I grew up as a perfectionist, trying to please my temperamental mother. At least my father was laid back and came from a caring family. I was also encouraged by my teachers and many friends. Life was pretty good until my parents started fighting and got a divorce. I grew angry with God for not fixing my family and turned my back on him, leading to depression.
At college I felt very alone and my art professors took only a mild interest in my work. I quickly came to the end of my resources and wanted to quit life. But one night while home alone with a dusty Bible, I poured out my heartache before God with many tears and gave my life to him. He met with me in such a powerful way that my debilitating depression surprisingly vanished within two days. During worship at a campus church, I was deluged with a glorious waterfall of the genuine love I had been searching for all my life as the presence of Jesus crumbled my protective walls. Shortly after that, I forgave my mother and a tangible weight was taken from my shoulders that I didn't realize had been there my whole life. Joy and liberty poured into my soul.
The Lord brought me through steps of deeper devotion as he called me to give up a grant at the University of Michigan and transfer to a tiny Bible college. I learned how to listen to his voice and meditate on the scriptures so I could have the courage to take leaps of faith like quitting a job when I really needed the income. Then God called me to travel across the country with my New Age-minded mother, not knowing where we would end up living. I saw numerous divine interventions.
Attending the seminary at Oral Roberts University provided amazing inspiration for a fruitful life, but it was also where I was tormented by panic attacks due to fixating on a 4.0 GPA. Once again I became imprisoned by the merciless dictates of perfectionism as I relished in the praise of others for my academic success. Then God confronted my pride and challenged my priorities. Eventually, I was delivered from irrational fears through scripture memorization, prayer, worship, support from friends and a better diet. My health had been so compromised that I felt led to recuperate by working in childcare where I learned to value the simple beauty around me seen through the eyes of delightful children. My arrogant, self-centered heart was being humbled.
I was mortified by the fact that I had never had a boyfriend and had only three dates by the time I turned 30, even though I yearned to be married. I questioned my self-worth. It was time for a major change. After bleaching my hair and tossing my glasses, I met my first charming boyfriend who was running away from God. Focused too much on a man's position and wealth, I went through several fun, but also painful dating experiences and two marriage proposals that put me on a whirlwind roller coaster. I learned something valuable from each brief relationship.
I enjoyed a sense of family and service through Christian singles ministries in the Detroit area where I saw God moving to transform lives. The Lord frequently urged me to see situations and people through his eyes and purposes. I could choose the world and its values and end up losing my life or I could lose my life for the Lord's calling and gain eternal rewards.