“I sometimes find God in my cereal bowl.”

If I learned all twelve of my prayers, I received a gold star for each by name in big Sharpie. Our class would break bread over laminated name tags and ceramic desks with grape juice in plastic cups, proverbs of transfiguration, consecrations, how it won’t taste like Jesus, more like cardboard and unsatisfying, but how I have to believe it is his body. And this is your body, turning seventeen in a plaid skirt just above the knee, detentions slip for rolling it at the waist they pretend you don’t have. I think we were all back road sinners singing songs on Sundays from paper pamphlets, scanning aisles to see who didn’t make it this week, who was sitting alone, who showed up at the homily.

I grew up thinking God was on page 678 for our closing hymn “How Great Thou Art.” That he was a huge, built dude with a white beard on top of a cloud waiting to damn me to hell for kissing that boy last Friday or daydreaming during a reading from a Letter to the Apostles. That He was untouchable, but I was somehow superior to those other believers because I labeled myself as Catholic. That what constituted being a good person was how many commandments I could memorize and spit back out again. I was further from being an evangelist back then when I sat in a mahogany pew every week than I am now. I somehow, through all this, convinced myself that I was less of a person because I didn’t understand all the Bible stories I acted out in school plays. I never did make a good lamb.

Now, I sometimes find God in my cereal bowl. Sometimes he’s in a verse from Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book mixtape, “He think the new shit jam. I think we mutual fans.” He’s in my twinkly lights when I can’t sleep, tossing myself through another night of disbelieving the plan He has for me. He’s in my mirror when I’m flattening my stomach with my palms to remind me that I was created in His image; that I am a child of God and wow, does He know I’m beautiful. I see Him in you when you smile.

Whenever something smacks me insurmountable, I know and trust that God would never give me anything that I couldn’t handle. That He planted a purpose within me and its my job to discover that purpose and give it back to others. To make them feel the bliss He fills me with. I see God in coffee cups, airport posters, every time I see the sunset. He’s on the tips of all my fingers when I count my blessings, sometimes you, admittedly, twice.

I may not have been to mass since Easter, but I know I am blessed. I would never regret my education or my town or the way my parents raised me because without that, I would still be wondering which way to fold my hands, how to talk to God, how to pray to my guardian angel, gratitude. Without all of that I would never be able to recognize the voice of God when He says, “I love you, love yourself,” or even “Well, not your best choice, Soph, try harder next time.” To give myself to Him when I feel lost. And to think all that time I spent finding myself, He knew exactly who I was.

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