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Being Spiritual can mean many different things, and I get that.


However, I want to discuss what being spiritual means to me and how that aspect of my life has driven me and made me into the person I am today.


I grew up in the South. In an environment where Christianity is the norm, and anything outside of it is pretty foreign. It's a lifestyle. The pew that your family claimed years ago is the same pew you sit on until this day. Those raised "Christian" have had the title since their birth. Don't own a Bible? Don't go to church? Don't personally know Jesus? That's totally beside the point. Being Christian means you were born to a family where someone is, or was, maybe. insert sarcasm


Growing up in a religious environment can do a lot to a person. If not careful, it will cause a lot of judgment, misguiding information, and even a lack of self-awareness. Culture and opinions can creep into the teaching, mixing personal ideas with theology. Becoming a spiritual being has to be more of a connection than just a title. It's an experience that must take place. It's an awareness of one's self and an awareness of a higher being.


My grandfather was a pastor, so the church has always integrated into my life. However, it wasn't until the summer between 4th and 5th grade that I ever had my own personal encounter with God. At a summer camp in the upper part of rural South Carolina, I was introduced to God in a unique way. I was a child, unaware and uneducated on many things. However, the religion I was raised around changed into something different, and spirituality became real that evening. Whatever happened, it made me want to seek and search for more.


Since then, I have morphed constantly, like a Power Ranger, changing my views, tastes, and mindsets. One thing that has remained true is my spiritual connection to that higher being, my spiritual journey to knowing who God is. Having God's presence in my life has gotten me through some of the roughest times I've encountered in my lifetime. And- while I'm at it- I'll be sure to say that it wasn't the church's opinions that I followed. It wasn't the rules shoved down my throat as a youth. Growing in my conscious awareness of something bigger than myself guided me to where I am today.


The word "Christian" has so many meanings. And a lot of what the world knows as Christianity is the total opposite of what it is that I have dedicated my life to. Learning to love others on a deeper level, learning to love myself on a deeper level, and learning to love the One who has orchestrated it all on a deeper level... that is what I seek. 


Being spiritual has shown me that I have a unique calling and am created as a unique individual. It has catalyzed my pursuit of discovering my dreams and purpose. It has been the backbone of my search for more: understanding the world and its people. These people have become so special to me because they are so special to my God. I understand and appreciate cultures and ways of worship different from my own and everyone's journey to discovering their unique calling and path to God.


Knowing that I am created excites me when I think about my purpose. I'm happy to see that I was intentionally made by a loving God who uniquely put me together with a cause. I'm not on this earth by luck; I don't just vanish when it's over. I'm guided and equipped for something big, and it's my goal to reach that. To be all that I was created to be.


I often wonder if I would care as much if I thought God didn't exist. Would I try, knowing that I was just one among many people?


It's in knowing that I have a destiny that I push forward daily. Despite the religious hypocrisy that I see worked out every day in this world, it is love that I move towards, the love that I receive, and that love that overflows to others. It's in knowing that whatever I face, I can rise above.


It's knowing that I'm not one of many but one who stands out with a unique gift.

Originally posted: March 3, 2017

Updated: November 22, 2023


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