Four years ago the foundation of my faith shifted. Four years ago I discovered the Divine in the femininity of God. Mother Earth, the greatest Shakti that we can ask for. The exact words of Mother Maya Tiwari, in the exact moment that changed my life can be heard here
This beautiful power that she says that each woman and child carries, it has been dismissed but not taken away. As a girl, growing up in rural Texas, I must tell you that the shame brought upon me by grown men about my gender was crushing.This judgment and harassment about my ability to interact with the Divine was not cast onto everyone. In fact, some women find themselves willingly and gracefully winding that path.
For me it was so destructive that my God died. Yes, I knew he died and rose but when I was told that I cannot preach or carry God’s truth within me because I was a woman; God died to me then too. In such a devastating blow that carried on its winds my assurance of God’s blessings and will over my life, my God was shattered.
When this happened to me at 8 years old I can only say that I searched for answers.
This God that so many of my friends and family loved was a mean God.
A God who would say I am loved in front of others and still shame me in the privacy of my own heart.
A God that forced me to live into fear and subservience.
I searched for a church that would not yell the truth at me like I was the scum of the Earth but somewhere I could find wisdom that would look me in the eyes and claim me as their own.
The day I believed that God exists is the day I saw the first woman preacher. She stood at the back of Tioga United Methodist Church and was unafraid of the truth she spoke, this truth that was love and courage in the face of a world of pain. She ran the show as elegantly as I imagined running my own; taking flak from no one and giving none in return. She showed me that women can invoke the Spirit and women can bless the bread and women can FORGIVE as God forgives and as is our prerogative.
These moments of transformation, of seeing God in the Divine, I tell you it changed my life. I was no longer to sit on the side-lines and wait for God to do something in my life but God gave me the PERMISSION to PARTICIPATE FULLY in the grace of never ending love. Like Mother Maya said; that power, that Shakti existed inside of me the entire time. These claims that I did not deserve it because of my gender did not make it go away. This cosmic Love resided in me and took home even when I was told it does not belong with me. The truth is that people know they cannot take away another’s power so they try to make the other forget about it.
I am not Hindu but I love these principles and this truth is far too obvious for me to shun because of mere religion. If she says food for me is food for all because of her belief in the loving nature of the womb and feminine ideas, then I will stand next to her in agreement because food for me IS food for all. Greed is not the winner; pride is not the winner. Whatever beliefs make someone believe that they are more important or holy than another are not Divine beliefs. They do not represent the God of my inherently Christian faith (you have to understand; I must be Christian because I believe Jesus is homoousios with God despite what people will say about my finding truth in others’ beliefs).
I believe in the great fullness of God that can exist outside of my own boundaries and what I am comfortable with.
Where will I see God next is my question, what is yours?
Jamie is a Global Mission Fellow serving in Geneva, Switzerland as an Inter-religious Dialogue Assistant for World Council of Churches. Know more about Jamie here.
You can also see Jamie’s work as a UMC Global Ministries missionary in her UMC missionary profile here.
“Whether or not the truth is what we believed before is not of relevance, honestly I personally believe that faith is more about the journey and walking with God.”