Christ’s Open Door and Extended Hand
After nearly drowning in the mire of sex, drugs and attempted suicide, I developed panic attacks and a serious addiction. One that’s between me and God. One that could have landed me in jail. Yet again, God had his hand on me, though I didn’t know it.
I began to crave stability. I decided they were to be found in external trappings. I earned an MBA. I wore suits and heels and began climbing the corporate ladder. I married (and divorced) twice more. And I kept feeling a huge hole in my heart.
Fifteen years of that time was spent searching to fill that hole with Eastern religions, New Age meditations, books and seminars, and even an attempt to return to Judaism. I still remember driving to a local temple and asking to see the Rabbi.
I was shown into his office and told him I had questions about God. I was seeking spiritual guidance.
The first question he asked me was, “Are you a member of our temple?”
“No,” I said.
“See our secretary. You can make an appointment to talk with our cantor,” he replied.
“Can’t you speak with me now?”
“No, I’m very busy and I only make appointments with our temple members,” he said.
There was no one else waiting. I left.
During my search, I talked with my best friend in Brentwood, CA (who I used to call a Jesus Freak). She and a neighbor began to open up their hearts to me about Christ. I began to ask questions. Lots of questions. LOTS of questions.
One of my questions was, “How will I know I’m ready to accept Jesus?”
They both said, “You’ll know.”
What I realized I was seeking was love and peace. A love and peace that wouldn’t – no couldn’t – go away. I honestly thought the last place I would find that was in the heart of Jesus.
One day, after many months of gentle discussion, I went on a solitary walk around a lake. And there He was. He just was standing there in my path, door open, arms extended. No, I didn’t have a hallucination, and I didn’t actually see the physical Jesus, but my experience was that the threshold was right in front of me. I knew all I had to do was walk through it, and Jesus would take my hand.
He did, of course, and I began to devour all I could in order to know more about Him. I began by reading the Book of John, then the rest of the Gospels. I asked others for recommendations of authors. If I had any logical or historical doubts about Jesus’ existence, death or resurrection, Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ wiped them away.
Looking back on the events in my life before I walked through that door reminds me of Genesis 28:16, when Jacob wakes from his dream and realizes, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”
I was baptized on March 4, 2007 and in October of that year, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
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