Grace in the momentWhen I was little, I used to lie in my bed and think, "Here I am in this little room, in this little house, which is on a dead-end road on the edge of a small town, in one of 50 states on one of 7 continents… and the earth is spinning through space around the sun, and the sun is only one star among millions in the huge universe." I wondered if there was a God, and did he care about little me? It was perhaps my first search for God, but since that garden in Eden, God has sought us first: "Where are you?"My family was not Christian, but we had relatives who were. When we went to visit, I found some children's books which told the Jesus story. I can't explain it, but when I read the name of Jesus, my heart beat faster. I see it now as God beginning to call me.As a teenager, I had many questions about the Bible, about prayer, about who Jesus is. I had no one to ask. In the summer I went to a camp where some of the counselors were Christians. I asked all my questions. And I liked their answers. It was the first time I met people who spoke with Jesus as with a friend. I was impressed that they had a relationship with a Person. Jesus wasn't just an idea. He was really involved in their lives. After three summers, I felt ready to make a deal with Jesus. If he would be my Lord and savior, I would do my best to live according to his teachings, and do his will. God had called me to become a Christian, and he had provided the right people to answer my questions and help me make a decision.When I was in college, I had a boyfriend who was Polish. That meant he was Catholic. I started to go to Mass with him. I didn't have a clue what was going on. I took instructions from the priest and came to have a great appreciation for the liturgy. Even as a protestant, I had a desire to kiss the feet of Jesus on the cross. Well, the first time I experienced the Good Friday liturgy in a catholic church, I nearly fell out of the pew. Part of the service that day is the Adoration of the cross. Every person in that church came forward and kissed the feet of Jesus on the cross. It wasn't just my desire--the Catholic church had been doing this for 2000 years! I felt like I had come home. So I was confirmed a Roman Catholic on my 21st birthday. God had used my attraction to Jesus to bring me further along the road.Four years later, I felt a strong need to deepen my prayer life. I spent many weekends visiting monasteries around the country. I heard a little, but insistent, voice inside me and I knew that I would never be content unless I found out if I was called to be a nun. I sensed that it was important to live with others who also desired to live the values of the gospel. We support one another. A monastery is arranged to provide silence (in order to listen to God's Word in one's heart), a regular prayer life and the constant praise of God. I believe that humans are created for worship (homo adorans). Contemplative life is not a career, but something that encompasses one's whole life. For me, being a nun is the only way I can follow Jesus.I see the various stages in my journey as one call. First God had to get me to become a Christian, then a Catholic, and finally a nun. There is a norwegian expression that the road comes into being as we walk it. We can’t see the whole way at once. But we can trust God, who sees the whole and arranges everything if we but take one step at a time.I entered a monastery in Arizona and made my solemn profession of vows there. After 14 years I felt called to move to Mississippi Abbey in Iowa. It was very difficult, because I had been taught that it is wrong to change monasteries. But again God gave me the right people at the right time. There is an expression in Zen: When the disciple is ready, the master appears. God sent me a wise, old abbot and a wise, young chaplain who himself had changed monasteries. I got good advice and didn’t lose courage. I have learned that although God is unseen, he sends people who show his will. When I look back over all that happened, I see God’s wisdom and plan running through it all like a thread. The difficulties I experienced were the occasion of the deepening of my call and commitment.While I was at Mississippi Abbey, the sisters there decided to make a foundation in Norway. I came to Norway for three months in 2001, and returned in 2002 to join the new community of Tautra Mariakloster. That is how I have landed in the Trondheim fjord. I love it here on Tautra and believe that this is the next step in my journey. The road becomes clear as we walk it. Now I see that if I hadn’t had difficulties in Arizona, I would never have come to Norway. God arranged everything. When I was little, I never imagined that I would become a nun on a little island in another country.I began this meditation with the image of my little existence in the huge universe. One morning, early, after Vigils, I looked up at the stars. I know that when we see the light from a star, that light has actually left the star many years earlier. The light arrives at the very moment I look up. I have experienced my journey like that. At the very moment I need grace, it has already left God and rushed light-years toward me. Grace and I arrive at the very same moment.Yes, I believe there is a God, and that he cares about my little existence—and about each and every one on our spinning planet. Since he has loved me first, I have fallen in love with him. I want to give my whole life to praising God, simply because he is. It is only as a nun that I can do that. I am so grateful that God has called me, and continues to call me: "Where are you in my beautiful garden?"