In 1991, I came to Eastern College to get my teacher certification. I had already finished college, law school and most of graduate school, but I needed that certification to teach in the public schools–which is what I thought I would do at that time, as a single mother with two small children.
When I started school at Eastern, I was not a Christian. My only exposure to Christianity up to that point in my life–I was 36–was by way of my freshman roommate at Bryn Mawr College.
She was a special person. I could sense something different about her and her family, something that was missing from my family. But I let it go because I was, after all, Jewish.
I couldn’t accept Jesus. It wasn’t a possibility that I was ready to entertain.
When I started at Eastern I don’t think I even knew it was a Christian school. All I knew was that I could afford the tuition, I was given credit for some of the course work I had done in the past and everyone was very nice.
Then one day I heard a professor pray extensively at the beginning of class. I remember it was adolescent psychology. I had never heard prayer like that in my life. Professor David Tyson, recently retired, left an everlasting impact on me. I was going through a rough time in my life and was comforted and encouraged by his prayers.
We started to talk about some of the questions I had, and he gave me his time. He also gave me a copy of John Stott’s Basic Christianity.
Other professors also prayed, but I remember Professor Tyson’s prayers the most. I was becoming more and more intrigued by this thing called Christianity. God had a hold on me from that time on and has not let go since.
Someone in one of my classes pointed me in the direction of Beth Yeshua, a Messianic synagogue not far from my house. It was a revelatory experience–hundreds of Jews praising and worshipping Yeshua, Jesus, the Messiah.
I loved it there but felt led to a local church where there was a new young minister named Steve Weed. The Church was Narberth Presbyterian Church, which is where I worship to this day. I felt a love and acceptance I had never felt before.
It was still hard for me to fully accept Jesus, since there was such a bias against Jesus in my upbringing, but I made that leap of faith at Narberth Presbyterian and was baptized shortly thereafter.
In graduate school, I studied the great medieval poet Dante. Halfway through life’s journey I, too, found myself lost in a dark wood having lost my way from the straight path. I finally came to understand what he was talking about: walking in that dark forest, lost, going in all the wrong directions, looking for love in all the wrong places.
I have felt the hand of God more and more as I have sought Him with greater fervor. I came to understand that all my other relationships rested upon my intimacy with God in the form of Jesus Christ. It was with him whom I first had to be in love. Jesus was the only answer.
Jesus turned night into day for me. He plucked me out, and he saved me and continues to save me.
I thank God for Eastern University where my real journey as a Christian began. And what a sense of humor God has. Here I am, almost twenty years later, teaching at the very school that saved my life.
How very grateful I am for the privilege to now work at such a fine school where I can hopefully share my faith with my students.