By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, May 3, 2017

This is Vera Koo’s fourth column in a 6-part series that is inspired by the writings in her memoir, which will be published later this year. Vera is known throughout the shooting industry as a gracious woman who exudes class and kindness. In this post, Vera explains how she found peace and the will to live after a tragedy in her life, through God and Christianity. Although Women’s Outdoor News is not a religiously based publication, we have long respected Vera Koo and we appreciate her willingness to share this poignant life story. ~Barbara Baird

I didn’t grow up a religious person. For most of my life, I had no relationship with God or Jesus Christ. That changed 23 years ago, when I was left searching for answers and support after enduring the most painful moment of my life.

I experienced a terrible personal crisis, one that disrupted my life view and core values. I had started seeing a therapist. In the aftermath of that crisis, I was left going through life like a zombie, a shell of the person I truly am.

On the outside, I tried to remain normal and put up a front for family and friends. I did not want to air all my troubles to the world. But, on the inside, I felt like I was dying. The world around me seemed dark and cold.

Around this time, one of my friends, Rose Jean Fong, began sending me pamphlets called Christian Guideposts. Many of these pamphlets discussed the power of prayer and how God hears us when we call out to Him.

I decided to give prayer a shot. What could it hurt? I was desperate for help.

One day I decided to kneel down and pray to God. I started to notice that after my prayers, some small, good thing would happen around me. When life is as low as I was in those days, any gift of goodness – however small – can be so helpful to get you through the day.

I was just starting to get serious about my shooting career when I encountered my crisis, and I used shooting as my escape, my safe space, to help me recover. I found that whenever I occupied myself with training for my sport, I could take my mind off the troubles in my life.

At the same time, I continued to grow my relationship with God.

I believe competitive shooting was part of God’s plan for me, His way of offering me a path to peace. God and shooting saved me. They were my guides along the long road of recovery.

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