(For Me) Where is God in All of This?
The vision for the HeARTH/DMG website is that it becomes a hub for community. My hope is that those who wander this way can find some connection, understanding, peace and everyday wisdom through their interaction. I know that a personal connection is important in marketing and creating that sense of community, belonging, and engagement that is required to move the vision of HeARTh and DMG forward. Deborah Gregson
I am sure that title got your attention! You will either be intrigued or disappointed by this title, each for your own reasons. But I hope you will read on. I work with a lot of different people with different backgrounds and belief systems. I find that this, as well as my British heritage and personality, often keep me from being more overtly vocal about my beliefs and spiritual orientations. Anyone with extended experience with me, or who listens to my music can see that I am deeply spiritual and do believe in God. But those of you who don’t know me yet, I want to ensure that the essence of my beliefs and spirituality is clearly stated before we get much further down this road together.
Whatever our differing ideas or belief systems, I think we can agree that there is so much tragedy, injustice, inequity and inhumanity in this world! So many of us humans are affected directly or indirectly in so many ways. People suffer in ways that cannot be fully understood without walking there too. But all of us have or will walk through the "Valley of the Shadow" in some way. The despair and hopelessness can gnaw its way through our souls. And yet. There is so much joy, hope, healing, helping, caring and loving. The adversity shapes us, if we pay attention. And only we, each of us, can control just how it shapes us. There is a reason for this. And I know it is because God is there in all of it.
Cancer, whether on a personal level or from the perspective of someone watching someone go through it, can be fraught with misery, despair, pain, uncertainty, and different kinds of loss. But it is also full of opportunities. Opportunities that I, for one, because of what I believe, welcome. Trepidatiously, maybe, but also with gladness. Because I believe in God.
A God with a plan and purpose for his children. A God who presides over a much bigger picture than just this tiny moment in eternity. A God, like any tender and wise parent, or mentor, who loves us enough to let us go away from Him, figure out for ourselves who He knows we are and how we want to live. And then to decide if, and how, we want to come back to Him. A God who walks quietly beside us and waits for us to ask for help, or take His hand. A God who, like any tender and wise parent, works, often anonymously in the background, to save, soothe, and make the way a little bit easier for us, where He can, and patiently offer encouragement and the vision of His wisdom where he cannot. His hope is that we will be refined through our experiences, made sacred and whole through our losses and failures, and acquisitions and victories. Grief and suffering can empty us of ourselves and leave a space for Him to reside, refresh, re-make, and reclaim us. This is what I know my journey with cancer can do for me. I have been here before.
I have walked through the Valley of the Shadow before this. I have suffered unmeasurably in ways that only those who have walked there too can understand. What my decades journey into, through, and out of mental illness into wellness has proven to me is that I am not alone. I have been held and saved from complete annihilation, more than one time by His divine presence and by His celestial and earthly “angels.” The light is as real as the darkness. What I and countless others can attest to, is that I would not give up what I have learned and who I have become on that journey, for any “easiness of the way.”
This exchange, this spiritual commerce, is sacred and precious to me. It is hard won. It is transformational. And it leaves me wanting more, dissatisfied with stagnancy. God’s way, as I understand and ascribe to it, His will, this wise plan fills me with purpose, hope, and light even in the midst of futility, despair and darkness. And while, if it be His will, I would ask, as Another has asked before, let this cup pass from me... nevertheless, Thy will, not mine, be done. Because I trust His will. This is, for me, where God is in all of this. So now what?
Our own suffering, as well as our own gratitude for what we are blessed with in this life then leads us to look outward. To be earthly “angels.” Whatever our individual views of what is out there and what it's all about. The imperative for humanity to continue and to thrive requires us all to share that portion of light we have been granted to chase away the shadows for someone else. This is the responsibility we humans all share for each other. An imperative that drives me to do what I do and to try to influence others to consider and act on it, in whatever ways and spaces we are. This is the wise plan of the Heavenly Father I believe in.
This is the place, for me, where the work and will that led to HeARTh and DMG comes from. Just as with any tender and wise earthly parent, or mentor, this is the way to our “adult” relationship with our tender and wise Eternal Parent, or the Universe, or the Imperative for Humanity. We go out into the world, figure out for ourselves who we are and how we want to live. We continue the process of learning growing doing transcending until, as with our mortal parents or mentors, we enter the realm of friendship, partnership and even peership on some levels with our version of the Divine. That is what any tender and wise parent wants for their children. And that is, for me, where God is in all of this. He is with us as we struggle and He is in us when we do what we can to help others. This I know.
This week, as an extra gift, and hopefully lift, I will leave you with a link to the "music video" of a song I recently wrote to capture some of this knowing. This song is part of a Musical Fundraiser to help us create some grass roots resources to Do More Good! I hope you will like it! And please go to the link below the video to purchase music from our website (this brings more dollars into our causes), or start looking for music by Deborah Gregson on your streaming platforms. Please pass it along, too!