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What Being A Christian Means To Me

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I wanted to blog about this because what it means to me is not really what the world or the church thinks. I have a brother that is Wiccan, I used to be too. We talk freely with each other without hatered or predgidice, we talk respectfully and honoring of each other’s wishes and beliefs.

We were both raised “christian” but the kind we were raise is the cold, uncaring, unloving, distant kind that most everyone hears about and knows. I wasn’t allowed to read or question the bible, I was to except it as truth and deal! As a teen I went away from the church and God. I didn’t want to be a part of anything that was so cruel and mean.

Time went on, life happened and Jesus found me in a very dark place. My soul was struggling to hang on. I was reaching out for something, anything! Hope and Faith slowly crept back into my life through the eyes of my children.

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I went to church off and on with my boys. However as I submersed myself into the folds of these “christians” who of some are very good people I couldn’t help but know that this was just not me. I am not a church goer. I could see myself slowly turning into one of these people that’s classified as “them”. That’s just not me! I’m not a “them” person. I love so many things that “they” don’t and I don’t see anything wrong with it. I was pretending to be someone else so I could be a “them” person and it was slowly taking me down again.

I quit going to church and then the phone calls started. “we miss you”, “what’s happened?” “did someone say something?” “are you all ill?”. The thing is in every other situation that I had rehearsed in my mind just what to say too. “yes, we’ll be back soon”, “oh just dealing with some sickness”, and so on and so on. One day though our pastor’s mom called, see she runs the ladies prayer meeting. In asking all the same questions and as I was ready for my made up come back I paused and replied with the truth.

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I don’t want to go anymore. My boys don’t want to go. I was forced to go as a child, wether I had a fever or was throwing up. I was raised that if you went against the church was to go against God. That if I didn’t go to church I’d go to hell. I won’t raise my boys like that. God is love, Jesus is kind, the Holy Spirit will fill you up if you ONLY just believe! Church is just a building, it is us that are the temple of the Lord.

She ended the call shortly after with a final plea of “please come back soon”. Will I? I don’t know. I’m a much better christian not going to church than I am when I go. I know right? I’m as taken back as most that will read this but let me get a better foundation for you of what a true christian is to be as I’ve read it for myself in the Gosples of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the bible.

First I believe the bible is truth, I believe that Jesus is God’s son that was sent for our sins, that He died, was resurrectied and is in heaven now. As I read the Jesus stories for myself I realized that most of what gets preached is wrong. I could post a million and one verses but you will skeem over it or scoff it off. I’m just gonna say get a bible or go to http://www.biblegateway.com/ and look it all up for yourself. The thing is you have to first put away the old way of thinking, of what’s been drilled in your head.

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What I found is that Jesus excepted EVERYONE, He NEVER judged anyone. Jesus hung out with the ones that didn't go to church, the ones that were shunned by the church. Jesus was the original outlaw! He preached blessings of love and acceptance, peace and understanding. To be a christian is to be "christ" like. Jesus is the Christ so to be like Jesus is to be loving, understanding, compassionate and unjudging. So my brother when I turned my life back to Christ was worried. Would I turn into a "them" person and he would lose his sister forever? Honestly I was going down that road. While in church I quit reading my bible, I quit praying as much. I didn't think really that I "needed" that one on one with Jesus anymore because I was in church now. Thing is I need Jesus and that one on one like I need water to survive! With all my anxiety and depression clinging to the cross and the hope of Jesus works better for me than any man made drug my doc could give me.

I talked to my brother just yesterday and he was glad we were gonna be okay. He was shocked too when I not only supported his religious views but also made it clear I support his gay lifestyle and the right for them to marry. I even showed my support publicly on my FB person page. I lost some "friends" on that one, but ya know what so did Jesus.

He drew a line in the sand and in front of a known prostitute said "he who is without sin, cast the first stone". Jesus came to save us, not judge us. God has rules, okay so you follow them or don't but that's between you and God NO ONE ELSE!

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To me being a christian is accepting and loving everyone for who they are and what they believe. Jesus saved me in more ways than one and not spreading His truth is just something I can’t keep from doing.

