Organized faith gives strict guidelines on what God is and what God isn’t. For me personally, I was taught God was some higher power in the sky. I was taught God saw everything and knew everything and for those reasons I often equated God with Santa Claus. These same reasons made me a very fearful child. Sunday School terrified me. Death terrified me. Sinning terrified me. Hell terrified me because I was convinced I was not making it into Heaven.
I struggled to believe in a God who held the power of the world in his hand. I struggled to understand how said God could take away my dad, how could THAT be God’s plan? I couldn’t understand so I stopped forcing myself to believe in something that made no sense to me. Once I received my conformation, I left church and the Catholic faith because I believed I didn’t believe in God. I didn’t believe in the God I was taught about or who I encountered in my youth.
But I always knew I believed in something but being raised Catholic, or in any organized faith, God is meant to fit a mold. The Catholic version of God was all I was taught and all I knew. I knew I believed in some sort of God, but not the one I was taught about. Then, I began reading and learning about Glennon Doyle. She felt the same thing way I did, she believes in a God different from the one she learned about in church.
Sometimes all we need is someone to tell us our different beliefs are okay. She gave that to me. She helped me to understand that while God is some sort of higher power, it is a higher power that exists inside of me and inside of everyone. Everyone has a bit of God in them because God is universal. God’s message is love. God wants you to spread love and be love. God is quite simple. It is religion and faith that are complicated.
This new understanding of God led me to a phrase Glennon repeats often, “Be still and know.” This phrase comes from the Bible verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” To me this verse means, be still and know that I AM God. Be still and know that part of me is God.
God wants all of us to be love and see love and spread love. God’s entire message is love. So, that knowing, the still small voice, God, intuition, whatever you want to call the thing we all have inside of us, it knows this truth. It knows God’s message. It knows all about love and it can guide you through your life because it is bigger than you are. Your personal God’s mission and path will always lead you to love. Being still and knowing you are God is to know that love is in your path because love is in your heart.
We were not put down here to fear but we are all so afraid of everything, especially love. Which makes no sense because we are all God and our most important job on this planet is to love. Why are we so afraid? We are all so afraid because we don’t believe in God meaning we don’t believe in ourselves. We don’t believe we can be love, see love and give love. But once we learn and know we are God, when we know there is something bigger inside of us which is guiding us, there is no reason to fear.
Fear not and remember. One of the most repeated phrases in the Bible is “fear not” or “do not fear.” Glennon Doyle says the way we fear not is to remember. “Remember” is the another commonly repeated phrase in the Bible. Remember is the opposite of dismember. It is the bringing together of people because we all belong to each other. The only way to overcome our collective fear is to remember. It is to remember where we all came from and to use that to bring us together. Humans are hardwired for connection. We are meant to come together and share our fears because acknowledging and allowing others to help is through is the only way to fear not. Remembering and human connection is also the birthplace of love.
The still small voice, the knowing, our own personal God, is always pulling us towards love. Because our most important jobs are to love and be loved. The way to do that is to fear not by trusting the God inside of you who says you are love, you can give love and you can receive love. If we stop running and stay still, we can do love because we can do hard things. Because there is something inside of us that is bigger than us guiding us through life. If we stop running and stay still, we can bring ourselves together with the other children of God who are love. Once we see the love in everyone we can all come together because we will understand we are all the same.
God’s message is love. God wants us to be still in order to understand we all have God in us and to know the God in us is guiding us towards love. When we understand this, we fear not because the path of love does not and will not lead us astray. We then can remember by bringing together people and forming connections in order to spread love.
Members of an organized faith are taught what I believe and what Glennon Doyle believes is wrong because there only a few ways we are allowed to believe in God. Those ways are laid out in religions with books filled with rules. But you don’t need a religion to believe in God. You just need a YOU to believe in God. It is simple. Be still and know, fear not, remember and love. That is what my God says at least.