A few years ago, my mom and I were sitting down to Yom Kippur services when she turned to me and said with one of the most intense looks shes ever given me"
"I don't know what you have to do, but whatever it is, you need to get right with God and with yourself."
I nodded, I knew she was right. The strong connection I had had to my Judaism and God was all but gone. I was lost but had no idea what to do.
I sat in services and recited the prayers from memory but when it came time to pray from my heart, nothing came out. I was empty. I wanted so badly to feel some sort of connection, but I felt nothing. I walked away knowing I had no one to blame but myself.
I had no idea that a few weeks later, my life would completely change and my connection with God would become a focus of my life.
I've been think a lot about that day recently and the sharp contrast it has from where I am today.
I've struggled this year, especially this summer. But lately, I can feel is Gods love and grace surrounding me. I know its always there,
even especially in the struggles, but sometimes it is so palpable I can't help but acknowledge it.
I attended Rosh Hashanah services with my parents last week and I was brought to tears more than once during the services. The service we attended had our temples youth choir leading the congregation in song. Listening to their sweet voice sing songs of praise and believing every word of that prayer was so, so amazing. I knew in that instance that god was with me, right then, and what an amazing feeling that is!
A few weeks ago I was able to listen to a friend share his testimony. I've known him for a few years and it was so great to be able to listen and hear how God has worked in his life. After he was done, I went to thank him and to give him a hug he pulled me close and said "oh Amanda! I just love you so much!" And it was like I could feel not only the love from him, but everyone one the room and god all rushing to me. Granted he had just shared an amazing story, but I was smiling from ear to ear when I left.
And now it's Yom Kippur again. I can't help but be thankful that I have experienced all these instances of God's love so close together. I'm by no means perfect and I find myself focusing on my imperfections. But this year, I feel lore strongly than I have in a while that God loves me no matter what. Even though I always knew this was true, being able to feel it and have a renewed sense of faith has been so helpful in my process of atoning this year.
I just feel so extremely blessed.
I'm not sure if this made any sense, or if anyone even got to the end of this. But if you did, thank you. This week is going to be rough but I'm so thankful I have been able to feel God so acutely in my life and I really, deep down, in the depths of my soul, know that no matter what happens, I'll be ok.