November 19, 2021

A ‘fist-shaking’ dare to God leads a woman to a devotion to him

Janine Schorsch (Submitted photo)

Janine Schorsch (Submitted photo)

(Editor’s note: The Criterion invited our readers to share the special moments in their lives—or the one thing—that has brought them closer to God. Here are some of their stories.)

Third of three parts

By John Shaughnessy

The turning point for Janine Schorsch came when she was in college—a time when she remembers being “a spoiled, tantrum-throwing” young adult who didn’t believe in God.

“For about four years, mid high school through most of college, I chose to become an atheist,” she recalls. “God and all his rules just weren’t worth it anymore. He was an unnecessary encumbrance.”

Yet everything changed when she agreed to be part of a survey during a rare moment of free time before a class.

“To my surprise, it was not so much a survey as an attempt to bring me to God. Two young women shared with me their experiences, telling how they saw God in so many moments of their life.”

As an example, one of the students recalled thinking about a friend she hadn’t heard from in years and just then she received a phone call from the friend.

“I scoffed and labeled it coincidence,” Schorsch says. “They were relentless, repeatedly asking me to pray with them for Jesus to come into my life and save me. Being too polite to just get up and leave, I finally agreed to pray with them. But I flat out told them I didn’t mean it, I didn’t believe it, and that it was a dare to God. If he wanted me, he could come and get me.”

She views it as her “rebellious, fist-shaking” moment at God. After that moment, she soon realized how God had wanted her all along.

“Approximately two weeks later, walking across campus, I was literally stopped in my tracks,” she recalls. “I realized that everything, absolutely everything, in my life had worked to my good since that eventful prayer. I truly identified with St. Paul when he was blinded and thrown from his horse.

“I was completely overwhelmed by the love of my God, who would answer a spoiled, tantrum-throwing child who had the nerve to dare him, by wrapping his arms around me in love.”

She has felt God’s embrace ever since, even through—and maybe especially through— the tough times.

“My life has had its share of troubles,” says Schorsch, now 69 and a member of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Parish in Bright in the Batesville Deanery. “But I’ve never spent one moment of my life without the sure knowledge that God holds me in his tender hands. The God that sent two personal messengers to me so long ago will never let me go.

“All the times since then when I have been blessed to be a witness to others, all the times since then when I have been blessed to see others be witnesses to God, they draw me ever closer to God.” †

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