I’m Not Wishy/Washy, I Just Haven Found My Groove Yet

If you read alot of my blogs and then on my FB page my album of “My Two Cents” you’ll see a vast array of mixed emotions when it comes to religion and spirituality. I used to be told I’m on the fence or “wishy/washy” but lately I don’t feel that way. See I grew up baptist and then went out in search of my own path. I tried buddist, catholic, taoist, pagan, wiccan, then settling on native american. I then even after “settling” went back again to the christian religion of  baptist. It was in the embracing of the whole going to church tradition and hearing some of my friends with the strong “conviction” is what they call it that christianity is IT, that’s it, no questions, no substitutions or anything! I searched my soul and didn’t find that. I’m just different is all. I can’t except that THAT’s IT. I know theres more to the story. Oh I’m okay with God keepin it all to himself now, I used to not be. But I believe that all the religions are connected somehow together like puzzle pieces and if we would all just except that will an open mind we might see the true story of it all.

I raise my boys with the christain bible stories for I believe in them and in Jesus. I completely believe he was the son of God, but I also believe that Hercules was the son of God too. I’m thinking that we may all take Greek mythology for granted. I mean its not like they had tv or radio to turn their imagination up. Not everyone smoked the peace pipe back then so how did they come up with such rockin stories that are as far fetched as the biblical ones yet were not supposted to believe that they were true?

So as I search still for the answers I hold onto my roots which lie in christianity but also native american. I can’t see killing or shunning another just for thier beliefs and I won’t be around people that will do so to me or my children.

What’s the right path? Each one of you say “Its Mine!” But how do you know? Its because you have faith so deep in your faith that you know it as truth. That’s okay for you but what about your neighbor who feels the same as you so deeply that just believes differently? Then who is right? We don’t know and its not up for us to decide for another.

God Dwells Within Me As Me

A line from what has become my favorite movie this year by far. Eat,Love,Pray  with Julia Roberts from the book with the same title written by Elizabeth Gilbert. She has somewhat become such an inspiration to me. Her story of finding God and herself in a way that some of us can only dream possible. So my one big vice is trying to “find my niche” with God, whatever you call IT. I have a head cold right now and when I’m sick I can not help but think back to my childhood of years ago when all I was ever told was that when I was sick I obviously had done something wrong in the eyes of the Lord and he was “punishing me”. Its something that creeps back every once in a while unfortunately. So then I freak out for a bit and wonder “is it because I’m not in church?” “is it because I’m not living right?” “is it because I thought a certain way?”???? Then a calm comes over me now and a very huge NO NO NO! It has nothing at all to do with any of that! I’m human and we get sick every now and then, plain and simple. This is the exact way of thinking and brow beating that I will not let my boys fall under.

I remember a fun-loving and very caring father, one I miss but for the so-called one sin according to him I choose to not give up. That would be my thoughts. I believe God is not just God the father, but also God the mother, and Our Creator, Great Spirit, the list really can go on. I believe not in just one doctrine alone but that they all are connected internally as puzzle pieces one with the other forming a total spiritual experience if you just let it. As I grew up and my mind and soul wandered my father became more and more distant and almost grieved and tormented by my thoughts and idea’s. He did push me away with his actions and words. For what? For a differnce in opinion maybe?

My two cents is this: God dwells within me as me. God isn’t this evil iron fisted tyrant that’s just chomping at the bit waiting on his perch for you to mess up just once so he can rein hellfire and brimstone down on you with 40 plagues. That’s obviously my father and most of his family that have the corner of that market. I’m not going to beat myself up anymore and so here’s the Pos in the Neg, When your sick its your body’s way of saying “hey I need a timeout” and so you take a few days to chillax and veg in front of the tv or my case the computer. Then you go on.

The Silent Christian

When I was little I remember as a family praying before we ate supper whether we were at home or out in public. I never thought much of it, it was how I was raised. I had family that would pray at all times for anything and everything, public or privately. Being raised in a huge christian family made it all normal.

