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Of course, I've had a lot of time to formulate my opinions about divinity since that night on the bathroom floor when I first spoke directly to God. In the middle of that dark November crisis, though, I was not interested in formulating views on theology. I was interested only in saving my life. I had finally noticed that I'd reached a state of hopelessness and life-threatening despair, and it occurred to me that sometimes people in this state will approach God for help. I think I'd read that in a book somewhere.

What I said to God through my gasping sobs was something like this: "Hello, God; how are you? I'm Liz. It's nice to meet you."

That's right—I was speaking to the creator of the universe as though we'd just been introduced at a cocktail party. But these are the words I always use at the beginning of a relationship. In fact, it was all I could do to stop myself from saying, "I've always been a big fan of your work..."

"I'm sorry to bother you so late at night," I continued. "But I'm in serious trouble. And I'm sorry I haven't ever spoken directly to you before, but I hope I have always expressed ample gratitude for all the blessings you've given me in my life."

This thought caused me to sob even harder. God waited me out. I pulled myself together enough to go on: "I'm not an expert at praying, as you know. But I am in desperate need of help. I don't know what to do. I need an answer. Please tell me what to do. Please tell me what to do. Please tell me what to do..."

And so the prayer narrowed itself down to that simple entreaty—Please tell me what to do, repeated again and again. I don't know how many times I begged. I only know that I begged like someone who was pleading for her life. And the crying went on forever.

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