Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Recently, the 'nothingness' that I spoke of in a previous post has been trying to pull me back in again. All of the ideals and ideas and even resentments I'd had before seem to be trying to creep back in. It brings with it the elusive appeal that maybe... somehow, someway I could still be a truly fulfilled person without G-d as a permanent part of my life. I suppose this is a normal part of growing and it's probably normal for someone who is trying to lift theirself out of nothingness.

I do not fight with myself over it. I learned not to do that when I left Christianity. I try very hard not to judge myself for having it in my thoughts. Instead I look within objectively (as much possible) and simply observe what goes on inside me. Because I know that if I can stay still long enough the truth will emerge once again, crystal clear to me.

I find it very interesting that the 'nothingness' should try to return at this particular point in my life. I have recently been through a rather hard time because of the holidays and because of a forced separation from my biological family.

And I gently remind myself to remember that 'nothingness' can be deceptively appealing when we are in pain and would rather be numb to all that is real and true. Truth means life, but also often means the intense light of self examination and soul searching.

And so I watch and pray over my soul. Asking G-d to continue to guide, asking from myself only to listen very carefully for the still, small voice that has never led me astray.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Closed Doors, Open Window (revised)

My life has been a prime example of the saying, "When G-d closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." It's not that there have been flashing neon arrows pointing me in the direction I should go (and not that I would have always listened, even if there had been), but for as long as I can remember, G-d has been part of my life; making the supposedly impossible, possible and putting the supposedly good and right, suddenly out of reach. And as long as I was willing to hear and follow this still, small voice, as long as I was willing to take that leap of faith, He has always been faithful to lead me.

I was born and raised in fundamental Christianity. No questions asked, it was simply what we believed. When I was 25, there were several, shall we say, "discrepancies" that were brought to my attention regarding JC, etc. I went to my pastor, rather disturbed, but sure that he would put it right. I was simply told, that I had very good, logical questions. But surprisingly there was little, to no attempt to answer them. I could not, and would not base my eternal salvation on a religion that couldn't stand up to honest questioning. To do so, just didn't make sense to me.

The next five years were rather tumultuous. I was devastated that everything and everyone that I had believed in was proving to be untrustworthy. Where did that leave G-d in all of this, I wondered. Did He really exist? Could I trust Him? For a short period of time, I did not believe, could not believe, would not believe. I was too hurt, too angry, too stubborn. But G-d has a way of gently nudging His way back into your life. He's pretty irresistible. And one day He showed me a tiny moth (I'll never forget it) that had landed on the front door. It honestly looked as if its markings had been perfectly hand drawn with a red colored pencil. It was so delicate and perfect in everyway. I knew that day without a doubt that there was a G-d and that what happened to me mattered.

I was still lost. I studied Buddhism, Shamanism, Pagamism, Druidism...just about every religion that there is. In the mean time, my best friend discovered that she was Jewish and was becoming more observant all the time, so I was also learning about Judaism. I helped clean for Pesach, danced at Simchat Torah, celebrated at a Bar Mitvah, a Purim party and Sukkot. And for the last several years had the honor of keeping Shabbat with my friend and her family. Most of the people in my neighborhood think I'm Jewish anyway...:). But little by little I was dying inside. None of the other religions that I had studied were doing anything for me spiritually and I kept thinking to myself, I'm not Jewish so that would never work. I tried studying how to be a good Noachide, but for some reason that just made me furious and more frustrated.

Recently I stopped learning altogether, stopped listening, stopped trying. I guess I just gave up and decided I didn't care what was true. I would just be nothing. But this time I didn't get a still, small voice. This time it felt more like a bucket of cold water right in the face or a knock upside the head. G-d used a rather devastating event to wake me up to the very serious reality that all the while I was choosing to ignore G-d, I was losing myself, the person that I really and truly am, the person that I really and truly want to be. Even though I didn't believe in Christianity anymore, I had never stopped believing in the morals and ethics I had been taught. But when you live in this world without G-d in your life and yet try to live above it, you are asking the impossible. And it dawned on me that the truth of Judaism offered all of the ethics and morality that were important to me and then some, but without the fear, the guilt or the apologetics. Living according to the Torah meant making G-d part of every event, every moment of your life.

I was shocked, scared, surprised, ecstatic. I wanted to convert?! Yes, I did. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I felt hope, direction and new purpose. Over the last few weeks I did a lot of reading and research regarding the conversion process. When I finally called the local Rabbi, I was happily surprised to be given an appointment just one week later.

That was yesterday! And after hearing my story, the Rabbi has agreed to accept me for the conversion process without turning me away the traditional three times! He was careful to explain that the Jewish people do not proselytize so this was not the usual proceedings. But I had already been learning about Judaism for so many years, had explored all my other religious options, had been part of the local community for the last three years and I'm not dating anyone. He said it was very interesting that I came to see him during the parsha of Lech Lecha and that he would make some phone calls on my behalf and call me back next week!

Talk about an open window! I have never been more in awe at seeing G-d work in my life. I am humbled by the mercy He has shown me and certainly don't feel worthy, but it makes me more determined than ever to not let Him down. And looking back over my life I can truly say that I am just as thankful for the miracles of the closed doors as I am for the open windows because all of them have led me straight back to G-d.