When my parents divorced and my mom forgo the formality of religion I did sway from the Lord. As said in previous blogs I had my rebellious stage. I have since rededicated my life to the Lord and in doing so I’ve dove into God’s holy word. Some people read and hear but don’t truly see or listen. Preachers will teach what they nonchalantly know of what is “excepted”. I really have yet to hear one that goes against the grain of society.

If you truly read scripture you will see what I’m talking about. Jesus’s reason for being here was to lead us to God through him, true. He also was to help us form the true church, which I have yet to find. The church is us, not a building. Friends, fellowship, dedication to the Word, and our Father in heaven.

Praying is a big one, lots of us claim to do it but do we truly do it? Some have to pray out in public and in front of others for such a show as to claim, “oh look at me I’m a christian and i am praying” when Jesus clearly states in

Matthew 6:6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (KJV)

He want us to pray in secret! Not for anyone else but HIM! Those “showy” christian that have to “prove” something by praying in public are going against all that’s taught. Your true witness is in your daily life to family and friends.

Do you cuss when you think no one else is around? Do you say bad things about family members because you “know” better? Do you think yourself better because you pray in public and go to church? All these are sin’s unto the Father and unfortunately are most christians. I do not shun them, I do not write this to speak badly of a group that so badly is striving to do good for God. I write this for a wake up call! How are we christians to reach the unbelieving when our paths are so crupted that it is them that can see it clear as day?

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (KJV)

So many of us just go and hear the Word but never really apply it. As a kid were you ever told “do as I say not as I do”? I was and have said that to my boys as I’ve raised them. It wasn’t until my youngest told me “Mama, why am I not supposed to say bad words in front of girls and ladies when you say bad words?” Ouch! Out of the mouths of babes. He was right and I couldn’t get on to him for that. So from that day on even though anyone that knows me knows my favorite bad word was the “F” word I quit say them. Completely! Much like quitting smoking or drinking or any bad habit I did slip once in a while at first but now its been almost 6 months bad word free and even in my typing I won’t do it. You can ask my hubby that even in private I wont say a word. So what about when you’re raving mad? Well I’m human and some words might slip but even when I’m raving mad I still call upon God to silence my tounge.

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

I pray daily, I read my bible daily, I devote all I do to the Lord.  I do not pray in public, I do not go to church regularly, I do not act like something I’m not. I truly believe with my whole heart and without conviction that I am doing what the Lord wants me to do, whether you approve or not it matters not. I’m doing my Lords work and that is all that matters.

 

“Its The Devil Bobby!”

Bobby Boucher: “Everything is the devil to you, Mama! Well, I like school, and I like football! And I’m gonna keep doin’ them both because they make me feel good!” This is a quote from the movie “Waterboy” with Adam Sandler. I absolutely love it but I love Adam Sandler and anything he does is great in my book! So if you’ve never seen the movie let me sum it up for you..  Bobby Boucher lives in the Louisiana Bayou with his Mama, played by Kathy Bates, and is a few french fries short of a happy meal. Anyway that’s how it seems at the beginning. So it’s just him and his Mama and somehow he ends up playing football and going to college. Meets a girl, makes some friends, they have a problem and it all works out and they live happily ever after. But the one thing that gets me is the Mama is always telling him his whole life about how the “devil” is everything and in everything and he must just listen to her and just her because she knows what the “devil” is and what the “devil” isn’t.

I know I’ve heard this before. Some people think that the internet it the devil, maybe its drugs, too much tv? Perhaps its a combo of all the bad things we shouldn’t do. But hears my question, Who decides what or what is not the “devil”? My dad swears Facebook is the devil while others have led souls to Christ through that “devil”. My mom swears that some people are born with the “devil” inside them never able to get rid of it yet I’ve seen them change their lives and their souls live for God forever.

I think that while the devil exist in the world its the free will we have received from God that gives us the freedom to choose to follow the devil or follow Him. Each of us has our own devils to face and to fight if we choose to. My devil has had many faces just like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ along with our Almighty Father from heaven has shown me many faces to help me fight my devils.
I have lived so far out of the warm and safe embrace of my Lord that I feared my devils would consume me. Death was immenate and so was my destruction. Not of my body but of my soul, although when the spirit starts to deteriorate so does the body. They seem to go hand in hand really, is there really surprise there since we were created in God’s image that when we turn our backs on Him that we as His creation begin to fall apart?

