for all sorts of meanings people assign to seeing it, some of which include spiritual awakening, angels watching over you, new beginnings, and a reminder that we are here to follow Jesus Christ and help make the earth a better place for future generations.
It may seem insignificant, silly or a little “woo woo” – but it was very significant to me, especially during that time in my life. It reminded me God was still with me, and still loved me, even though there were parts of my life I had not allowed God to work in. Ok God, I know you are there, but I’m not giving up this alcohol so don’t even ask! Ha.
By the time I realized that my drinking was out of control, it was beyond the point where I could quit on my own.
I tried. Repeatedly. What a shameful and awful process that is!
I finally surrendered and asked the universe for help. I knew I couldn’t quit on my own, and I felt completely hopeless. I didn’t see a way out. I could not imagine my life without alcohol.
I began attending recovery meetings at the church we were attending at the time. I was so broken walking in there, but all I felt was love. All I received from God was love. The people were nice to me too, and they accepted me, even in the messy state I was in when I walked in there.
It was going to take a miracle for me to quit drinking. I just couldn’t do it.
Then one day, I got a sign from God!
No really, like a for real sign. One night after a few drinks, I hit a sign in the road with my van. The experience shook me so badly that I finally found the strength to quit! To me, it was a miraculous healing. Because I wasn’t injured, and no one else was either. And it was exactly the wakeup call I needed to find the strength to put down the bottles. And there were a lot of different kinds of bottles.
A NEW & Improved spirituality:
My faith and connection to God & the universe goes well beyond the walls of the church we attend currently.
It’s much more than “religion” and it’s NOT “RULES”.
It’s LOVE. Unconditional, never ending, always expanding, always faithful – LOVE.
I feel a connection to the Spirit of the earth.
I meditate with angels.
I enjoy connecting with mediums, energy workers, light workers, and people who read the cards. I love reading about the stars, the horoscopes, the moon omens. Source messages. Spiritual teachers, masters, healers.
I enjoy learning about other religions and what other cultures believe about God and connecting to the Divine.
I love to look up at the stars or out into the ocean, and realize how VAST the universe is, and how little we truly know or understand about it.
Yes, I believe in God, and the Bible being God’s inspired word. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who came to die for us, to forgive us once & for all for our sins. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the Trinity. I believe their focus is LOVE. That we LOVE God, and that we LOVE one another. That we love and care for each other and for our planet.
That we LOVE AND ACCEPT ALL PEOPLE, REGARDLESS OF RACE, ETHNICITY, CULTURE, RELIGIOUS OR POLITICAL BELIEFS, GENDER IDENTITY OR SEXUALITY.
GOD IS AFFIRMING TO THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY! The universe, Spirit, Jesus, Angels – ALL LOVE AND ADORE THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY! You are loved. You are supported. You are FREE.
I’m still learning every day how to be a better person, but I’ll tell you what – I get up each & every day excited for what Spirit will show me today. The little “God winks” that show me Spirit is there. The happy coincidences. The encouragement that comes when I need it most. The presence of angels apparent in my meditations. The messages I get from source when I need them most.
I dare you to ask the universe to show themselves to you! It’s a wild, exciting, and FUN ride! And isn’t that what life’s supposed to feel like?
Let me know how I can support you. I love you.
Candace, your Aunt Candy.
Hi, my name is Candace and I’m “Coach Aunt Candy”. I have 25 years of corporate sales and marketing experience, which I am now using to serve the LGBTQ+ community. My goal is to spread a message of LOVE, hope, acceptance, and equality. I’m here to empower and encourage, while offering tools for healing & recovery from past hurts, rejection, or addiction. All my love.