Getting to Know God


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  [Mt 11-28-29

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Radically transformed in two days

by diligently following the Spiritual Disciplines

in Getting to Know God


Full Interview of Mary J. Park

 

Mary is an affirmed architect, with two children and lives with her beloved husband in northern California. I had never met Mary. I had only spoken to her on the phone briefly to decide when and where to meet for this interview.  

 

Edward:   I have wanted to interview you, Mary, from the day that I learned that my spiritual disciplines booklet, Getting to Know God, changed your life in a month.   I was even more motivated to interview you because I had written Getting to Know God for people I had trained or who knew me through my preaching.  Its purpose was to provide them with a practical spiritual exercise booklet they could use daily for the rest of their lives.  I had not envisioned Getting to Know God as an independent publication with a life of its own. 

 

Yet, I was told that it radically changed you within a month.  I am here in wonderment. I want to collect your story of hope and transformation so that I might understand what God is doing and wants done through Getting to Know God. In addition, I believe that other people will gain hope from your witness about how God wills to transform lives.

 

Mary:  First off, I must tell you that the transformation did not happen in a month.  The transformation actually happened faster than that.  It took place in two days. 

 

I had been in a state of depression, recurring anxieties and deep anger and extreme frustration for years.  When I received Getting to Know God from a woman in my church, I had been deep into the pit of depression and anger for about four years.  I was feeling there was no way out.   This condition was even worse for me because I had always been so positive, outgoing, hard working.  During my school years after we moved here from Korea when I was thirteen, I worked hard and was diligent and outgoing.  I was at the top of my class.  I went on to become a successful architect. 

                                                   

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Edward: How did it happen that you became so depressed with moments of such bitterness and hatefulness?

 

Mary: I know when it all began.  It began with the birth of my first child.  Of course, I was filled with joy for the child, but I began struggling with losing myself, in the sense of losing my past life.  I got angry and fearful when I thought about it. What would other people, especially my colleagues, think of me?  I even avoided their calls because I was no longer working on a project and would not be able to converse with them and share stories.  I would check the numbers on the caller ID and never pick up.  I knew my whole attitude was wrong. I knew I needed to change, but I had no will to change.  However, all that would change because one day Tina, the leader of our church woman’s group, gave me a copy of Getting to Know God. 

 

Edward:  So you now had a copy of Getting to Know God. How could that possibly change you in two days What did you do with it?  I know that one could be radically changed if they followed the discipline with humility. But not in two days!  And they would usually need a group and some training. How did you do it? Did your go through it systematically, starting in the beginning?

 

Mary: No. I quickly glanced over the whole booklet to get an idea of its structure. Then, I went straight to the second part entitled, Re-Centering in God’s Word and followed the directions.  I went there for I clearly was not centered in God’s word.  I wrote down everything that aggravated, frustrated, irritated, or angered me.  It was four pages long.  It was so real that I actually feared someone else might read it.  I was really bitter about a lot of things. I wrote this in the presence of God and handed it all over to God as instructed in Getting to Know God.

                                

Edward:  So then your hope returned and God cast out your depression and soothed your anger? 

 

Mary: Yes and No.  I did find a certain release and calm in sharing my bitterness and anger with God and giving it to God, but my hope and joy was not restored.   I still felt detached form God just as I had for the last four years.  I felt estranged from God, not connected to God.  I had not kept my promises to God and I had been so harsh and rude to my husband, my children and many of my closest friends. 

 

Edward: Well, how did it happen that God restored the joy of your salvation?

 

Mary:  After I had I finished re-centering myself in God’s word, I turned to the first part of Getting to Know God.  There I encountered the pure character of God.  There I encountered God as God really is and came to understand what Love really is.   I came to realize that God had never betrayed me, never turned his back on me, never yelled at me, or scolded me.  God had always been patient with me. Most stunning to me was the realization that God had never been rude to me and never would.   God totally and always respected me.  In this process of getting to know God for whom God truly is, my heart melted.  God truly loves me personally. God personally and constantly loves me, Mary.

 

It was during this process that I suddenly felt connect to God as never before.  I had never felt this connect, not even before my drowning in darkness and inner rage. Great hope flowed into me and I knew that I was changed.  A great joy filled me. I knew I was healed and would remain healed. 

 

In fact, Getting to Know God is like medicine for a sick person.  If you are diligent in following its instructions, like with any rightly prescribed medicine, you get better.  What is different with the medicine, Getting to Know God, is that your health gets even better than it was before you got sick!  For example, I had always loved my children and had a degree of joy when I was with them, but now I experienced them with a joy and love I had never really known before.

 

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Edward:  I am amazed that God showered you with all those blessings in just two days. 

 

Mary:   Yes, it really happened in just two day. Of course, there are moments when the old thoughts and feelings come back, and, until I give battle to those thought, I begin to feel depressed and angry again.   However, now, instead of a day being 100% down and angry, some days I am almost 100% up.  Most days I am 90% up and 10% struggling with negative thoughts.  But now I always rebound because I know that God will pick me up, give me hope and love me every day, every instant of the day.

 

Edward: Why do you think Getting To Know God was so effective?  You surely have read many spiritual books in your church group and prayed often. 

 

Mary:  Yes, we have worked with different books and prayed for better relationships in our families.  However, the difference is really vast.  All the books have stories about how God is working for someone else in their lives.   I feel good for a moment and have a little hope, but then all my anxieties and anger and bitterness return.  I was as lost as before.  Perhaps I was even bitterer and even had less hope.  You think: It worked for another, but it is not working for me. Then you get more depressed. 

 

Contrarily, Getting to Know God has no stories about others.  It is all about you and God.  It is all about whatever is happening inside yourself and how God is inside God’s self.  Getting to Know God keeps you in touch with God ever step of the way no matter what you are feeling.  It is you and this God of love who heals you and gives you hope.  Getting to Know God is especially helpful because there are blank spaces throughout where you put you own name.  It keeps that conversation with God alive.   God is speaking directly to you with words of hope, love and correction or guidance.   And you feel sure it is God because every paragraph is steeped in God’s word.

 

Mary: May I add one more thing? As an architect, I want to tell you that I immediately realized that Getting to Know God was designed with great wisdom. It is clearly structured with profound insight into the human dimension and the divine response.   I wondered who could have written such a unique and powerful tool for us.   I was glad to meet you, the author, and to learn of the deep research and scientific and scriptural grounding that lies within Getting to Know God.

 

Edward:  May I ask one last question?  How is it going with your colleagues?

 

Mary:  Some weeks after my healing and transformation, one of my colleagues called again. It was the colleague whose opinion I most cherished. I worried  about what he would think of me because I had no projects that I was working on.  I asked him about his projects and he filled me in.  Then he asked me about my life.  I told him I was working on two very special projects at the time.  I then slowly pronounced the names of my children.  These are my special projects.  His response was that what I was doing was most important and that indeed our children are our most important projects.   And here I had been worrying for nothing.  I had not only lost hope in God but in best friends.

 

End Remark:  Thank you, Mary, for your belief in God’s word and for sharing how Getting to Know God was a tool in God’s hand to heal you, to restore and increase the joy of your salvation and your relationship with God.  I am sure that your testimony will inspire others.  Thank you.

 

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