I have a brother that is going through a rough spot now and I sent him a text of encouragement. “Faith is hope that it will get better and loving God is just knowing your never alone.” Good words I thought for all of us. Whatever your devil is that your facing, whatever demon is trying hard to get you down stop right now and just pray. Pray to your Heavenly Father because just like the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 of the christian bible it truly doesn’t matter what you’ve done, He loves you so very much, has always loved you and will never stop loving you! He may not like the things you’ve done but just as a loving parent has unconditional love for the children they bore and raised so Our Heavenly Father is always there with open arms to take us back to the warm and secure embrace again!

Finding Jesus Is Easy, Its Finding Yourself That’s Hard

I’ve struggled this morning on this blog post trying to find the right words to say, I’ve been praying for days about it actually and then it just hit me so here it goes.

I grew up fundamental independent baptist, whatever that means. Seriously the baptist and Christianity in general have more flavors than Starbucks. As a teen I wrestled with not only who I was but also I had tons of spiritual questions as well. Why is the bible the word we go by? Who really wrote it and is there actually proof that it was not altered by men? Why are women viewed as second class citizens and why can’t I ask questions like that? I was turned away from the baptist religion for lack of understanding and teaching. So I went searching for an answer, and to fill the void in my heart but it wasn’t all spiritual, I had no clue what I really wanted out of life, but really who does at 19 yrs old?

I got a job, found a guy, got married young, had a baby and now was a stay at home mom. Okay so I knew what I was going for the rest of my life… motherhood. Not a bad job, my mom did a great job as I recall and its not like I had any intentions to go get a career type job or go to college so here I was and yet again thru myself into the baptist religion this time though as a mother and wife, not a teen with issues. It seemed though that I still had issues. Now how is that possible well with a non-believing, cheating, druggie husband how could I not have issues. I turned to God and still it was all about the “man” WHAT?!!!! More like whatever at that point in my life, so I started reading the bible for myself and found some things were different than what I was being told. Most preachers are like that, only tell what they seem to think you need to hear. So I started questioning again, feeling that need to fill the void. At the time I thought it was the void for spiritual enlightenment but my heart was hurting from a whole other reason.

I was divorced and a single mom when I started working at an insurance company and thought well I’ve lucked into this one and I think it could be a pretty good career for me. I went to the schooling, I got all my permits and licenses that I needed. Worked with some of the best people on the planet that to this day I miss dearly. I was in and out of church, had boyfriends once in a while but my main focus was my boy and myself. I thought I was doing pretty good with my life but there was still something missing. I still had questions about God and the whole picture along with some serious life delima’s and very dramatic situations.

So I fell in love, you know the type, head over heals 100% in love! Wow and it couldn’t have been better for me or my boy. We’d been best friends forever and already knew each other’s gruesome “love” history so it was actually perfect and everything just fit.

We ended up agreeing to have more children and with being pregnant and trying to work along with having a little one in kindergarten I was feeling the pressure. After 9/11 insurance got outrageous and it was just too stressful, I didn’t want to hurt people I wanted to help people! So I quit and yet again found myself as a stay at home mommy. I was happy with just tending to the farm and the children. As the youngest grew and I was at home with alot of thinking time I struggled with my spiritual questions and with the Internet at my fingertips I dove into theological studies. I looked up every religion I could google and then studied every aspect of it to find the answers to my questions. I found some pretty interesting links to them all and wondered why couldn’t we all just get along but then I realized that men in general find the need to play “king of the mountain” even as adults so that explains it.

The one spiritual path that pulled at me the most was the pagan path. The idea that God is both male and female does appeal to the feminist in me. I dove head first into learning everything I could. I spent alot of my time and $1,000’s of dollars to buy all that I needed to do the ritual’s, offerings, and ceremonies. The one thing was that I thought I was actually getting along with it all just fine, had my hubby, and kids, the religion of my choice but… yeah there was a but, hate it when that happens, dang!

