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A Wild Ride - PART I

 

Peace symbol

It was the summer of 1967, right at the peak of the Hippie movement. Well, the peak for Dallas anyway. I had just turned 18. Black lights and incense, paisley and lava lamps were everywhere and, of course, LSD and "free" love. Drugs were everywhere and if anything could be sniffed, smoked, chewed, swallowed or injected, I didn't hesitate to try it. San Francisco was calling. Woodstock knocked once, but I was too stoned to get to the highway. I was just a dumb kid caught up in the excitement of the times and it was an exciting time to be alive. We all had something we wanted to live for and after years of our friends dying in Vietnam, we wanted peace.

 

 

Peace symbol"Mystic crystal revelation...Aquarius."

The hippie movement traveled to the beat of Hendricks, Joplin, Morrison, Dylan, and a host of others. It's now my theory that the Beatles were what kept most of us somewhat sane. "Love is all you need." sounded right on though I couldn't find it even in the middle of a Love-In, but I kept searching.

After 18 years of not fitting in anywhere, I now felt that I did. In spite of this, it was just a few months and quite a few drug-trips later that my thinking started to skew. Confused and weakened by all the "cheap thrills", my self-made wonderland morphed into a wanderland.

I was searching for the truth, something I could base my beliefs in, but nothing was stable. Everything was debatable. Everyone had a different "bag" and could tell me their version of the truth which I couldn't refute. I had no standard to judge it by.

 

"All you need is LOVE."

I need to backtrack a little because it all really began when I ended up in a home for pregnant teenagers. It was there that I met Beth. I thought Beth was just so cool. She was intelligent and insightful for a 16 year old. She had long brown hair, dressed like a beatnik and, came from Boston. Being in that sad situation unified all of us girls, but Beth and I were especially drawn to each other. I liked her hipness and she liked my comic relief. She was very self-assured, but depressive. I was low on self-esteem, but upbeat. We soon became best friends.

The home we were assigned to was in an old mansion way out in the suburbs of Dallas. It was the cozy home I'd always wanted, but the stipulation was that when the baby was born, you would sign them over to the adoption agency. The agency paid our room and board and all the hospital bills and we paid with our babies.

It was a heart-rending, difficult thing to do, but my family was poor and I wanted my baby to have a better life than I had. To my amazement, she was born one day before my 18th birthday. I got to see her only for a few minutes 8 days after she was born. We kissed good-bye and they took my baby away.

Afterwards I fell into a deep depression, then one day Beth called. We both wanted to bury our broken hearts and began hanging out together. She was already into the hippie movement and gradually she brought me in.

First I started with the tame stuff then quickly graduated to LSD, then STP, then THC and on an on it went. The months flew by as we did countless hallucinogens and cheap thrills, but the biggest shock was yet to come.

I saw her heating up something white in a teaspoon. I looked down at it and she said, "Do you know what this is?" A sly smile spread across her face. "This..." she said with a significant pause, "...is narcotics." As if it was something to be revered. As for me, I was horrified. Up to that point, Beth had been my spiritual guru, the yin to my yang, and here she was taking heroine! "Heroine??", I said, "Aren't we supposed to be on a journey? Aren't we looking for the truth?" She weakly explained her actions which made no sense to me, but few things did. It wasn't much longer before I tried the dulling powder which, thank God, didn't appeal to me.

 

"PURPLE HAZE ALL IN MY BRAIN"

Jimi Hendrix poster After months of drugs, everything became a blur. We slept wherever we found a place to lay our heads. This was usually in a dealers apartment or house where we could get our drugs for free or for sex. We drifted from one to the other, trading our bodies for their dope. One evening, after hours of smoking pot, I was unable to sleep and went into the kitchen. To my surprise, there sat Beth wrapped in a blanket like an Indian. It was cold so I got a blanket and we launched into one of our cosmic talks.

 

  Beth started to talk about her fears and doubts about life and death. Being a simple soul, I said, "Well, what about God?" For me, He was the answer to everything. I still believed in Him, but then Beth, with her typical subtlety, gingerly replied, "Well....I....you see, I don't really believe in God." I gasped inwardly.

The shock hit me like a thunder-bolt and I was sure a real one would hit her! But Beth just sat there and stared at me with those green, cat-like eyes. Again a decision presented itself and I now had to choose. The truth or Beth? A life-altering decision. Into my heart, came the thought, "Maybe I don't believe in God either." I agreed.

