Gratitude for a Second Chance and Opportunity to Change

Jim Petroff

By 1983, my thirty-five-year life had become filled with anger, frustration and confusion. I really needed God in my life, but didn’t realize it. All I knew was that I blamed external events and people for all of my troubles. I had lifelong negative tendencies, such as a bad temper, putting my needs over those of others, quick reactivity, and a loose mouth without regard to how my words hurt others. These tendencies had brought problems into my second marriage and my heart to a state of despair. Through God’s grace, this was the year that I met Divine Mother, who unlocked my heart to God’s divine Love. She set me on this beautiful and often tumultuous journey back to my Godself.

I had a successful engineering career that led me from Ohio, to Los Angeles where I met my wife Jeanne, to Hawaii. However, only two years into the Hawaii job, my inability to react calmly to life’s situations finally forced a resignation from my employer with no other job in sight. Anger hardly describes my feelings at that time—feelings of how I had been “wronged” by a job asking too much of me. I felt so worn down and stressed out that I needed a long break. I took a year off. It was during this time that I met Divine Mother.

At the first meeting, Divine Mother asked me questions about many things. She talked about Sri Ramakrishna and showed me a Time magazine article written about Him. We then meditated. Afterwards, she took my hand, led me outside, and said, “Look at the trees! Look at the sky! Look, everything has changed now!” Today, I can attest to the vast, comprehensive truth of her statement. In fact, I never could have comprehended a contented heart as I now have, while still living a full-scheduled, professional life.

During the years on this path, profound changes occurred in my life. However, I still resisted changing my self-centered behavior and reactivity even though my temper was much improved. I even ran from two more jobs. This slow-to-change attitude was very hard on Jeanne. Only Divine Mother’s grace kept her from leaving me. Divine Mother knew exactly what I needed to make me get serious about wanting to change, and she brought me a strong experience in 1995. On a Saturday night at midnight, I had chest pains and 911 was called. Jeanne then called Divine Mother who told me over the phone, “This is totally a spiritual experience, so just trust Divine Mother’s Love and grace for you.” She arrived at our home as the paramedics were working on me. I will always cherish the memory of Divine Mother meditating on our sofa as the paramedics wheeled me out the door on a gurney to the ambulance. She stayed at the hospital with Jeanne for three hours and still held a group meditation scheduled for 9:00 AM the next morning!

​All of this culminated in sextuple bypass surgery and, due to complications, lung surgery ten days later. Divine Mother visited the hospital twice more during my stay, though she carried a busy law practice at the time. She told me Divine Mother had given me a second chance. She said I must put God first in all things, change my old ways, show respect to Jeanne and others, and live right from then on. Divine Mother told me in the hospital, “I am pulling you to Spirit twenty-four hours a day.” She put me into a spiritual cocoon and took away my worries. Throughout the entire bypass experience, I had no fear. No matter what happened, I knew that Divine Mother’s grace was touching me and protecting me. In retrospect, I am very grateful for this tough experience and know that I needed it to evolve.

Late one night in the hospital, my pain became so intense that I asked Jeanne to call Divine Mother at home because I knew that only God could help. The tube into my chest, resulting from a collapsed lung, hurt so badly that I couldn’t stand it and it had been the cause of five sleepless days and nights. No medications helped. After only ten minutes on the phone with Divine Mother, the pain disappeared and I slept through the entire night! There were other times that procedures should have been painful, yet through God’s grace, I often felt little or no pain. I certainly experienced first hand Divine Mother’s comment that, “Consciousness controls the body, not the other way around.”

​The bypass was Divine Mother’s grace for me because it gave me a new commitment and gratitude to nurture love for God. Through grace alone, I’ve learned that putting God first, respecting others, and always coming from a place of love and kindness toward others is crucial to right living. Divine Mother’s Light has transformed my heart from one of relentless rushing; lashing out, then making amends; self-centeredness; not respecting Jeanne, family, friends, the world at large and most of all myself, to a heart of love and peace. Divine Mother has brought me so, so far. I will always be eternally grateful.