I ended up pregnant for the third and final time wondering if I was going to loose the baby, I had already lost my grandfather and didn’t have a very good relationship with my father along with strained relations with my mother and step-father, whom we were living with and was my husbands father. I tryed every spell I could think of, even bought some on line, yeah I know waste of money, time and stupid. Hang on thought because I said there was a but!

After the birth of my last boy I wanted to find myself, or was I truly just someones mom and wife? What happen to me? My dreams, my hopes, my life? So I went to work at the local nursing home just to get away and yet again found myself working with some of the most wonderful people on the planet to this day I am still very close to some and love them dearly. So motherhood of three boys, a job, the stress of living with the parents and a strained marrage all along with my spiritual questions still and not finding the answer I was looking for. I was so ready to throw in the towel of life and just go away forever!

I ended up quiting my job and yet again found myself again “just” a stay at home mom. I wasn’t too happy with the thought of it but pulled up my big girl panties and just got over it. Yet I was still lacking something. I put away all my pagan stuff and began reading just regular old romance novels, grrrrrr baby! That’ll help the ole marrage relationship! Things were going great and even though there was still that “but” it was very silent. Then my gram’s died, wow did that blow my world apart!

I was so close to her, way closer to her than I am my mom. I contemplated all that I had learned spiritually and then got all my books out and dove into it all again trying to find the answer to a question that I had but didn’t really know what it was at all. I just knew I was searching for something. My sister had been on my butt about getting back together with our father, whom we’d had a severed relationship for 7 yrs and he had never meet his last two grandboys. So I decided by-gone’s and gave it a go.

That first summer we had a blast with my dad, my marrage was getting along terrific, we were getting along really well, I was still a nut and had my “questions” about life in general and actually deeper questions now that my gram’s was gone. But…. yeah there’s that but again, nasty little word always throwing itself into things!

That fall was when my back finally called it a quits and when I got into the therapy part of it I had alot of time on my own to think and read. With the pain I was in I had said every spell, called to every god and goddess I could think of, reaserched every thing I could to help me. My chropractor and his wife are good christian people, the ones that are far and few between. Not pushy just there. I found myself contomplating talking to God again but I had gone so far away from Christianity how in the world would I do it?

One day as I was strapped into my therapy session, I was all alone that day and having a very painful day. I cryed, I really tryed not to but everything just came to a head that week and with this I just couldn’t handle it anymore so I cryed. As I looked out the window I found myself thinking of Our Holy Father and just broke down and prayed. I prayed for forgivness of all that I had done against Him. I prayed He heal me and if I was to truly go on the path of Christianity again to show me a very clear sign!

I put up all my pagan books and things again and didn’t tell a soul. As far as anyone was concered I was a pagan still even though I was living a christian, so I was a closet christian, LOL. I have to laugh at that as it sounds so very wrong and messed up. My therapy went on along with the entire summer and then right before the holiday’s my middle boy came to me and asked me to read the bible to him and how excatly do you get to heaven. WOW I thought, Lord when you give a sign, you really give a sign!

My two youngest were saved that night and my while my oldest was saved as a young one such as them he is up for listening to all we teach and read, and yes even pray. I prayed a rededication to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ along with His and Our Holy Father to live my life as He see’s fit to live 100% for Him and for Him to help me be the type of wife, mother and woman He would have me be. The next morning I felt awake, like a weight had been lifted. As if all the questions I had been searching for had just been answered, I for once in my life felt peace spritually and that was one of the most wonderful feelings that you can feel.

I went out and bought a bible, I perticuarly like the NIV over the KJV just because Shakespere is a little hard for me to grasp. As I’ve been reading bible studies and diving into the written word of God I’ve found out that its just so much easier to pray to God for Him to just handle it all and then the fact that you only need one book.

So my oldest whom has grown up with my openminded pagan way of thinking is blown away at the fact that I can just change overnight in my thought. It wasn’t overnight I explained as you’ve well read, it was over years and many thoughts that I ended up to my final place in my path to enlightenment. We all have that road to journey. I did find my way back to Jesus and it was easy, he was hiding behind the couch the whole time. Me, well I’m close but I’m still searching for myself but… don’t worry this one’s a good but, I’m very happy with the journey I’m on now. I don’t know what’s around the bend but i’m still on the road and I’ll get there when I do and I’ll just take one step at a time and get there just when I’m supposed too.