Instantly, I felt a Presence, or "conscience", leave me. It just lifted off and floated away. I remember thinking, "Free at last!" This was then accompanied by a "good" feeling that I no longer had to feel bad about making wrong decisions. God wasn't going to tell me anything anymore. ... Indeed.

 

 Rabbit hole

  Six months later, my new-found "freedom" turned out to be Alice's rabbit hole.

  Beth and another friend had gotten together and discussed the latest Doors album. I came over and Beth showed me the album, a dark cover with the various band members.

 

  Beth said, "Thisss is the Bible." She smiled, holding it like she'd found the Holy Grail. She pointed to the lyrics and explained how we 3 are destined to join Jim Morrison, our god, and that we will be joining them soon. They had come from another galaxy and were coming to Dallas.

Conveniently, and just like Beth, she was destined to be Jim Morrison's soul mate. Liz, our other friend, got the next cutest guy and I got the guy with the glasses. I can laugh now, but back then everything was surreal. Without a leg of Truth to stand on, anyone could tell me anything and I couldn't dispute it.

 

 

"THIS IS THE END"

 The Doors "Ride the snake...he's old, and his skin is cold" - lyrics from "The End" by Jim Morrison

  A month later, the Doors came to Dallas for a concert. Of course, we bought tickets, but being poor hippies we got the out-in-the-stratosphere balcony seats. I'll never forget the hilarious picture of us three hanging as far over the balcony as we could, everyone screaming and chanting around us and us three shouting at the top of our lungs, "JIM!! WE'RE UP HERE! We're up HERE!!" Soon our illusion became a disillusion and we drifted to the next stage.

 

 


Album cover: Mothers of Invention

"Do you love it? Do you hate it?......There it is the way you made it." --Zappa

A few weeks later, Beth and I were sleeping at our favorite drug-dealers place when the police crashed through the door. After a week in jail I found myself on 5 years probation and with a 5000 dollar bail to pay my crooked lawyer. I sat in that jail cell and thought, "Where's the fun now? Where's the enlightenment that I thought all of this searching was going to bring me?" I knew that I had no enlightenment. I had nothing. I had dragged myself across this long, hot desert, believing that the mirage of "Love and Peace" would quench my thirst; that phantom happiness that always seemed just out of reach. But after months and months of chasing it I was tired. I began to believe that there was no love. That love was also a mirage.

After getting out of jail, I changed. I went from being a fun-loving, cheerful person to a depressed, withdrawn wretch. I turned deeply within myself and withdrew to the point that even my drug addict friends started to wonder about me. But I knew it was no use to try and talk to them while they were still caught up in their games and in their own selves. Thus, I withdrew further.

 

Album cover: Jefferson Airplane

"When the truth is found...

...to be LIES and all the joy within you dies..." - Jefferson Airplane

Jefferson Airplane album cover

I'd been launched into outer space without a space-ship, just a thin suit with a rope attached to nothing. I drifted, turned and floated directionless. Even my vision was affected. People around me appeared to retreat into a two-dimensional background like wallpaper. Visually it was like looking at the world through the wrong side of the binoculars. I floated farther as their voices and words became faint and meaningless. My body was a mechanism that conveyed me from one place to the other. I was numb with boredom. Then, like a suffocating fog, a feeling of intense and unshakeable sorrow began to envelop me.

One evening it just became too much. Beth and I had grown apart, but in desperation I called her. When she answered the phone I almost groaned out, "Beth. ...Oh, Beth! I've just got to talk to somebody." I felt that if anyone could understand me, Beth could, but her words cut away my last hope with her cold reply, "Why don't you just find some other friends?" Slowly I hung up the phone. No such "friends" existed. My final decision was now clear.

 

mystic crystal revelation

It was midnight as I dragged myself to the park. In spite of everything, I still had one last ember of hope. I couldn't stop thinking, "If there is a God, he's going to have to find me, because I...give...up."

My family had failed me, I failed them, my friends failed me, drugs failed me, I failed me, sex, meditating, religion, all failed. Nothing worked. Work didn't work. Everything looked pointless and futile.

I sat down on the steps at the park pavilion. Right then I made a firm decision, "I'm going to sit here till I die." My reasoning was that if there's no real love, everything is meaningless.

Around 3 a.m. I was still sitting there. The usual park freaks scampered about playing drugged-out mind games while I stared at the ground in boredom.

Then an image emerged from the darkness becoming clearer and clearer. A group of about 15 people approached the lighted pavilion where I was sitting. I focused on their non-hippie "straight" attire and thought, "Oh, god, NO! NOT the BAPTISTS!"

