Redefining God is what Brian Smith has been doing since he was a child. In 2015, a life-shattering event turned Brian Smith’s world upside down. He lost his 15-year-old daughter, Shayna, abruptly and without warning. The emotional toll was heavy; Brian was engulfed in grief and despair. Yet, it wasn’t just the tragedy that fueled his existential crisis but also a lifelong fear of death, seasoned by an uneasy relationship with traditional religious views of God. This sent Brian on a quest for solace, understanding, and enlightenment about life, death, and what comes afterward.
The Fear Factor: Early Life and The God Complex
Brian grew up in a religious setting that portrayed God as a judgmental figure. Despite participating in religious rites like baptism, a nagging discomfort haunted him. Could a God, supposedly loving, condemn his creation to eternal torment? Could a caring God be as punitive as his childhood religion suggested? Brian knew that to continue to believe in this God he was taught about, he would have to redefine God.
The Engineer’s Approach to Religion
Trained as an engineer, Brian has a curious mind. His analytical nature propelled him to explore alternative spiritual beliefs and systems. From Buddhism to Kabbalah to Islamic tenets, he tried to decode God through different lenses. He also discovered the realms of near-death experiences and mediumship, further expanding his spiritual vocabulary. It started to appear that God wasn’t the judgmental deity he grew up fearing. Instead, God was beginning to resemble an entity full of unconditional love.
The Darkest Hour
When Shayna passed away, Brian’s life came to a standstill. Desperation took a stronghold. Once again, redefining God became necessary. Yet, amid the sorrow, a shimmer of hope emerged. Already familiar with the concept of the afterlife through his prior research, Brian took solace knowing Shayna was alright. But his motivation to survive wasn’t only spiritual. It was also deeply rooted in his responsibility to his wife and surviving daughter. He turned his grief into a bridge to connect with others in similar predicaments, volunteering with “Helping Parents Heal,” an organization offering support to bereaved parents.
The Pivot Point
As he embarked on a journey of recovery, a synchronicity unfolded. Brian enrolled in a life coaching program at the suggestion of a medium friend. Not knowing precisely where it would lead him, he embraced it wholeheartedly. This marked the inception of his Grief 2 Growth venture, where he became a Certified Grief Educator. Utilizing his own experiences, he started creating a safe harbor for others, advocating that death is not the end but rather a transformation.
The New Paradigm: God is Love
Brian’s notion of God underwent a drastic alteration in sharing his experiences and hearing countless stories from people who have had near-death experiences. The collective narrative strongly echoed that God is, indeed, love. This wasn’t just a comforting slogan but a vibrant, pulsating truth that many witnesses in the afterlife testified to.
Brian continues his mission to disseminate this enlightening viewpoint. Having just returned from a conference on near-death studies, he firmly believes that we are here for a purpose: to grow through hardships and eventually reconnect with our loved ones. “The trials we go through are but temporal, and in the grand scheme, they mold us,” says Brian.
The Conclusion: A Team with Shayna
Eight and a half years after Shayna’s passing, Brian believes they are teammates working towards a joint mission. In her ethereal existence, Shayna continues to be a guide and partner in his earthly endeavors. Their unique partnership underlines his belief that death is not a goodbye but a transformation. It is an inspirational tale, forcing us to re-examine our life, death, and God concepts.
Brian’s profound experience tells us that our understanding of God and the afterlife can always evolve, especially when we face our deepest fears and most significant losses. As Brian now understands, God is not a judge but a source of eternal, unwavering love. Brian finds his purpose, comfort, and, perhaps most importantly, his enduring connection with Shayna in this love.
It was great to appear on the Life After Life Channel. I recommend subscribing.