Up from the Depths
By Deborah Danielski
Some people seem to be graced from
birth. They love and obey their parents, work hard at their studies,
get scholarships to great universities, marry the person of their
dreams and raise a houseful of wonderful obedient -- grace-filled --
children just like themselves. I am not one of those people.
web site contains personal stories about my lifelong search for love
my earliest years, I knew almost nothing of religion but I did love
Jesus. My relationship with Him was a personal one, shared only with
my grandmother. In adolescence, I searched for truth in science and
the theory of evolution -- and for love in all the wrong places. I
still believed in God, but he was no longer a personal God and Jesus
was relegated to the same list of mythical characters as Santa Claus
and the Easter Bunny. In desperation, I tried sex, alcohol, illegal
drugs and Oriental mysticism. Nothing completely satisfied my hunger
for God -- until I finally found Him in his fullness in the Roman
lonely, pregnant 15-year-old, forced to give up her first son for
adoption to miserably married 20-year-old, voluntarily aborting her
fourth child -- from high
school dropout to award-winning journalist and Associate Director of
the Catholic Conference of Illinois, atheist to Pentecostal
Protestant, disillusioned Pentecostal to committed Catholic, I've
lived a life than can be explained only by the grace of God.
one element remained constant throughout my search, through the
darkest of sin and my peak of self-righteousness -- my Heavenly
Father's consistent and unconditional love.
In the first century A.D.,
pious Jews, who awaited the coming of a savior, cherished the hope
that one day soon, the Kingdom of God would come to Earth, peace
would reign and all would be well forever more. As Jesus of Nazareth
walked through Gallilee on His way to Jerusalem one day, a group
of Jewish Pharisees stopped Him to ask, "When will the
Kingdom of God come?"
"The coming of the Kingdom
cannot be observed," He answered. "And no one will
announce, 'Look, here it is,' or, 'There it is.' For behold, the
Kingdom of God is among you." As long as I am with you, Jesus
was saying, the Kingdom of God is near and available to you. God is
not in heaven, but rather, heaven is wherever God is, and His
kingdom reigns wherever hearts are open to Him.
Like the first century Jews,
many Christians today anticipate the imminent coming of God's
Kingdom. In their zeal for this future event, they fail to recognize
it is already here. Nonbelievers live in anticipation of a political
or financial savior. Nearly all focus on some future climactic event
and consequently miss the opportunity to experience the truth, love
and peace available to them here and now.
is my prayer that these stories will inspire others never to give up
hope, but in all circumstances and at all times to turn to their
Creator -- the One who is all and who has all to give.