I put my head on my knees, disgusted and hoped they'd go away. Instead, they came right over to the lighted pavillion. This attracted the hippies who stopped their usual antics and gathered around.

One of the strangers spoke up, "We're not with a church." My head shot up in surprise, "Not with a church?" I thought, then I concluded that they were just a bunch of pranksters or they were all crazy.

They began talking about God and about miracles, but I wanted nothing to do with it. I'd been preached to countless times and condemned to hell almost every time. I just couldn't swallow this game anymore.

I sat glaring at them. I saw they were a mixture of all ages and races. A 12 year old boy, several teenagers, two middle-aged men, one was from Argentina. I smirked, "These guys are nuts!" But as I continued to watch them, I realized that they couldn't ALL be crazy. "Not the kids."¯ And then I realized that if they were playing a joke on us, they would have come on Sunday with the rest of the "church freaks".

One of the teen girls came forward and started saying, "I didn't believe in God either ..." She was interrupted by one of the self-styled hippies whom I knew to be an idiot. He shouted, "You don't know sh_t!" She continued, "...but I told God to show me he was real."

She described a miracle that had happened to her and to my surprise, I could see she was sincere. Somehow I knew she was telling the truth.

After awhile I started noticing that, off in the corner, one of the older men was instructing the younger ones. Whenever they'd get talked into a corner or a trick question was posed, he would speak out and say, "We don't know." or give some other simple answer which surprised me. I thought, "They aren't pretending to know everything."

I could see that they genuinely cared about us. They weren't seeing us as "filthy hippies" like most did¯. I was so touched that after 30 minutes I finally went over to the man and started asking him questions. Two others joined and we sat together on the grass while he told us his own experiences.

He said, "God told me to quit my job, take my kids out of school and just travel around and tell everybody about Him." and one statement in particular spoke loudly to me, he said, "God spoke to me and when I told my wife she thought I was crazy."

A connection was made. I thought to myself, "Everybody thinks I'm crazy, too!" He then told how God took care of them, supplying gas for the car, places to stay and so on. I began feeling something I hadn't felt in a long time. I felt HOPE.

My heart began to lift and I thought, "This is the kind of God I always thought God should be. A God who talks to us. A God who takes care of us."

After sitting on the grass & listening for about 20 minutes, I interrupted and said, "Well, man, how did you meet Jesus?"

I didn't know if there had ever been any such person. The man looked at me and spread his arms and said in a kind tone, "All I said was 'Jesus come into my heart. Forgive my sins and give me eternal life.'"

As these words came out of his mouth, I felt this immense power hitting me like a truck. Something in my heart told me,"This is the truth!", but I was still leery, still afraid I'd be dragged off to a church, so I held it all in.

It was around 4 a.m. when I left the park to go to my mom's apartment. I wasn't the least bit tired. Just the opposite. My thoughts were racing and my heart was excited and all I could think was, "I've got to try this. I've tried everything else. This is my last hope."

I walked quickly down the darkened streets, alone. Peace symbol A cacophony of voices screaming in my head, "NO! NO! Don't do THAT!! Don't pray that prayer! Whatta square! How unhip can you be? You'd be SO uncool to talk to Jesus."

Just to explain, up until this point, when I would even so much as think the name "Jesus" I would feel disgusted. That name conjured up all my past bad experiences with church and pseudo Christians.

The mental battle was horrific as thoughts, actually demons of hell, flew at me, "You don't want to pray to Jesus!" " NO! NO! DON'T PRAY THAT! DON'T PRAY THAT!!! DON'T!" I felt just like I was on a battlefield in a war.

I finally attacked back with, "I've gotta try this. It's my only hope!" The demons attacked even more ferociously. Weak as I felt, I fought back as wave after wave of doubt and fear attacked my mind and heart! Thoughts like, "What would your friends think? What if they could see you now? How uncool you are!"

But the truth was, these arguments were weaker than I was. I no longer cared what my so-called friends thought.

Finally I shouted in my mind, "Look devil, I'm the only one who sees how uncool I am! I'm gonna DO this!" And as I made this firm and final decision, the voices (which I had always heard) stopped. Instant silence.

I made it to my mom's door and went quietly in.

By this time it was 4 a.m. My mom, brothers and sisters were all asleep. I hadn't prayed in a long time and could only remember pictures from Sunday school. Pictures of saints kneeling before God, so I knelt down in my mom's living room. It seemed like an appropriate position to start from.

