Thanks for everyone sharing! My conversion to Orthodoxy happened by "chance" I had been studying the RCC for over 20 yrs. I had joined another board, one for Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox to discuss our traditions. I posted my search and one of the members asked me if I had considered the EO.
Wanting to be sure I had left no stone uncovered, I searched for an EO parish close by.
I figured if I had to drive a long distance it would be a sign I shouldn't go.
I found an OCA parish about 10 minutes by freeway from my home. I got my courage together and on June 10, 2007 I visited my first Divine Liturgy.
Little did I know this would change my life forever.
I was afraid I was late because the reader was reading, the Deacon was censing..and I thought I had dropped in to the Twilight zone!
If someone has NEVER been into an EO church (and I hadn't) I was in for a big surprise.
I kind of figured out what was going on (
) and managed to stand at the proper times.
I also remember thinking "I could never be a member of this church, there is too much incense!" (keep that thought-I have had to eat my words..lol)
To me, it looked like we were in heaven, kind of...with the icons all around. I got the symbolism of the curtain with the cross on one side and the ten commandments on the other.
Jesus entered into the Holy of Holies and offered Himself up...and the curtain in the Temple was ripped from top to bottom.
The Prescence of the Lord entered into that place after the Priest had consecrated them and the bread had been set out for everyone. I almost fell off my pew.
That Sunday there weren't very many people present, the choir was flat....but the LORD was there.
That stunned me so much I could not hardly stay in one place.
The other little detail that is worth mentioning is the Priest spoke about St John Maximovitch.....and his life...etc...and how he was known for visiting people in their dreams. (Keep that thought-it becomes significant in part of my story)
I went home.....and spent the rest of the day in prayer.
That night, before going to sleep I asked the Lord if this had been a sign I should join the EOC.
That night and for almost 2 weeks I had dreams....you got it...St John and a few of his friends visited me every night.
I remember the next morning waking up thinking "Did that Priest give me a post hypnotic suggestion about that St visiting me?" I couldn't even remember his name!
The dreams stopped when I finally said "Ok, I got the message. I want to attend a Catholic Mass to see if it is the same" I finally visited the Catholic parish near my home and guess what...It wasn't.
Vacation etc got in the way and I didn't go back to the EOC until Sept or Oct.
At that point I knew I was supposed to join the Church. I had read, studied and all the pieces fell into place.
I also figured that the extraordinary things that happened my first visit were to be a HUGE sign saying This is IT...what you have been searching for.
When the Priest came and met me I told him straight out what happened and that I was supposed to join. The rest is history, I was Chrismated Sat evening before the Feast of the Nativity.
This is the best thing I have ever done.....and while the rest of my life is in an uproar....my spiritual life is doing just fine!
My background is Evangelical Protestant...27yrs background in indepth bible study...the whole 9 yards.
The Orthodox Church IS the Church that Jesus Christ founded. The same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
My personal feeling is this: We have never changed. We are the plumb line against which all others are to be measured.