judyAlthough I was raised in a Jewish home, within me there was a hunger for God which was not being satisfied. I begged my parents to allow me to attend Jewish Sunday School and was thrilled when in 8th grade I was finally allowed to go. My first days though, were not what I expected. Due to my age, I was placed in a class in which the emphasis was learning to read and write Hebrew rather than reading the Bible. I told my rabbi that I wanted to read the Bible but he seemed oblivious to the seriousness of my desire. He told me I would have to go back to the 2nd grade class to do that. When my reply was, “Okay”, he was shocked, and stammered that he wouldn’t be able to let me do that. I was crushed! At the age of 14, I walked out of my temple empty and discouraged. Due to the hurt which I encountered there, I felt that if this was God, then I wanted no part of Him. I consequently proclaimed myself an atheist. I remained in this state, hardening my heart and trying to subdue all thought and feelings toward God.

In 10th grade, however, I found myself in a very boring speech class. To help the time go by, I would question the gnawing in my heart. Every day I found myself considering, “Is there a God or isn’t there?”. By the end of the year, I thought, “This is ridiculous, if there is no God, why am I so bothered? If there is no God, why would I have spent a year pondering this question?” So, I turned from being an atheist to become an agnostic. I recognized that there was God, but now the question became, “Who is He?” and “Where can I find Him?”

As I passed through the rest of my high school and college years, I could never get away from the “nagging” drive within me to find God. I found myself dabbling into Eastern religions, meditating, yoga, etc. I also tried Western religions. One summer I stayed in college and found myself visiting a different denomination each week. I tried whatever I could to find God, but to no avail.

After graduating from college, I fulfilled my two dreams of moving to Boston and beginning my teaching career. I should have been satisfied, but I wasn’t. Many events occurred that year, including a tragedy that struck my family. My world fell apart. I was empty, alone, and without God. The Lord however used this time to prepare me to find Him.

One day, I “happened” to be sitting in front of my apartment building, talking to a friend. Someone came by, and began to speak with my friend about God. He began to speak words I had never heard in my life. He opened the New Testament and began to read some verses. Never, in all my searching, had I heard words as these! My heart began to burn within me! My friend walked away, but I had to hear more! As we talked, this person found out how many things I had tried, yet still remained empty. He said, “If I were you, I would give Jesus a chance!” And so, I opened my heart to pray to receive the Lord. As I prayed, something happened within me! I knew that my search had ended and the deep hunger within me was finally satisfied! I had no doubt that not only had I found my God, but also my Lord and Savior!

Today, after 28 years, I am still loving and pursuing Him. I am also so thankful that He has placed me with believers whose hearts are given to the Lord and desire to hasten His return.