I took a deep breath and thought, "If Jesus is real, then the sky is going to open up, the angels are going to come down and they're going to take me out of here far away from this horrible world." I hated my life. I hated the world and my greatest desire was to know spiritual truth and love.

I looked up swallowing hard, then, from the deepest part of my heart I prayed, "Jesus, if you're real and if what that man says is true, then you can save me. Please come into my heart, forgive my sins and give me eternal life." I had no idea what any of it meant, I just knew it was my last hope.

I waited. There was silence. No explosion, no sky rolling back, no angels, nothing! I waited a few more minutes, then got up. Instantly a doubt hit me, a slimey voice, "Maybe he didn't come in." Immediately followed by, "Maybe he did." and I thought "Hmm, maybe he did." And I left it at that.

Two days later, as I walked to the park, I was struck by the realization that I wasn't worrying. I was peaceful. That had never happened to me. Ever. I had been nervous and fearful my whole life. Up until that point, I was so nervous that I chewed all of my fingernails till they bled. When I had nothing left to chew, I'd chew my knuckles till the bled. Having this unusual calm surrounding me was amazing. Now they were gone and I sailed on a calm sea.

 

MY STORY PART II

  The following evening, I went out with a guy, Joe, that I hadn't seen in a long time. He wanted me to meet some friends of his and we ended up in an apartment overlooking a swimming pool.

I went in and scoped the place. The so-called "hippies" were playing the usual games with each other, so I walked outside and sat down on the balcony and stared into the pool.

The apartment swimming pool was a heavenly blue all lit up. I still felt I needed to do something to boost myself up into a higher level. Thus, I was using the pool as a kind of "crystal ball", one of my many failed methods to transcend myself into some kind of heaven.

I soon tired of the effort and suddenly I remembered that the man I'd met in the park had given me something.

I reached into my back pocket and pulled out this pamphlet that screamed "Church!", but at that moment, my eyes were blinded to it. I turned the page and started reading, though the first page was dull, for some reason I kept going.

Then a miracle took place. As my eyes fell on the first word at the bottom of the second page, the word exploded off the page with the power of a nuclear bomb! I gasped in shock as it seemed everything around me disappeared in a flash of light! I didn't know it then, but I was reading a verse from the Bible.

I looked at the next word and KABOOM! It exploded again, but it was with a power of reality that can't be explained in my measly words. The kabooms kept coming!

"FOR!.......GOD!.......SO!.......LOVED!.......THE!.......WORLD!...!", Each word took me to heights I never knew existed" Tangibly, visually and I knew exactly what each word meant.

"...That HE gave His only begotten Son.....!"

Every word was enveloped in this gorgeous, sparkling light that surrounded me. I felt a pleasant warmth I'd never felt before. A deep and unshakeable comfort, surrounded me. Comfort, peace, light, are so inadequate to describe the experience. Underscoring it all, was a profound awareness of being loved and adored. # A feeling that nothing would ever hurt me again flowed into every cell of my body. Every doubt, every fear I had was gone.

I leaped up and ran into the apartment jumping around and waving the pamphlet. I must have looked like a Pentecostal gone stark-raving mad, I gasped out, " You gotta read this! You gotta read this!" A girl sitting on the floor with her boyfriend took it, started to read, but then said with disgust, "I think it's kinda funky." Then the boy said, "Oh, you mean the bottom of the second page." He got it! "Yes! Yes!", but when I saw he wasn't as excited as I was, I took it back and started to read again. Once again, the words exploded from the page knocking me backwards directly into their stereo. I heard the needle go "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzut!" across the record and someone howled, "Hey, man, get this chick outta here! So uncool, man!"

In a stoned stupor, my friend Joe (who had brought me there), took me by the hand and lead me outside. We sat down on the balcony together and I shoved the pamphlet into his hand. "Read this!", but Joe, couldn't read anything. He was "gone". I didn't care, I pulled the pamphlet out of his fingers and started to read again. Unknown to me, my eyes had traveled away from the lines of Biblical verse back on to the words of humans. The words were no longer alive. I was suddenly gripped with fear. I thought, "The words aren't moving!" I was horrified. Somehow I'd had it, all the truth and nothing but the truth, and now the Light I'd been searching for all of my life was gone!

Overwhelmed with dispair, I tossed the book behind me, put my head down on the balcony iron-railing and in my heart I said, "I give up."

As I thought these words, I instantly floated up and out of my body. Looking around, it appeared that I'd entered some kind of gray bubble.

