When I was 26, I had an experience of God that forever changed my life. I accidentally devoted my life to God. I had been writing in my journal when I felt something come over me. I wrote that I wanted to give my life to God.
I have decided to give my life to you. Please help me do this. Please help me bring light to other people.
Tears rolled down my face. I wanted God in my life, and strongly. It wasn’t something that I consciously chose, or had thought about in advance. I had been working on healing myself and had been learning how to feel my heart, but I wasn’t actively “searching for God.” I felt overcome by this feeling and gave my life to God. I simply felt it in my heart. A total opening and total trust.
That night as I was in bed, a light came above my bed. The light went from the far end of the room to right above me. I was petrified, and my body stiffened. I started saying in my head to the light,
“Go away, I’m scared, go away, go away, GO AWAY!”
As I said this I began to feel a tingling sensation in my temples. I thought perhaps I was getting a headache, but it felt so peaceful; a headache made of the strongest and purest love I had ever experienced. It started to spread over my head and I let go into it. I felt a voice. It wasn’t an audible voice. It spoke right into my head. It said, “you don’t have to be afraid.” It felt so peaceful, the voice that spoke to my heart. It knew a part of my soul that I had forgotten about, but had always been there in the background. It was truly the peace that passes all understanding. It was pure love. After that, the voice and feeling stopped, and I fell asleep.
The next morning on the subway, everyone around me was full of light. I felt like I could see the light in each person, and they were all beautiful. The light that I had seen over my bed infused the whole world. Everyone glowed.
It took me some time to connect what I had written in my journal to the things I began experiencing. At first, I was convinced I had become schizophrenic, and began wondering what else I was seeing that wasn’t there. Despite the fact that it had been the most beautiful thing I had ever experienced, I spent a long time convinced that I was just going nuts. My heart had felt true peace, but my mind told me I was crazy, seeing things that weren’t really there.
For about two years after I saw this light, different things happened to me. I started having dreams of my future, or what one of my friends calls precognitive dreams. I felt like there were angels around me, guiding me gently. I felt like my heart was getting cleaned out, and parts of myself that didn’t work were being released.
After several years of feeling my life shift and feeling very close to spirit, I had a dream that I needed to learn how to swim. I needed to learn how to be in the world on my own. I felt a nudge back into the real world, and the cocoon I’d felt with the angels was released.
Making it Make Sense
I was a student in graduate school when all of this happened. I was able to, for the most part, keep my ‘real’ life going. I found some mentors in whom I could confide about my experiences, which helped me immensely and allowed me to balance my spiritual life with my outer life. I told almost no one in my circle of friends about the depth of my experiences and how much they changed me.
I have spent the years since then grappling with what I experienced in my heart. I have wondered again and again, was it real? Was I crazy? Was my internal voice even right? Was God real? Who should I listen to? Everyone seemed to have very strong opinions about who and what God was and wasn’t.
I thought about it a lot, and read a lot. I spoke to a lot of people. I thought some more. I eventually came to the conclusion that God is real, God is love, and God is within everyone.
I was not raised to believe in an unseen world. I come from a family of scientists and was raised with a very skeptical mindset. I was extremely judgmental toward any kind of “woo woo” spirituality, before and even after all of these things happened to me. My mom is a psychologist and my father is a physician. I was conditioned to believe that the things I experienced were not real, but were symptoms of imbalance or insanity.
Religiously, I was raised Jewish, with a Jewish father, and a mother who converted to Judaism for my father. I studied Hebrew and had a Bat Mitzvah at 13. Later, my mother returned to Christianity after my parents divorced when I was 23. I spent time going to church with her, was baptized at 25, and became a Sunday School teacher for a time. Around that time my mom got remarried to my stepdad, who came from a First Peoples medicine tradition. He opened and changed my spiritual orientation by teaching me about seeing God in nature, listening to dreams, and trusting my intuition.
All three of these traditions have been in my family and are meaningful to me. This is the perspective I come from when I write and share about God and spirituality.
In this blog I write about how I made sense of these experiences, how they changed me, and what I do to try to stay close to that feeling of total love. I also write about the many times I’ve felt lost since then, as well as the hope I’ve found in other people.
I hope the things I share here help you on your own journey.