Everyone of us has our own journey to travel. I don’t like pushy travelers, your road is your own and you don’t need to tell another what shoes to wear.

I’m very happy in Our Lord and in my life, I love everyday and find great joy in my boys and have a love I never thought possible in my husband. My wish, hope, and prayer would be that you would find the same. Give life a chance, make the most of what you’ve been given in this world. You may not be given much but as Jesus points out in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John…. You are so worth it, and your giving in any shape or form is most welcome.

Forks In The Road, So Which Way Do I Go?

I could talk about Robert Frost poem, The Road Less Traveled, however my reason behind this particular pic is the crossroads and choices I have before me in my life at this precise moment. I feel almost torn apart inside and unable to make the decision. Oh I know I can make one, but I’m scared. I don’t want to have to make one. I want God to just clear the path for me and make it easier to walk the path. I want all the debris out of the way so I don’t have to get hurt while I’m on that path that I know I must travel now. I didn’t know before but today it has been confermed with a big loud sign and I fear that like Jonah if I don’t go to Ninivah the whale just might get me.(read the book of Jonah in the christian bible) Or perhaps I’m in the whale now?  In anycase, I’m scared. Okay so scared of what? I actually had this conversation with myself. Scared of the rude comments, the bad mouthing, the name calling, I’m scared of rocking the boat, of the ridicule, of the evil looks. Now what did Jesus go through? WAY more than that! I feel so guilty almost when I compare what I might just have to put up with verses what He actually went through. But then I feel that gentle hand of God on my shoulder lovingly telling me “its okay, i’ll wait for you, i’m here and your not alone”. So my prayer is this…. Dear God, just be with me and never let me go! give me the strength to do what you will and help me move the unmoveable mountains in my life! Amen

Meditating On The Word

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxieties upon Him because He loves you.

This is the verse I most like to meditated on. It gives me such strength.

During meditation the other day I pictured myself on a mountain side. To my left as I looked out into the vast valley of trees was a stream flowing north. I could hear the birds and water flowing. I could feel the breeze on my face and the sunshine warming my skin. I heard footsteps coming up from the east on a path that takes me to the valley. As I looked up the sun in my eyes I only saw the outline of a very known friend. I felt so happy and honored to have that visit in my special meditaion spot! Then he spoke…”child, you are not alone. i am here always”. It was Jesus! I jolted awake from my meditation and had this very peaceful feeling the rest of the day. Just had to share!

Love The “Don’t Worry Be Happy” Theme

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.

I’ve searched and searched for God. Over the mountains of the earth. Through the heartache of soulful wanting and questions unanswered. All the journey’s that I’ve taken have lead me back to me. Full circle so to speak this wonderous feeling of compleation has started! Such love and possitivity in the Father’s embrace as I know I’m here and He is here with me 😀

1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”

I am God, He is in me. I am never alone 😉 Such a very wonderful feeling.

Going Home Is Best

Isaiah 40:30
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall

Have you ever seen the movie “The Mists Of Avalon”? Its one of my all time fav’s! The fantasy with magic and myth just really gets me. I think its the one thing that keeps me from just the norm and boringness of what I view christianity as. To me its just plain boring. Well over the years I’ve wrestled with my internal soul and which religious path I should travel. I figured traveling them all would work for me! 😀 I’m having a blast with all the learning of different views and cultures.

However at the end of the movie when Igraine goes to the christian nunnery to worship for the rest of her life when having been a high priestess to the goddess in avalon for her whole life. Her daughter asked her why? Well Igraine’s answer is much like my own when it comes to religion in general:

I’m tired and I just want to relax. I was raised christian and while I still have my questions and my own views on things. Along with being completely in love with the hindu and buddhist meditaions, my heart belongs to Jesus and I just can’t hide from it anymore.

I still love to learn and will never stop! I still believe in every souls right to the path they hear the call from! Its just that my soul is pooped and ready to rest and in familiarity that it knows is where I will lye.