I started telling God everything that was in my heart. It seemed it was an involuntary thing. Like a cork had been popped off and everything came out.

"Well, I've tried to be good. I've tried to find out what the truth is and to find love and to help others." Etc etc.

When my heart was emptied out, the grayness around me disappeared and a light as bright as a million suns shining all at once beamed down all around me! I immediately looked up at the source of the Light and what then took place can never be sufficiently described in words. I can only use weak adjectives to say that I was looking directly into the most beautiful, kind face I'd ever seen.

My surroundings weren't physical, it was more real than this physical world which is impossible to explain. Everywhere I looked there was this bright, comforting, reassuring light.

Simultaneously, I was aware of my own self. My vision was expanded and I could see everything around me including me. I appeared to be about the size of his thumb and I looked like a 5-month old baby! When I realized what I was sitting on, the size of His being became crystal clear as He held me lovingly in his left hand.

Looking once again into his eyes, I felt 100%, undiluted love. All that I could say was, "God, you're beautiful. I love you!" "God, you're beautiful. I love you!" "God, you're beautiful. I love you!"

Each time I would say this, He would repeat back, "I love you, too." But with a depth of sincerity that I'd never experienced and with a power that I can only describe as nuclear. It seemed He would never tire of telling me and never tire of hearing me. As often as I needed it, that's as often as He would repeat it. His words didn't come as a shout, but soft and clear.

When He spoke, I could see His words coming to me as the appearance of a gasoline explosion; a rolling fire. That's how His words looked. Bright and unbelievably beautiful light with all the colors of the spectrum, but more golden.

He then changed what I was looking at. It seemed I was instantly turned towards a wall of radiating light about 20 feet (6 meters approximately) away, but at the same time, distance didn't seem to exist. Everything just flowed from one sequence to the other.

I watched His right hand gradually slide the wall of light to the side. As the wall moved, I became aware of a sound like a giant bee hive buzzing with millions of bees. The more the wall was removed, the louder the sound became. Then a voice whispered in my ear, "That's the world."

My eyes widened as they focused on what was behind the wall. It felt like I was being fine-tuned, both the visual as well as the audio. What had sounded and looked like bees became more clear to distinguish into separate, individual voices that were actually tormented screams.

What had seemed at first to be a swarm of bees became clear and I realized I was seeing demons. The appearance of these spirits was disgusting, but I felt no fear. Each spirit looked like human feces!

In the next sequence, one of these spirits was allowed to float towards me. It swam like a fish in water and I watched as it came towards my chest. The demon entered the area of my heart and instantly, I could see a horribly vile, pornographic scene. This was followed immediately by a voice screaming and accusing me, "LOOK AT YOU!!! LOOK WHAT YOU'RE THINKING RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF!!!"

I was instantly filled with terror and turned towards God expecting Him to wipe me out.

I pled with Him and apologized frantically God. I was terrified, telling Him I didn't mean to think that and "Please forgive me" and on and on.

But as I faced His direction, there was only a dark looking thunder cloud where the warm light had been. My anguished heart poured forth apologies, while at the same time feeling it was all hopeless.

Then, cutting through the fear and remorse, I heard His calm, comforting voice. The kindness and love and understanding was still there, healing me with each word.

With every word that He spoke, the dark cloud became brighter, like the sun coming out after a storm. It was like His hand was wiping the darkness away from my heart, washing and cleaning me. I felt like a babe in it's mother's arms as He cleaned and washed me off and spoke kindly to me.

In the end, the only sentence I can remember from that long, comforting talk, was Him saying, "Do not worry. All is good." Exactly those words.

With that last word "...good", I fell back totally peaceful and in a profound sleep. Maybe similar to what a baby feels in it's mother's womb. Not a care, not a worry, no thoughts, everything taken care of then.

I don't know how long it lasted, but it was enough, then... Whoosh!....immediately He pulled me up and I was facing that same wall of confined spirits. Once again, He allowed a spirit to approach me and the whole process repeated itself. Filthy thought, fear, confusion, condemnation, me pleading for mercy, the cloud, His voice, a feeling of lightness, as He concluded with, "Do not worry. All is good." and then again, I fell into a deep sleep.

This time, when He woke me up I was back in my body and lifting my head up off my arm where I'd laid it. Joe was still sitting there next to me, caught in time and looking as stoned as ever.

I was, of course, astonished by the whole experience and I turned to him and said, "Did you see THAT???"

His reply was a typical stoned statement which made it clear to me that I, alone, had been given a special showing.

I looked up and questioned God in my mind, then to my immense pleasure, I heard His voice say, "It doesn't matter. He'll learn later."

I was elated! "WOW!!" Blown away with excitement. I thought, "I can still hear Him!" So, I began to think of things to ask him. Things I always wanted to know about.

With each question, He would answer. Then I'd throw out another then another, then another. Soon, questions shot out of me like bullets from a machine gun and the answers came back just as fast.

About two minutes into this I become aware that He'd stopped answering and I panicked. When I got quiet and listened, His calm and reassuring voice said, "Those things are not important."

So I thought of what is important and it came to me. I said, "Will I ever find someone who loves me and that I'll love,too." "Yes." came the definite reply. I was satisfied. I knew He was telling me the truth.

I thought and then fired another question at Him. He answered. Then another. He answered again. Then another and another in rapid succession till, again, I realized He'd stopped answering. I stopped my questions, tuned in and heard Him say, "That's not important."

All this time I was being lead around by Joe and another guy who wasn't as stoned as we were. As I walked, it felt as if I barely touched the ground.

I passed some people on the street in bad situation and I started to worry about them. I asked God about it and He explained the situation and said they were going to be okay. Again peace.

In the midst of my euphoria another fear hit me like lightening, "Yeah. You're all happy now, but you've got this awful disease!"

It was true. I'd been afraid to go to the doctors for fear of what they might tell me. A terrible discharge from having sex with more guys than I could count, many that I barely knew. "Free" love had a price.

When this fear hit me, I immediately looked up and said, "God will I..." and before I could finish my question, "YES." was the immediate reply. At that same instant, the disease left my body and never returned. I was instantly healed!

Five days later, I decided that all I wanted to do was serve God, but I couldn't understand why He left me here, alive and well on planet earth. I thought about it and figured, "Well, God is a busy guy. Maybe He's got a job to do on the other side of the universe, so I'll help Him out."

I began to think of how I could get to heaven the fastest way. It occurred to me that the simplest thing would be to take an over-dose of drugs. I was naive, to say the least, and never thought that it would be a bad thing to do. So I ordered a bottle of the strongest amphetamines available. Huge black capsules called Black Beauties.

The drugs weren't immediately available and I was told it would be two days, so I spent the first day hanging out at Stone Plaza in downtown Dallas.

All the burned out druggies were there and when anyone would ask for "spare change", I'd give them double of whatever they'd asked for. I only had $5 but I figured I wouldn't need it where I was going.

That afternoon I began to feel something pulling me. It felt like a weight then it started feeling like a vacuum sucking me away from downtown. The feeling became so intense that I decided I was going to walk to the park, climb up in a tree and pray.

I walked to the curb and waited for the light to change. It turned green. I stepped off the curb and at that second a van ran the red light, nearly hit me and screeched to a stop in a no parking zone. The driver never saw me.

When I looked at the back of the van, my heart leaped! The entire back of the van was covered with a huge sign, "Pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart."

A girl jumped out with something in her hand and ran up to me. She smiled and said, "Do you believe in Jesus?"

I was amazed and answered a quiet, "Yes." She put a tract in my hand and said, "God bless you." and took off.

I floated towards the van and stood there.

The boy driving looked like my wildest hippy dream and I came closer.

He turned and saw me standing there and said in a thick Texas drawl, "Do you believe in Jesus?"

Something in my heart snapped and I leaped over to the van, clinging to the mirror, "YES!"

I soon learned that it was a van full of ex-drug addicts. They were hippie Christians who, within minutes explained to me that I didn't need to kill myself, but Jesus needed me here to serve Him on earth. The spacey driver said, "Did you know the Bible says, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature?'"

With every verse they quoted it was like I was being shot into the stratosphere. I could only jump up and down and say, "IT'S THE TRUTH! IT'S THE TRUTH!" People would drive by and look at me like I'd totally lost my mind, but I didn't care in the least.

So, it's obvious that I didn't kill myself, thank God, and I listened to those words and have followed them with all my heart ever since then. Now nearly over 50 years later, I'm still following, but I can hardly wait to see Him face to face again.

One last note regarding my baby daughter. We found each other 29 years later and it was a happy reunion. I discovered that I'm a grandmother of 3 and I am now a great-grandmother. The adventure is still on, confirming the title of my favorite Christmas movie, "It's a wonderful life".

"I once was lost, but now I'm found,was blind, but now I see."