My search for the truth began many years before I found the Course, beginning with Search for the Truth by Ruth Montgomery, through every self-help and New Age writing to The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. Each book led me further along but the effects were never long-lasting. After awhile I would forget and return to the same old reaction patterns. My husband, Bruce, and I lived a life of "attack and defend" and after 24 years were in a place of deep discomfort and dissatisfaction. Our searching was all outside ourselves with much projection onto each other. We tried counseling just before our 25th anniversary and there I believe we made our first advances toward a willingness to change.
At this point, I have to go back years before, when I abandoned my strict Catholic upbringing. I developed a very cynical attitude towards Jesus and used to refer to Him as the product of the imagination of some "James Joyce" in the first century, saying that a hoax had been perpetrated upon the world ever since. Both within and without, the void was ever present.
In 1984, I was alone in our home in Kelowna, B. C., on a Sunday morning with an exercise video playing as I did an aerobic workout. When the workout ended, I pushed the "stop" button and the regular programming flashed onto the TV screen. The voice of a Sunday morning preacher reached me with the words, "Do you want to know Jesus? Do you really want to know Him?" I looked down at the screen and quietly answered him with "yes." Then he said "Well, drop to your knees right now and ask Him to show you the way!" So I did exactly that. I dropped to my knees, bent my head and said, "Show me the way."
My actions shocked me and I quickly shut off the TV. I was so embarrassed I buried the incident for years.
However, a couple of days later a friend gave me Gerald Jampolsky's books, Love Is Letting Go of Fear and Teach Only Love. I was impressed with what I read but I wanted the source so I began to search for A Course In Miracles. I was unable to locate it in Kelowna but a call to Banyan Books in Vancouver paid off and I ordered it.
When that parcel arrived, I truly did not know what to expect. At the sight of those three volumes, a voice in my mind said very clearly, "The answers lie here, Mary." From that day to this I have faithfully read the Course on a daily basis. It has become a very important part of my life and, needless to say, my conception of Jesus has changed. The teachings have helped bring about a complete transformation in me as well as in all my relationships. I am grateful that Bruce took up the Course a year later and that our relationship is dedicated to our own and each other's spiritual growth. We teach to learn together and are truly experiencing love in our lives. Today, we are grateful, and, as the Course says: "Love is not far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind."