“Shout for joy, heavens! Rejoice, earth! Break forth into ringing shouts, O mountains! For ADONAI has comforted His people and has compassion on His afflicted.””
Isaiah 49:13 TLV
As a staunch lifelong Jewish atheist who though Jesus was completely fictional, I lay in bed dying in November 2017. I had pancreatic cancer, MS & a lifelong hellish vestibular disorder which had paralyzed me & dropped my functional IQ to 85. I was on a walker, had nonstop vertigo & also would have intense severe attacks of vertigo with nausea & sweating which I’d had since age 7, but now, at age 54, had progressed in intensity & duration. I always said that in life I couldn’t be sure of anything; if I were going to finish school, get married, keep a job but I WAS sure of just one thing: that I would have another vertigo attack and it would be worse than the last. I had an attack every season, 4/yr until 2012 when I returned from Europe & then was dizzy daily and mostly bedridden. My life before Christ was hell.
Imagine growing up with this disease, not knowing God, being told that He doesn’t exist. Imagine being told that you’re not really sick; you’re just morally weak for not being able to go to school. My mother would pull me from the bathroom floor, wipe the sweat & vomit from me, pull me into a dress, drive me to school & tell me not to go to the nurse’s office because she was too busy to pick me up. Even my own reality wasn’t mine. It was defined by my parents. They were my gods. My Dad didn’t believe in God but started a synagogue to drum up a constant supply of clients. I went to Hebrew school but it was all just transliterated babbling and had no connection to reality or my heart. Prayer was ridiculous. I didn’t understand it at all. I didn’t have a Bat Mitzvah after watching my brother the prior year use it solely to stockpile money; that’s what he gave as his reason for having a bar mitzvah when I asked. Basically my Dad was a science worshipping atheist who said there was no god but acted as if he was. He was our god. He ruled that house cruelly and abusively but denied his cruelty and told me that I was crazy.
After years of abuse, during grad school memories of his, my brothers & others sexual abuse of me came back. I’d put myself through undergrad & grad school working more than full time, although my family was-and is-wealthy. My brother left on full scholarship to MIT at age 17; the fact that I made it into a state school was proof that I wasn’t brilliant but average & undeserving of anything. When the memories returned, I went through another hell, all the while suffering with the vestibular illness which would greatly compromise my schedule. I somehow managed to graduate with two degrees with honors and never lost a job before grad school. In grad school, while seeing clients, working full time, training for triathlons & carrying a full course load, I got addicted to opiates when I came back from a 6 mile training run, reached down to get a heavy textbook & my back popped. My boyfriend kept pushing the pain pills at me & in two weeks I was hooked. I dropped out of grad school with one course to go. I’d completed everything including my practicuum. It was a tragedy.
I couldn’t maintain a job due to illness & addiction. I got married & he threatened divorce after 6 months when I forged a prescription. I got 3 felonies in three months. I never worked again.
When my son came in 2000, I knew he was from God. I still didn’t actually believe in Him & referred to myself as a spiritual atheist. I stayed busy in between being sick. MS began in 2002 & I went back on opiates after being clean for a few years to avoid jail. I became an activist like the SJW’s of today. Although I’d been raised as a conservative, I’d rebelled & embraced the ideology of the left. I was as left as they came. When I would talk to my Dad at all, we’d argue. He thought I was crazy and by that time I was. The delusion of the left is insanity!
As I lay dying, I’d been sober for 18 months thru the grace found in the rooms of AA. I don’t recommend AA now, but it’s where I met Mary. We had a divine appointment. We became friends. I was shaking so hard in my first meeting & I asked this woman who I’d never met to please hold on to my hand so I wouldn’t float away & she hadn’t let go since. It’s truly a testament to AA that an atheist & a bible thumper like Mary can be best friends.
