Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

Open Up Your Heart for a Worthy Cause – We Are all Different

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” ~ John 11:25-26

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash
Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

What is this church about?

I have written quite a few times about how I found my niche at the Church of Spiritual Awakening. I visited several Spiritualist churches going back and forth from church to church trying to get a feel or a sense of belonging. It took me a while to realize where I belonged.

The Church of Spiritual Awakening is unlike many other churches. Many of us believe in God, Lord, the Almighty, Infinite Spirit – whichever way you wish to call him/her, but don’t believe in certain religious doctrines. I grew up in the Catholic religion, however, there were certain things that did not sit well with me. As a child, I was sensitive to spirit. Something my parents nor sibling could see, feel or hear. I was lucky to have parents who didn’t judge me for what I saw, felt, or heard. They were always there and never made me feel uncomfortable or tell me it was my imagination.

Searching for answers within religion

As I grew up, I could no longer deny something was wrong with me. I didn’t understand it and frankly; I was afraid of it. So as a teenager, I joined the local neighborhood Catholic church. I played guitar in the choir and took part as much as I could in its ministries. One time I spoke with the Reverend explaining to him what I’ve felt ever since I was 4-years-old (that’s as far back as I could go). The Reverend suggested I contact the Rosicrucians. I didn’t know who they were or where to locate them, so I never even looked them up. Then again, there was no internet so it might have taken more time than what a teenager was willing to put in.

In the search for answers, I visited the Evangelical church and after a few visits felt compelled to let the pastor know what I felt. But during a service, I ended up running out when the pastor and congregation kept chanting and telling me to repent or the devil was coming for me. I also visited the Baptist church for a while and spoke to the pastor. He said the devil possessed me. When I was 18-years-old, I had my first session with a psychologist. That didn’t go any better. She wrote me a referral to a psychiatrist because, according to her, I was borderline schizophrenic. And that’s when I stopped searching for answers.

I found excuses of why I was seeing, hearing, or feeling inexplicable things.

“I probably saw it on the news,” I would think to myself. Or “I heard someone say it,” and so on.

There was always an excuse until eventually I just blocked it. It was always there, and every so often I would have an “episode.” But I put all my faith in God and just let it go.

The premonition that shook my core

Then one day, as I was driving my children home from school, I saw something that woke me up. As we waited for the light to change, an image came to my mind. It was an image of a car accident and a woman crawling out of the wrecked vehicle’s window with blood all over her face. She crawled out crying, looked at me, and extended her right arm towards me. I recognized that face! It was my cousin’s face. I panicked and began trembling when the honking of horns and my children signaled to me that the light had changed. I didn’t know what it meant or why I had felt it, but I tried to leave it behind. Two weeks after that incident, I received a frantic call from my mother.

“Debbie, please go check on your cousin. I just got word she had a car accident,” Mom said.

“WHAT? WHERE? WHEN?” I screeched out.

“Today close to you on the main road,” she replied.

I left as fast as I could and stopped by my cousin’s house. I was so relieved when she opened the door. They were all fine, just a little banged up. But that left me feeling so uneasy.

The guilt was killing me

“Why?” I thought. “Why would I wish this upon my cousin? How could I have done this to her?”

I felt so guilty. As if I had caused the accident. I couldn’t shake it out of my head. At that time, I was working at a church, so the next day, I spoke with the Pastor. I told him about the accident and how guilty I felt. Opening up was hard for me. It had been so long since I told anyone, but I told him about my experiences since young. I needed to let it out. I needed God’s forgiveness for having such horrific thoughts about my loving cousin.

The Pastor listened and reassured me I had nothing to be afraid of and need not feel any guilt. He told me I wasn’t alone. There were many like-minded people who felt, saw, and heard just like I did. He then encouraged me to meet them, which I did. That day, I realized I was not alone and much less crazy. I befriended a few like-minded individuals but still had my reservations about my feelings. Every so often I’d have a premonition. I learned to not hold on to it, but pass it on to the right individual. It helped some, but I still did not understand why.

A cruel awakening

It took a tragic event in my life for me to come to terms with it. My oldest son died in a pedestrian accident. My grief was unbearable. As a mom, I didn’t want to let go. In my mind, I always held a conversation with him and he responded. I had my doubts, though. One night, my sorrow was so deep I just needed to know. I cried so hard and prayed so much. Asking for God’s help, I prayed. I prayed for God to help me decipher this feeling – the hearing my son speak to me. If this was indeed from God, then teach me how to work with it and I will embrace it. But if it wasn’t, please take it away.

Click here for Spiritual Awakening Fundraiser

I found my home

A few weeks later, while researching on the internet, I found the local Spiritualist churches. I loved its principles as I felt the same way. Hence, I visited quite a few before I decided that the Church of Spiritual Awakening was my home. I did many workshops at this center – Introduction to Spiritualism, Laying on of Hands Healing, Beginners Mediumship, Advanced Mediumship, among others, and also attended the Tuesday night Meditation Circle for a while.

I learned many things at the Church of Spiritual Awakening. One being that the spirit never dies {John 11:25-26}. That makes me feel at ease with myself and my gift. I know I’m not the only one either. Like me, there are many children, teens, and adults that do not understand the gift they have. A Spiritualist Church is a place where they can safely talk about it and learn to use their gifts positively. There are no judgments here. We welcome everyone to partake in our services and activities. It’s an open and affirming environment with lots of loving people.

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Accepting my gift is a blessing

I have finally accepted the gift Infinite Spirit has given me and would love nothing more than for the Church of Spiritual Awakening Center to have its own location instead of renting out space. As of now, we hold the meditation circle and Sunday services through Zoom. Though I miss our personal interaction, on the bright side, the building fund has continued to increase since there is no rent or utilities to pay. So, to reach our goal, we are having fundraisers.

This fundraiser and many others that we will have during the year, will not only help us increase our building fund; but will also bring awareness to what we represent. It is a loving atmosphere with people from all over the world coming together with a like-minded attitude. We love everyone and all are welcome.

This fundraiser is for masks. Everybody is wearing a mask – some are plain, some are creative – so why not support a worthy cause? We have unique designs and colors to choose from. So, if you feel compelled to help us raise funds for our new building, follow the link to the Spiritual Awakening fundraiser, make sure to put “Debbie Centeno” as the person you’re sponsoring, and thank you in advance for your support.

Love and light to all!