"Turning to the Light of God Within," published in the Daily Word, December 2006
years ago I was working as a human resources manager
in the corporate world. My brother Bobby called me at
my office and asked if we could have lunch. He was in
a crisis over breaking up with a girlfriend he loved
and was turning to me for emotional support. I explained
that I was sorry, but I was just too busy with my work
to have lunch with him that day. The next day Bobby
was killed in a car accident.
The devastating loss of my brother was a wake-up call
to show me I needed spiritual guidance in making changes
in my priorities. However, I was raised in a church
where there was very little talk about inner guidance.
The focus was on God out there, not God within. Within the next fifteen months, two other tragedies
struck: my husband and I divorced, and my father died.
Crying almost continually over the next six months,
I felt so depressed that I was very close to committing
while walking on the beach near my home in Connecticut,
I had an incredible experience. As I was looking at the
light shimmering on the water, I felt God call me back
to fully live my life. Suddenly I lost all sense of grief
and anger and the desire to end my life. This was the
moment when I began turning to the light of God within
and accepting Gods unconditional love. Over time
I learned that the light on the water symbolized the light
of God that is within me.
Hungry to learn more about this holy inner light, I
began a daily practice of prayer and meditation. Every
morning at dawn, I would awake, light a candle, and
sit in the silence. In that silence, the awareness of
my inner light grew stronger.
My friend Viva began to minister to me, giving me new
insight into the Bible. I felt as if the Holy Spirit
was speaking through her to me, telling me how much
God loved me. Viva sent me Daily Word magazine. I read
it every day, learning from the messages and scriptures
at the bottom of the pages. Turning to the Silent Unity
prayer ministry for support, I was greatly blessed.
Through a transformation that began with Gods
message to me at the beach, I was able to reconcile
the dilemmas of my life and be reunited with friends
and family whom I had alienated. What I really wanted
to do was bring peace to myself and to others.
Exploring different avenues of ministry for myself,
I discovered that several denominations offered training
for spiritual directors, lay people who were dedicated
to helping others on their spiritual journeys. I received
my training at an ecumenical center, among people from
I really listened to inner guidance for what my next
steps were to be. I felt guided to take a sabbatical
and move to Northern California, near Mount Tamalpais.
On my way cross-country, I had another powerful spiritual
experience: I awoke one morning and heard these words,
"Its time to know who you are so that you
can help others be who they are."
I was on my way to discovering who I was as a child
of God and learning about the greatness of divine gifts.
These are God-given giftsmy birthright to claim.
I learned that conflicts can be faced and peace will
prevail when we focus on our gifts and strengths. I
began to understand that this is what we are all here
on earth to do.
I remained in California for nearly eighteen months.
Each day I would sit on a large rock at a scenic overlook
of the mountain and continue to listen to my inner guidance.
It became very clear to me that God was opening a new
When I returned to work, I felt continually guided by
Spirit as one job led to another. Five years later the
United Nations passed the Persian Gulf Resolution. Disturbed
about the war, I knew I had to go to the UN, a place
I hadnt visited since I was a junior in high school.
Yet Gods love was pulling me there with the invitation:
"Please, come with Me."
I boarded a train to New York, and a woman who worked
at the UN sat down next to me. In conversation, we discovered
that we had the same birthday. As we continued to talk,
we felt as if we were longtime friends. She opened the
door to the UN for me.
All I did at the UN in the beginning was listen to the
people, wondering where I would fit in. As I listened,
I found out what they felt they needed in order to be
leaders in peace. I decided to do my masters thesis
project at the UN. Eventually I designed a new leadership
model called Reconciliation Leadership, a way
to act from ones unique calling to reconcile challenges
I believe peace begins within each person, and it then
radiates out from individual to individual into the
world. I help people discover elements of peace within
themselves and find their special calling and unique
The Reconciliation Leadership Training Program helps
people claim their lives missions and learn personal,
interpersonal, group, and global skills for being peacemakers.
There are people of many faiths working with me. I dont
impose my faith on them. Rather, I offer that our faith
unites us even as we each follow our own inner light.
The program for Reconciliation Leadership is now a sixteen-course
certificate program, not just for those in the UN, but
for anyone who feels a calling to leadership. The best
of our humanity is needed now. That best comes forward
as we claim it from the light of God within us. It does
take some discernment, some listening, some willingness
to be in prayer and open to divine revelations. Then
we listen to others, not to advocate for our own way,
but rather to affirm the sacredness of each persons
Sometimes we may look to a mentor or a teacher to help
us with that unfolding process. The most important part
of what I do now is helping people find and claim their
spiritual identity and live from the peace of God that
is always there. Once we realize that were here
for a reason and claim it, we bring hope to others and
also to ourselves. Living from this purpose, I have
so much hope for a peaceful, reconciled world.