She’d always tell me about her church. I’d tell her I was gonna die an atheist. She’d tell me about her Jewish Pastor. I’d roll my eyes: this woman is crazy, I’d think to myself. She’d tell me about people regrowing eyeballs & being healed & to me that was proof she was insane. Yeah, right! Eyeballs don’t regrow themselves. She’s nuts!
But when I was hospitalized, she came every day. She brought a bible. She told me her pastor told her to give it to me. I could tell she didn’t want to give it to me so I accepted it. It was the Tree of Life version. It’s my bible today. I told her I’d read it. I didn’t. She would pray for me & I’d stop her. I didn’t want her to waste her breath. Out of kindness. She’s older than I & I didn’t want to take advantage of her well intentioned but clearly wrong belief. I was protecting her. She was nuts & I didn’t want to take advantage of her insanity. So I made her stop praying for me. Unbeknownst to me she got her whole church to pray for me, her dying Jewish atheist friend. And that’s just what they did.
On Nov. 11, 2017 I went to bed alone knowing I was dying. But that night I had a visitor who brought me complete physical healing & His shikina glory. I awoke with the word Shikina in my head, knowing that I could walk, having no dizziness, & knew that I was healed. I knew other things, things I’d no business knowing. Things I’d never studied or heard ; things of quantum physics, biology, chemistry, cosmology, math, logic and, even weirder, scripture! I quoted it. I wrote it. I knew parts of Romans & Hebrews & spoke Isaiah 49:13 that very morning. I didn’t know what it was til much later when I actually opened that bible Mary had given me for the first time & began reading it. I’d studied some Torah in Hebrew school 4 decades earlier but never read the New Testament. I was a Jew. I’d been taught that Jesus wasn’t for the Jews! Except that He’d just healed me.
I still didn’t really believe in Him yet. I’d heard about this Jesus dude but I didn’t know Him. To be fair, I thought I should at least try to get to know him so I called Mary & asked her to take me to that church of hers. A few weeks later, the morning she’s to take me, my Alexa wakes me up from a dead sleep playing Amazing Grace. Bagpipe version. I sit straight up in bed, and after playing in turns itself off. I never spoke a word. Never gave Alexa a command. Jesus loves me & has an odd sense of humor at times.
I walk into the lobby of church still asking questions. Why is Jesus the only way? Why isn’t it Buddha or Muhammad or the Big Bang? That’s really exclusive of Christians don’t you think? I thought they were arrogant. Then I walked into the sanctuary. The spirit of truth hung in the atmosphere. The service hadn’t yet started & this super special Jewish Pastor hadn’t even come in yet. But I turned to this woman behind me & told her to give me whatever I needed to say right then & there to accept Jesus. And so she did. And before the service began? I said it, accepted Yeshua, my Messiah into my heart after repenting of my many many many sins. And then an odd thing happened. Out of my mouth cane these sounds; it wasn’t English but it sounded like a babbling language. I tried to get it to stop because I was embarrassed a bit but everyone just laughed & smiled & nodded. And then the pastor came in and, with the light of God in his eyes told me that I now was truly Jewish because I had the King of The Jews living in my heart.
That was almost 2 years ago. After not working since 1999, I’m now the pastor’s assistant. I write & am working on a few books & help edit other believer’s works. I’m getting to know Yeshua. I love the Feasts. I love Shabbat. I love seeing miracles, signs & wonders daily. I love seeing those atheists who love Truth come to know The Truth. I love seeing my fellow Jews meet Yeshua their Messiah. I love seeing people healed by Jesus’s awesome love on the spot. I love everything about Him. I love His laws & Commandments. And most of all, I love His Word. He IS The Word & I’m so grateful to be able to study it daily. I love Yeshua. I was rescued from hell and have a huge gift of faith.
For those who ask me: where’s your evidence for your faith: my faith IS my evidence. I had none. I didn’t want any. I never asked for it or looked for it. It was given to me. My faith is my evidence for my faith. I once thought Yeshua fictional. And while I was yet a sinner, He saved me.