Living In Darkness

Spiritual Hunger

During the last few months in our rental home, before we couldn’t pay the rent anymore and had to move, I remember feeling the stirrings of my spirit within me. I hadn’t had time to “do” anything spiritual or to nurture my spiritual self. And I was beginning to really feel it. I missed that connection I felt with the earth and the universe. That bigger picture of being a part of the universe and everything in it, and it all being connected by the power of love. I just had this emptiness in me – not the normal depression emptiness, but an emptiness in my spirit. I was hungry for more, but I didn’t know how to get filled.

I began looking around for witches covens that might have children in it. I wanted to be a part of a community of like minded people. I wanted to get back into my pagan roots and teach my children about it. Witches are a little bit out there though, and there were some things I didn’t want to expose my kids to. Like, naked adults out in the moonlight. But, that’s just me.spiritual path

One of our neighbors had a son not the same age as my second son. They were great friends and the family was Christian. I tried not to hold it against them, which was easy because they didn’t talk about it much. The husband had a brother that came over often and he was much more outspoken about his faith. He talked about his God in a way that sparked something inside me. He would talk about having problems with people and praying for them and praying for blessings for them, and then the problems with them would just disappear. I was fascinated at the thought of being able to resolve problems with people, and in such a positive way. It seemed I was always having problems with people in my life, and they would often get out of my control.

I started to ponder going to a Christian church. The brother gave me a Bible and I thought about reading it. I had never really even cracked the spine of a Bible before, except a Mormon Bible my grandma gave me as a youth. All I knew is the Bible represented a lot of things I considered to be completely false. I can’t even remember now if I read that Bible or not, but we did try out a service at the brothers church one Sunday. At first I liked it, but then things just went wrong for me. I ended up leaving very angry because I was stuck in this little room with all the other mothers with small children and couldn’t hear the sermon. I felt resentful about it and started a fight with my husband. The whole place just made me uncomfortable. Needless to say we never went back. I was done with all that nonsense.

Except I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted to go to church. Just not a Christian church. I wanted a spiritual life again, and I wanted it desperately! Then I heard about the Unitarian Universalist church. There was one a half hour away from our house and I asked my husband about trying it out. He was pretty reluctant, but still open to trying it. It had grow up going to church, but never really found God. I think he wanted to know more about God and what life was really about though, and that was why he was open to trying this out.

The UU Church was very different than the Mormon church I had been to as a child. It was very free and people were dressed casually, and their were flags from all the different religions all over the main meeting room. It was just a feeling of being open to everyone and every religion, not judging or saying there is only one way. I really liked that. The pastor had long hair and gave the aura of an ex hippie. I felt like I could fit in. But it was just so far and it was hard for me to separate from my baby to leave him in child care. We tried going on and off for a few months, but the distance was far and it just ended up not being worth all the work.

I didn’t forget about it though. When we moved out of our rental we had to move in with my parents for awhile. Our lives were upside down once again, but this time moving back in with my parents didn’t depress me. I had a husband I loved and a family that was solid. I was actually somewhat happy. As happy as I could have been anyway. We found another rental very close to my parents, and that neighborhood was very close to the UU Church we had attended before. So I asked my husband about going back and he said sure. He had liked it too.

So we tried going regularly and it was nice for a short time. The older kids got to go to class while we sat through the sermon. We felt like we were getting some food for our spirits and it was uplifting; refreshing. Then summer came and they stopped doing sermons and just had speakers on different non spiritual topics every week. I felt that black hole inside me just aching once again, and realized it wasn’t ever really being filled at this place. My husband agreed, and it was easy to stop going because the kids didn’t even like it.

I still wanted a community and a spiritual place to connect with others. I kept searching and finally found the Unity church. Their motto is “many paths, one god”. It sounded nice and it was not too far from our home. My husband agreed to try this one out as well. I think inside he was searching for more too, but he is not a super vocal type of man. This church was held in a community college auditorium. It was even more different than my experiences with church than the UU church. They had a band and they played a mix of spiritual sounding songs and just regular songs you might hear on the radio. People were flowing with love and smiling and wanted to shake your hand. It really weirded me out, because I was not used to people wanting to be so friendly towards me. On the contrary, my experiences with people were always quite negative.

This church taught about all religions as well. They would even talk about Jesus in the Sunday school classes. I wasn’t totally against it, but I was interested to know who this Jesus fellow was. In my house the name of Jesus was a swear word, and I used it a lot. We went every week and enjoyed it, again for a short time. I just started feeling very negatively about it and even dreaded Sundays and having to try to get up early and race over there. So again we decided to stop going.

Could I ever find what I was looking for? Could I fill this deep need inside me to connect with a community and feed my soul? Why was it so hard! I was grieving inside for the loss of a life so spirit filled and yearning so desperately for something more. I knew there was more out there – I had already experienced it. Why was it that it just had to go away now that I had kids? It just didn’t make any sense.

The road I was traveling was like an overgrown path where the way is starting to become hard to see. It was covered with weeds and rocks, but you just know at one time it was smooth and beautiful to walk along. Now it was difficult to tread and you weren’t quite sure where it was going to wind up. I was lost and confused and really didn’t even know where I was going anymore.

Have you ever had that feeling before? That longing inside of you, like your spirit is just so hungry to be fed? But you don’t even know why you feel that way, or how to fill it? You are not alone, friend. Thousands of people all over the world are just like you, seeking and longing, but so lost and confused. It is a dark place to be in; feeling so empty in a dry and parched land. We were meant to be fed with the bread of life and nourished with the living water. To never hunger again, but to receive an endless supply of food for our spirit that would fatten us up. Food that would help us to grow healthy and strong and defeat depression, anxiety, fear, shame.

We were made for this deep connection to be filled. We are not made to live on just bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of Jesus. And He gives this gift free of charge. If you are thirsty, come. If you are hungry, come. He is inviting you to come nearer, to dine with him and be satisfied. All you have to do is ask.