In so many ways, I was just like everyone else. Then, one night I heard the words, “You have been chosen.” My life was changed forever, not all at once but little by little, over many years. It was only then, when I was rocked to my core by spiritual happenings that I couldn’t explain, that I came to realize there was definitely another side to life.
This is the true story of those occurrences. I never spoke about my daily challenges, or automatic writing experiences, because I believed that people would think I was crazy. It’s only now, more than 25 years later, that I’ve decided to no longer be a victim. I have found the courage to speak about my spiritual journey.
The title, “It may be simple, but it isn’t easy,” is meant to suggest that many of us know that we can talk to God, or ask help from the Holy Spirit, but how many of us remember to do so? How many of us remember to practice forgiveness every day? And, how many of us remember to give love to everyone we meet?
This is the story of my spiritual journey and how I learned to become a courageous, fully developed, and fulfilled person in life.
~ TRUST ~
By Kara B. Schmidt
I felt it as a youngster
I believed it, too.
At age 26, I lost trust.
I lost trust.
Now I'm being asked to trust.
It's so hard to believe again.
I want to.
It makes me so vulnerable.
A LIFE-CHANGING TRIP
As I think back on it now, I had been generally depressed for many years, and I believed that everyone felt that way.
Then, I got on an airplane for a business-related trip. I thought I was just going to Los Angeles to attend a conference. I didn't know that trip would completely change my perception of my life.
I hadn't traveled frequently, so I was unusually nervous and preoccupied with my various fears that surrounded flying. As I boarded that plane, I anxiously looked for my assigned seat. I couldn't believe what I saw; someone was sitting in my seat.
With fear clutching my throat, I approached the enemy and said, “You're sitting in my seat.” To my chagrin, he replied, “There are plenty of empty seats; just choose another one.” At first I didn't know what to do. Then, I turned away from him and began looking around the plane for another seat. I glimpsed one across the aisle and walked over and sat down. Anxiously, I peered up the aisle toward the front of the plane to assure myself that the door was closed and
that I wasn't sitting in someone else's seat! I saw that the door was still open and that people were still coming on board.
With fear in my throat, I watched the continuing process. Suddenly, way up in the front of the plane, I saw a gentleman hurrying up the aisle looking at the seat numbers. I thought, “Oh, no.” Just as I believed myself to be safe, here was someone whose seat I might be in. Sure enough, he stopped right in front of me, glanced at his ticket and said, “You're sitting in my seat.” I immediately jumped up and replied, “I'll change my seat.” As I moved to do that, he said, “No! No! Is that seat next to you taken?” “I don't think so,” I answered. He immediately sat down alongside me. I tried to calm myself and prepare myself for what I thought was my next challenge - the takeoff!
That trip changed my life. That unknown man had taken my seat because of concern for his two sons. They were now sitting next to him. By refusing to relinquish his (my) seat, he participated in a life-changing miracle for me.
As I thought back on this miracle, many years later, I finally understood that these were not coincidences. I now knew that my entire life experience had led me to that moment in time, had prepared me to continue my inner journey in a most unexpected way. The man whose seat I had chosen had decided to just sit next to me, and we ended up together for the next 30 years.
AN EARLY VICTIM
Born in the Bronx, New York, at the beginning of WWII, I had led a relatively uneventful life. While growing up in the 1950s and early ‘60’s, the only sad incident that occurred in my life was my grandfather dying a few months before my first child was born, his great grandson. I cried so much that my grandmother, his widow, had to chastise me that it “was upsetting her too much to see me so grief-stricken.”
I grew up, basically, believing that life was mostly wonderful. I viewed my life through rose-colored glasses. I didn't expect “bad” things to happen to me. I was lucky enough to marry my childhood sweetheart. He became a doctor; didn’t my family always tell me I should marry a doctor? We had our first child after five years of marriage, the pregnancy planned to coincide with his and my graduations from school. He was as overjoyed as I was and we decided to have another child right away. Wasn't that the way to do it? To get over the diapers, etc. early?
When I was five months pregnant, we moved to the other side of the country where he began his residency. To my shock and horror, a few months before our second child was born, a longed-for daughter, he told me he wanted a separation, and he left. I was heartbroken and felt like a victim. After all, this was my first love, my childhood sweetheart, someone I expected to spend my entire life with, someone who seemed to love his children so much. I couldn't believe that he would leave them so willingly. Also, I was ashamed, deeply guilt-ridden, and couldn't bring myself to tell anyone, not my parents, not my friends, not my neighbors. I was adrift in a deeply non-believing nightmare by myself.