Jennie Hayward

Touched by The Teachings

I was born on a dairy farm in the Netherlands. As a child, I was surrounded by the beauty and sounds of nature. Above all, I loved the wildflowers, the trees, the water, and the silence. We were a Christian family and three times a day, after meals, my parents read the stories of the Old and New Testament. The Bible stories became very dear to me, and, at age 16, I started sharing my faith with young children as a Sunday school teacher.

Yet, one quiet Sunday afternoon, it became clear that I was still searching for God. I had just settled into a large, comfortable chair in our living room when, without any apparent cause, I started to cry with deep, tearful sobs. I left the room and laid down on my bed, my body still shaking with the sobs that seemed to come from deep within. A little later, my mother entered my room and sat next to my bed. She put her hand on my forehead and said softly, “What is the matter?” My answer surprised me: “I can’t find God!”

My soul was searching for answers to the many questions I had asked (the adults) in my life, “Why do people suffer in so many ways? Why do people get cancer?” Although I loved the Bible and church services, they did not satisfy a deeper, mysterious yearning for truth.

At age 17, I found answers to many of those questions by discovering secrets of the eastern ancients through macrobiotics. I learned that the order of the universe requires us to obey God’s laws, and that if we ignore them, we pay the price with illness and unhappiness.

I changed my eating habits over night, I dropped sugar, dairy, and meat and started a simple diet of whole grains, legumes, seeds, and vegetables. The colds and ear infections I had suffered from every year of my life became a thing of the past. I LOVED this new understanding: We were not just people, haphazardly hit by fate; but that by obeying God’s laws, we had the power to change our lives.

For the next seven years, I practiced and shared my understanding of macrobiotics. I studied at the macrobiotic Kushi Institute in Amsterdam, worked in their restaurant, and helped people find healing by changing their lifestyle and eating habits.

At age 24, during the Christmas season, my life changed again. I had cooked at the Kushi Institute for 150 doctors, nurses, and senior Macrobiotic counselors from around the world. A doctor from Greece offered me a cooking position at his health spa on one of the Greek islands, but I felt I needed to go back home to help my younger brother heal an affliction.

I spent the following night with my brother at the apartment of my friend Mark. His room was the attic of one of the typical traditional homes in the heart of Amsterdam. My bed was a simple futon on the floor. When I woke up in the morning, I realized that, for the first time in weeks, I did not need to get up for work, and decided to relax and try to go back to sleep. But first, I stood up to straighten my blanket. While I shook the blanket, I heard a clear voice that said, “This is not yet why you came here.” Somehow, I understood that my work in macrobiotics was not my final purpose in life, but I didn’t think more about this new awareness beyond that.

The young man who lived on the floor below us had started to play classical music. It sounded beautiful but was too loud for me to go back to sleep. Trying to doze off, I asked my brother if he could go downstairs and ask the person if he could turn down the sound so I could sleep. Thirty years ago, in Holland, most people didn’t lock their doors.

The young man, Ronald, a Keeper of the Flame, told me years later that, at first, when he suddenly saw my teenage brother standing in his living room asking him to turn down the music, he had felt slightly annoyed. But, moments later, he had heard his Holy Christ Self instructing him, “Take a glass of carrot juice and a Heart magazine and go upstairs.”

This time, the surprise was mine when, after a short knock on the door, a young man about my age walked into our room. I sat up on my futon and invited him to sit down. For the next half hour, he talked about the I AM Race and many other concepts I had never heard of but seemed to resonate with me. He left me with the glass of carrot juice and the magazine. I leafed through the magazine, published by The Summit Lighthouse/C.U.T. When I came to the last pages, I saw beautiful pictures of food and raw food recipes.

At that moment, I heard the voice again, saying, “It is your mission to bring macrobiotics to this community.” I had no idea what “this community” was, but I had a strong urge to search and find the source of the clear voice I had heard.

A few months later, I attended my first weekend seminar with The Summit Lighthouse Study Group of Amsterdam. The subject was “The Ascension.” I felt a pleasant burning in my heart throughout the weekend. During a dictation by Lord Maximus, I felt raised up by the light and saw the most beautiful, brilliant tongues of white fire, quickly moving upwards all around me. I had found my God, my mission, and my reason for being.

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