I Didn’t Believe In Ghosts

limiting-beliefs

One of my friends who was on the road to church saw two people who took their lives yesterday. It happened just before her eyes. When we prayed together, she was still shaking from such a terrible experience.

Sometimes life becomes unbearable. People who put their hope in their own abilities, gifts and talents, in a  job, a relationship, their health, get discouraged. Anxiety and depression kick in. I’ve been there.

Disappointment can be powerful. Pain may be so heavy that the brain cannot handle it anymore. We try to help each other, but even the strongest human being gets tired, gets old and has to leave the earth one day.

What to do?

I was an atheist. I thought science had the ultimate answers to my questions about life. But it didn’t. When you are alone with your own thoughts, you see there is no earthly help that is there for you forever.

I started to read about some solutions other people said they found in life philosophies. I looked for what was important in life, things like peace, happiness, knowledge… Unfortunately, they were limited to good intentions only. I wanted something to surpass “here and now.” Then I looked into personalities and “gods” of different religions to give me the sense of life. I was disappointed again when I realized that each of them was dead.

I looked into the Christian religion and I didn’t like it. I was sick and tired of rules and commandments. Then somebody presented me Jesus.

“Religion can’t give you the sense of life, but Jesus can.” That sounded weird. I didn’t believe in ghosts.

“Aren’t religion and Jesus the same thing?” I asked.

“Religion is a set of rules that claim to take you to heaven. Jesus is not a set of rules. He is a person. He is the truth and the way to live forever.”

I looked into what I was told. I said, “Jesus, if you are out there, give me a sign.” I needed something that only a supernatural intervention could do. And He did it.

He invited me in a relationship with Him. Yes, He has a mouth and speaks directly to the heart. He gave me courage in life. He was with me through the deepest valleys. When I was on the verge of taking my own life, He gave me hope. When depression got me, He freed me.

That’s why I wrote this. I’m a witness.

 

 

 

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You Handle the Switch, Man

images (6)I was teaching a workshop years ago after my divorce and I showed a picture to the public.

It was a professional picture of myself that was taken in a photo shop while I was young and still married. I wore my best dress, I was supposed to look the best I could.

After many years, when I found that photo and saw my eyes, I was shocked.

I LOOKED LIKE SOMEBODY SWITCHED OFF THE LIGHT INSIDE ME.

We didn’t have the technology to show that picture large, on a screen, so the audience passed it around. The room got quiet. It took a while until the people could talk and somebody asked me out loud:

“What did he do to you?”

1. FEAR OF HIM

That switches off the light and brings trembling. Sadly, this didn’t happen only in the eighteen century.

2. UNTRUE ACCUSATIONS

They burden and crook the soul.

3. ABUSE OF ALL KINDS

They take away any hope and open the door to suicide.

Now, when I see women with that kind of look, my heart aches. We are able to carry heavy stuff and handle it well when the light inside us is on. But darkness kills.

Despair, fear, abuse, they shrink life.

It took many years for me to recover and have the light shining inside me again.

Handling the switch is a great responsibility.

A Well During the War

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It was in 1939 when the countries in Europe were torn between Germany and Russia. Germany had occupied Poland on September 1st, 1939, starting the II World War and the Eastern Europe countries became easy prey for the two empires.

It just happened that my grandma was pregnant again with her sixth child. She was 36 years old and grandpa was in his late forties. Their oldest daughter was married and already had a baby, and grandma was ashamed to be with child when she was a grandmother. The news about her pregnancy overwhelmed her. She didn’t tell her husband and began acting strange. She didn’t talk, didn’t eat and did her chores around the house weeping in secret.
“What’s wrong with you?’ grandpa Toghere was asking her, but she wouldn’t say a word.

“Your mom is sick,” he confessed to his oldest daughter. “She doesn’t want to tell me. Go and see, maybe she would tell you what’s going on,” he asked his oldest daughter when he visited her on his way back from the field.

Next day, Floritza took her baby with her and went to see her mother. They lived in the same village in Transylvania. She pushed the wooden gate, and the little dog came wiggling to welcome her.
“Mom, are you here?” she asked in a loud voice.
She walked to the little summer kitchen and went behind the drape at the door.
“Mom?”
There was a pot with food simmering on the stove.The woman knew that her mother wouldn’t have the fire on and leave the house. She had to be there somewhere.

Grandma had just finished collecting the eggs in the stable. When she heard her daughter in the yard, she went against the wall in the shade. “I hope she can’t see me here,” she thought and ducked down.
Floritza crossed the courtyard next to the well and got in the house.
“Hello, Buna Ziua!”
Nobody answered.

She searched the second room and then walked outside on the porch.
“Mom, I know you are here and I’m not leaving without talking to you.” She took a seat on the stool and started breastfeeding her baby.

When she learned that her daughter was determined to see her, grandma showed up with the eggs in her apron.
“Did your father send you here?”
“Mom, what’s going on? We are worried about you.” The baby fell asleep and Floritza covered his face with her scarf.
The hostess waved her hand and walked inside the summer kitchen and her daughter followed her.
She placed the eggs on top of the others in a basket and pushed the basket under the daybed with her foot.
“How is your baby?”
“He is healthy, thank you for asking.”

Grandma left her body on the side of the bed and broke down in tears.
“I’m pregnant.”
Her daughter placed the baby on the bed and gently pulled her mother against her shoulder.
“You are going to be all right, mom. This is not a shame, it’s a joy.”
“Everybody would laugh at me. My grandson would be older then his aunt or uncle.”
“So, what?” the young woman replied. “You are married and father would be so happy to have a new baby.”
But the woman didn’t want to be comforted.
“I will go and drown in the well.You’ll see.”
“No, no, mother! You’ll have this baby and we will adopt him or her. You don’t even have to see the child after the birth.”

These words made grandma think and she decided to make peace with herself. She wanted that baby. But even though she informed her family that she would have the little one, they were still concerned and watched grandma to keep her from drowning.
My mom came into the world the following year.

France fell under the German occupation on June, 1940 and England retreated her forces from the continent. Romania found herself without two main supporters and in the way of the German and USSR’s steamrollers. The Russia empire took the NE of Romania, while the Hungary snatched the Northern Transylvania.

Mom was there and soon enough her family had to hide in the forest.