This is my story on how I became the person I am today. I was raised with parents who loved the Lord and wanted their children to do the same. I was interested in religion, and felt I awakened to a new level of understanding during my first year of college.
That year, I had signed up for a Bible as Literature course. One assignment involved choosing one of the Ten Commandments and writing a short essay on its significance in my own life. I chose the fourth commandment, keeping the Sabbath holy. In my research, I came across a new way to think of the Sabbath day. Instead of thinking of it as one evening and one morning, the article suggested that we enter an eternal rest when we follow the Lord. This really got me thinking and questioning.
It wasn’t long after that that I met and began to fall in love with a guy from my hometown named Ivan. Now Ivan was connected to the New Church, but at first, I didn’t know too much about his religion. I knew he was also a Christian, I invited him to attend a church camp with me - one that was about three hours away. Just as we were entering the camp ground, I happened to ask, ”What do you believe about the second coming?” “Well,” he said, “I believe that it has already happened.” You could have heard a pin drop. What an unusual answer! My thoughts were racing! "What am I going to do now? We are at my church camp!” Before I let him out of the car, we talked about it a little more. I began to see that he wasn't as crazy as I thought – that the “second coming” might not actually be the dramatic physical event that I’d always pictured it would be.
As Ivan and I continued to get to know each other, I became more interested in the teachings of the New Church. I had many questions, but as I learned more, I truly felt the Lord guiding me. The Biblical stories that I had loved as a child were now becoming alive again with an “adult” meaning behind them. There were times I struggled with certain things I’d been taught, and was afraid to go against what might be “the truth.” As I read the Bible and the Writings of the New Church, things just made sense and I realized there really wasn't a contradiction after all. In fact, it was often a confirmation of what I had learned, only deeper. Through this process, it was as if the puzzle pieces of a big jigsaw puzzle were slowly turning and each piece was finding the other to join together to make an amazing picture!
Ivan and I are now married with four beautiful children. I have a deep love for the New Church and its teachings. I am still in the learning process and am amazed at how the Lord leads us in all areas of life if we allow him in to lead us. I am thankful to my parents for giving me the foundation to build my life upon to seek the Lord in all aspects of life.
Every chance Ivan and I get we share what we can with those around us about the teachings the Lord has given us. My hope is that one day we may have a closer New Church group that we can support each other in sharing and learning more of His teachings not only for us but for others that don’t know these wonderful truths.