Karen’s Story: Coming to Know God, Part 2 [Video & Transcript]
Coming to Know God, Karen’s Story, Part 2
Welcome, everyone! In part 2 of this episode of I Believe: Expressions of Faith, Karen’s Story, our host shares her quest for truth–which she never initially guessed had anything to do with a knowledge of God. Here are a few reflections from Karen that pertain to this series. We hope you’ll stay with us, download this cast or subscribe, and listen in, if you’re a truth-seeker yourself, a lost Mosaic, disenfranchised or disengaged Baby Boomer, wanderer, friend of any faith. Karen would love to hear from you on Facebook, Twitter, on via our comment form on the ibelievepodcast.com website. She hopes that others will hear God’s voice and know of His reality as they listen to this and other casts through which He invites each of us to come unto Him and have an abundant inner life–even today.
Lacking Some Key to the Universe: Searching for Truth
So I went to Becknell University, upstate Pennsylvania and majored in French Linguistics. I don’t know if any of you are students at this time or you can reflect back to when you were, and maybe when the seeds of doubt, if they exist in you, started. But at that time I was learning all of these new things, all these various new ideas, and I was considering my career, the future of my life, plans for the rest of my life, marriage, and what I would do, my dreams and hopes, and I didn’t have a frame! Again, this puzzle, these pictures without a frame, and I didn’t know for what end I was learning what I was learning. So I was very frustrated by that. I fell into depression, a pretty serious depression. I graduated from school, got my degree, left, and went to the D.C. area with some friends. We got an apartment, and I was working, and recreated, and danced, and did all the things you do as a single adult. And on the outside, I probably looked just like everybody else, but on the inside I was totally empty.
At that point I was offered a job in Minnesota, and this was to be an international trainer, so I thought “A-ha! Maybe this is it! This is my niche! Right? The thing you ‘ve been looking for, this will offer me the big plate of happiness that I’ve been seeking.” So I go out there, and settle in and work the job, and six months pass and guess what? The same exact pattern reoccurred in my life. The joy of life just diminished, the novelty of the job wore off, and there I was left the same empty basket. The same spiritual fare of milk and toast. I mean there just wasn’t anything left. And I couldn’t figure it out, I’d look around me think what makes this person tick? Is it vacation? Is it work? Is it cars? You know that’s not enough to sustain me, and I just never really had answers. And I didn’t know that anybody really did.
So the will to live ran really bare in my life. At that point I just thought I’m done, I cannot live another day without knowing my purpose. If you’ve been there, please stay with me, and please don’t do anything dramatic. I was there. I was there in my studio apartment with the pills by my bed. And you know it’s interesting, as I was ready to take my life I had three impressions come to me. Then I didn’t recognize the source, but now I know it comes from a living God. But they were very strong, and they appeared unbidden on the screen of my soul and they came like this:
The first one was: You can’t do this because your family would blame themselves forever and you would never want that pain for them. And that’s true.
The second thought was: Karen, every moment of love and discovery in your life has not been wasted. That had to come from a trusted friend who knew me, because those were the only two things that mattered to me, that accumulated in any way in my life, something meaningful.
The third was: You must live on, you will come to know the purpose of life.
I put the pills aside. I cannot explain to you, but I know that we are all being talked to by a divine Heavenly Father, who loves us and who has not abandoned us, even when we, through unbelief, mask His presence in our lives. Well there He was speaking, and again I didn’t recognize it His voice. But I trusted that voice, and I left the pills and I went home to Philadelphia and I began to read and study and ponder what I was going to do now with my life.
At this particular time I remember I was reading Ayn Rand’s works. I don’t know if you’ve read any of them, but I happened to read Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged at this time, and I don’t know if you know her philosophy, but she believes that if there’s a God He’s a very, very selfish God. Well, that sort of flipped around for me as I read it and I thought to myself (this is intellectually in my mind, I came to the conclusion) there is a God, but He’s selfless not selfish. And I can’t quite go into all that detail here but I concluded intellectually there must be a God. But it’s interesting; I had no spiritual evidence yet, no personal relationship until several days later when this experience occurred. God will speak to us each in different ways (and there’s more about how to know truth in a very simple cast that I’m doing separately if you’d like to look at that), but let me tell you my experience.
I was out running, so I was processing all that’s going on in my life, and all that I had just read, and I’m out running in this beautiful August evening, and the full-moon is in the sky, a perfectly clear night, jogging in suburban Philly, in a nice just out of the woods area. All of a sudden, it’s as if this panorama of my entire life sweeps before me, and there was some depth in some way that I can hardly explain, but what happened to me right then was as if someone injected me, infused me with truth, with a knowledge that God lived, knew me, and loved me. I can’t explain adequately what that felt like or what that was like, but it was as undeniable as the fact that I’m speaking to you right now. It changed me instantly in some respects, profoundly in that I felt I belonged—I mean, I belonged to a family, and I had friends, but I belonged in a way that I never dreamt I belonged. And I felt loved and I felt this desire to love everyone around me. I didn’t have this connection to humanity that I felt when I had this witness for myself—that God lived—that He gave me probably when I was ready to receive it; and maybe that’s a lesson for all of us, that when we’re ready to receive that He’s willing to give it. He gave it to me then, and so it changed me, it changed me at that very moment, and that process of change continued. I tell you that next part of the story which is how then I found out what does He expect of me, where is His church, what about those questions that surfaced as a child, what are the answers to all of those things, and the next part of the story.
Thank you for listening to I Believe: Expressions of Faith with host Karen Trifiletti. For the video of this podcast visit our website.
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Living out a great season of my life, thanks to Jesus Christ, and two wonderful daughters, a great life's work. Loving this opportunity to share faith online... I'm a single Mom, convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, second-gen Italian, from the East coast originally. Love the fine arts, dance, frozen yogurt, temples, scriptures, writing, jazz, helping others reach their potential, king salmon, ....and not in that order. God is good. I feel it deeply when people have a misconception of Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ, His Son, that lessens or cheapens Them and blinds one's ability to feel His presence or to trust in an ultimately good eternal end to life's circumstances.