To say the last few years of my life have been the toughest I’ve ever experienced would be an understatement. If anyone would have told me at the intro to my 30s that the next few years were going to be as challenging as they were, I’m not sure I would have believed them. The beginning of my 30s started out great! I was starting a new position at my company, I had received a significant raise in pay, I was being recognized company wide for all my hard work and efforts and was travelling all over the country. Life was good…until it wasn’t. I went through a series of highs and lows with job opportunities and losses. I went through severe depression with bouts of suicidal thoughts. I almost lost everything I had and was very close to homelessness. And that was a whole interesting experience, because it wasn’t for lack of not having a place to go. It was knowing that I would not be safe and at peace in my mental state in the options I had, so I had decided that roughing it out on my own would be the better option. Thank heavens that Dad (I call God “Dad”) saved me from my own stubbornness and kept me right where I was by His grace. He really knew better. I almost lost my car. I went long stretches without food and at other times had to rely on the generosity of others to eat. I’ve had people who I loved distance themselves from me because they couldn’t handle me at my worst and lowest state. And that’s real, honest and also understandable. People are people.
Looking back on what I call “valley experiences,” I recognize now how truly amazing the shit encounters of life really are. I say that with no facetiousness whatsoever. I understand how important the low points in our lives are as teachable moments and launching points and they do not serve as punishments. Many years ago when I left not just the Christian church but the entire religion itself (a story for another time), I remember Dad (God) leading me through several different schools of thought to learn the things He wanted me to learn but not becoming entrenched in any one ideology. I came across the studies of the Law of Attraction teachings. I remember how completely disillusioned I was when after years of studying them, I was trying to be happy and positive all the time and never get down and set my intention to the highest vibrational frequency possible so I could attract only good things and positive experiences. Yeah…that didn’t work. Reflecting back on it now, part of this was because I didn’t truly understand the teachings, although I thought I had because I had studied them for years. That in and of itself brought about a round of spiritual depression or what some commonly call a “dark night of the soul” experience. If you’ve never had one of these, it’s a very dark period one goes through where you literally question everything that you’ve ever known or understood God/Dad to be. And it’s real. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.
It took me several of these experiences, some within the church and others outside of it for me to finally get to a place where I could understand who and what Dad really is. Once He revealed Himself to me outside of the filters of religion, I truly was able to put Him, Yeshua (Jesus) and this human experience into proper perspective. I was able to see that nothing goes wrong. Not one thing. Even the things we may think are going wrong. Dad is everywhere and He sees and accounts for everything. For me, He has shown Himself to be completely non-judgemental of any of the things I used to think were “sins” or flaws. I remember my pastors teaching me that to sin was to “miss the mark.” For many years, that was how I defined my “‘mistakes.” Now, Dad has shown me in my life that there are no mistakes. Everything is a lesson. Everything can be turned into Love, which is what I personally believe He is. For me and this is just my personal belief, I do not believe that Dad has an opposite, i.e.: The Devil. I don’t believe in that concept and Dad has given me revelation for things that I used to attribute to “the devil.” Once I understood that Dad has no opposite, that He truly is the Alpha and the Omega that I used to learn about in church but now can see from a different perspective, it changed my relationship to and with Him. As a non religious person, I pray every single day, multiple times during the day. I constantly talk to Dad about things. I have a better and closer relationship to God then I ever did when I was a Christian and training to be in ministry because I thought at the time that was my path. Because in my valley experiences, that’s where I finally heard Dad’s voice clearly. And it’s not that He wasn’t there before. And it’s also not that He was speaking and I wasn’t listening. I’ve learned that even though my steps are ordered and Dad has a plan for me, He also wants me to live. He wants me to experience what life really is. He wants me to make choices and decisions and see what the consequences are, good or bad. Not for Him to judge, but rather for me to grow as a soul. How else could He send me to help His other children (which I believe we all are) if I’ve never made some of the decisions they’ve made that have gotten them where it’s gotten them? How else would they know that no matter what they do, Dad loves them unconditionally and can and will help them if they ask and are willing to receive help? What the Law of Attraction teachings taught me are how to align with the energy that is Dad and receive His gifts, teachings, lessons and blessings. How I do that is by choosing happiness and gratitude in any given moment.
It’s amazing how losing absolutely everything can humble you and bring you to a place of gratitude in a way that nothing else ever could. It is in severe loss that we learn gratitude for every single thing we have. If I am really honest with myself, I can definitely see where at many times in my life I was ungrateful to Dad. Not in a purposeful way by any means. But there was an arrogance that I had. I took things for granted like, pay cheques and having a job, having the types of foods that I wanted to eat at my disposal. Being able to live my life on my terms. Funny thing is, if you had asked me at that time, I in no way would have seen how I was ungrateful for anything in my life. I worked really hard and had busted my ass to get to where I was, so the idea that anyone other than me had gotten me to this point was quite frankly laughable to me. I had the receipts of my hard work put in. And that’s where I got it wrong. I didn’t acknowledge that the ONLY reason I had anything was because Dad allowed it. Period. That without Him allowing and aligning with me on my wants and desires, they would never have even manifested in the first place. So in anything and everything I do I MUST acknowledge Him and put things in proper perspective and order. There is nothing that I do without God’s say so. Now because I really understand what that means, I also understand how much Dad has taken care of me. All the things that I received in my lowest points were ultimately from Him. He is my only Source. Not family, not friends, not jobs. Him. And when I have a great relationship with Him, things flow easily. It’s not that things don’t happen, what some might term as negative or bad, but rather you understand now that if it is happening, then it means on some level Dad is allowing it to happen. Which means there must be a lesson and/or launching pad to something else from this experience. Nothing happens for no reason. Everything in this Earth is divinely guided.
Now, 5 years later and with much more battle scars and stripes from life, I can truly say I am grateful for everything I have. I understand who my support system is and who my real person is. I never would have had that revelation prior to my valley experience. I now pray over every meal like I did when I was a kid; but this time, it hits different. When you have gone without food, you value it in a whole new and different way. I am no longer wasteful with food, which I was prior to my valley experience. I’m truly learning how important it is to take care of my body. There’s nothing like real health scares to get you doing what you need to to change your life and eating habits. I’ve lost both my grandparents now, who were my people. My grandfather recently passed away during the quarantine period from a head injury. That experience has made me value my parents despite their flaws more than anything. I’m doing a better job of staying in touch with people I care about and reaching out to check in. I’m not where I want to be on that but I’m doing much better than I was before. All of these are improvements in my life that I can guarantee you I never would have made prior to my valley experiences. So while I don’t personally believe that Dad would ever cause painful things to happen to any of us, I do think He allows the actions and choices of our decisions to manifest in whatever ways they do and then uses those experiences to teach and heal us. So again, nothing is going wrong. Everything is a lesson and a beautiful one at that, even when in the midst of it it doesn’t feel that way.
I am sincerely grateful for every shit, horrible, painful, shameful, embarrassing experience I’ve ever had. Those lessons and experiences have taught me more about compassion, humility, grace and mercy than anything else could have. It taught me to give those things to myself first, and as I show myself compassion, humility, grace and mercy I can then not only give it to others but show it to others. That’s what valley experiences do. Thank You for the lessons Dad.