Christ in My Life

I was asked to speak at a Women’s Prayer Luncheon shortly after the book was published. This story is my personal history but also my witnessing to the blessing I feel being a Christian who has been a member of several faiths with the same GOD.

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I was saved when I was nine years old!  Just like it was yesterday, I remember the warmth filling my soul as my friend put her hand on my head.  We were standing by a huge stone wall that marked entry into our subdivision. My friend, Carol, a member of a Baptist Family, introduced me to Christ.

When I think back on that experience, it makes me smile. I stand here before you having been an active part of three Christian religions. I was born into a Congregational family, baptized when I was twelve, became a Lutheran when I was newly married at twenty-three and now at age seventy… have been a Catholic for the last ten years.  Truly, I have experienced Christ in all three religions.

My Mother was raised Catholic and became Protestant when she married my Dad. Many times she expressed her sadness at having left the church. So my becoming a Catholic late in  my life… felt like coming home for both of us.

In the next few moments I will share with you my life trials and challenges.  Even in my darkest hours I believe God was right next to me giving me strength to make choices, holding me in sorrow after a loss and patting me on the back after a successful venture. I feel blessed to  be on His team!

I believe that Christians are called. In the Baptist philosophy, we are saved. Saved from what? I believe that we are saved from the masses who do not believe… in other words, we are chosen. Perhaps this goes back to when Jesus selected his Disciples!   Remembering that day, 61 years ago, still makes me feel like one of the lucky ones.

Christ has been at the center of my life both professionally and personally.  When I was teaching fifth grade, one of my students came to me sobbing over the sudden loss of his aunt in an auto accident. Sitting with this sad child, I prayed for help to comfort his soul. Without even my own knowledge of where the words came from, he listened and calmed down.  Years later at a reunion of faculty and students, this same young man came up to me and thanked me for that day long ago. He went on to say that His Christianity was born in that moment.  I give this grace to God.

When my mother died suddenly, I was thirty-two years old.  I remember gathering up my things, packing up my three year old son and literally running to a waiting airplane.  As we took off into a sky illuminated by a full moon, I knew Christ was looking into the window drying my tears.

Years later, my beloved husband was breathing his last few breaths. Looking into the distance with a smile on his face, I know he saw God who, with outstretched arms, was beckoning my husband to join Him in heaven. John willingly went to serve in another capacity other than the one here on earth. He loved boats so I happily think he might be running a ferry boat to and from earth with souls coming to meet their God.

These stories are real.  These stories illustrate God’s presence in my life over seventy years.  I would now like to share my journey as a widow told in letters to my friend, Eddie.  My published book: FROM WE TO ME walks with her in the first year she was a widow.

 

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

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