I always seemed to have everything I wanted, BUT was never satisfied! In High School I was an officer in my sorority, on the Homecoming Queen's Court and enjoying life, but something was missing. I was heavily involved in my church yet, again, felt something lacking! I went on to Michigan State University and found myself with thousands of students from different backgrounds and religions. Which was right? During my junior year I was contacted by an acquaintance of a friend.
At the age of three I decided that I wanted to be a Christian. But how does a three-year-old grasp the finer points of Christianity? Simple. I understood that it had something to do with being forgiven of sin. So I stacked some cardboard boxes, kicked them over, and then knelt down to ask for forgiveness of this horrible sin.
As I grew I realize now that I never really got too much beyond that perception of Christianity. I was in it to escape from the burden of being imperfect. In other words, I was a Christian because of what it did for me.
At 16 I had two clear conclusions: Life is boring and life is unfair. Someday I graduate, go to work, get married, have children, get old, and die. LIFE IS BORING. But my situation was better than most. I had a good family, good grades, and the opportunity to study at university. I realized most of my friends will be simple factory workers, hence my 2nd conclusion: LIFE IS UNFAIR.
It was cold in the living room at six in the morning. The coffee was warm, but I was very tired. I wanted to die. It was even colder at seven. My coffee was ice-cold and I was totally exhausted. At half past seven I only felt warm sunshine and I was full of energy. I hugged my friend and wept. I was happy! I was saved!
My Mom was the daughter of an itinerate preacher. She saw to it that my brother and I attended church every Sunday, beginning at a very young age. However, as I grew older, I drifted away from the teachings of my youth only to make a lot of mistakes.
But God wasn't through with me yet. It was many years later as I waited for my daughter at a bus stop that a little old woman with a kind face asked me, "If you died tonight, do you know where you would spend eternity?"
As I nervously peered down at the ground 100 feet below, my balance shifted. In a brief moment of blind panic, I realized I was going over the cliff's edge.
There was no turning back. That's how I felt when a group of friends took me rock climbing a few years ago. The idea sounded like fun - until we arrived at the rock face and put on climbing gear to rappel down. I've never been fond of heights and didn't take much comfort in my only lifeline being a climbing rope thinner than my index finger.
In Romania the beginning of the second half of the 20th century meant the instauration of Communism and its entry into the longest spiritual night. Personally, this period brought me many painful experiences because of the hardships my parents encountered. First of all, there were the large agricultural and animal allotments that were loaded in the railway cars and headed to the Soviet Union as war indemnities. Then the collectivization followed and that meant expropriation. That led my family to dire poverty.
The Romanian peasant was on his knees, frantically gathering the half-rotten apples strewn all over the mountain road. In the pitch darkness, our rickety little car had plowed into his cart, throwing him off and somersaulting his two horses. As a cold rain and snow fell on this surreal midnight scene, I had never felt less in control. I asked myself, "What in the world am I doing here?"