I looked good... on the outside
It all started on my 19th birthday. It was 1971. I was a student in Paris. The Sexual Revolution was raging out there. In my room, far away from home, I was facing the reality of my life. Here I was, a student with excellent grades, respected among my peers, and part of a dynamic team of friends. But internally, things were quite different. I was lost. I felt that I was nowhere close to where I had envisioned myself to be at 19. In fact, I didn't know what my life was about. I didn't know where I was going. I was confused and desperate for an answer. Have you ever felt this way?
You see, my parents loved God. They were committed to their family, the Church, and the community. They were hard workers and very diligent in many ways, but like most parents, they didn't know how to guide their children regarding sexual matters. So, when the teenage years hit, I had no clear path to follow. I was left on my own. Buffeted about by my emotions, I went from one crush to another.
At the same time, I was fearful of the Sexual Revolution. It didn't feel right. So, instead of public high school, thanks to my parents' support, I chose to attend and all-girl Catholic technical school. There, I felt safe. I loved it and it was fun. When I look back on time, I think that God protected me from falling into a promiscuous lifestyle where I would have probably gone, without knowing better. I never got to be promiscuous because I was not tempted. I can see now, that was the path that God had prepared for me, even back then, so that today I can be with you with this important message for our time.
An unexpected meeting: On my 19th birthday, I had a showdown with God. In tears, I reached out to Him, begging Him for an answer - and little did I know, He was listening, because just a few days later I met the Purity Revolution: an unusual group of young people - people who were mentally and spiritually clear and clean.
There was no flirting and no nonsense going around. It was like being back home. I was among people I had never met before: a bright sunny island in the midst of the dark raging sea. Those people were giving lectures and that's where I learned the magnificent value of sexual purity, not from do's and don'ts - not just from Biblical verses, but from an explanation that made the greatest sense to me. For the very first time, I understood what life was about, why God created the universe, and how He created us to live. I was learning the absolute value of marriage and how to prepare for it. Those lectures, excerpts of The Divine Principle by Father Sun Myung Moon, gave me so much clarity that I started a new life. I was not confused anymore. I was learning what I wished my parents would have taught me, but couldn't because they, themselves, didn't know. From that time on, I wanted to tell the whole world what I had discovered. I abandoned what would have become my profession and became a full-time missionary, all the while training my heart and character for marriage. I had kissed dating goodbye, and was free and happy. A few years later I had the immense privilege to get engaged and then receive the Holy Marriage Blessing to a missionary just like me: one who had taken the same courses and gone through the same training. We were one of 2075 Couples receiving the Marriage Blessing the very same day!
Masahide - my husband - and I walked through the 7 Steps of the Marriage Blessing together. This was 38 years ago ~ in 1982 ~ and I am so grateful for our life together. I cannot say that it has always been easy, but because we embrace the same values, have the same purpose, the same dream, we successfully overcame every obstacle as they came our way. God has given us four beautiful children, nine grand-children and counting, and we are growing closer to each other every day!