There seemed to be no answer for Brigitte Bedard. Even after 10 years of counseling and writing down her thoughts, she was no closer to filling the emptiness she had felt since she was a child.
“It was the emptiness. I don’t feel anything,” said Brigitte. “It’s like when I was young, it’s like when I was a little child; I don’t feel nothing.”
She grew up in Montreal, Canada, in a home where emotions and displays of affection were kept in check. At church she saw God as uncaring, and Jesus, a fairy tale.
“Even at that time I knew the life of Jesus. I read the books about his life. I liked Him very much, but that’s it.”
At 11 years old she followed the lead of her friends, drinking and using drugs. She especially liked that it opened up her inhibitions.
Brigitte explained, “I discovered intensity. That’s where I experienced, for the first time in my life, something that was, like, so strong. I was feeling alive.”
Brigitte looked for a way to define herself apart from her parents and God. By college she increased her drug use and began studying feminism. It told her who she was, powerful and complete, without men and the church. She thought she had found her identity.
“I was the good. I was the victim. I was a woman. And the man, the history, the church, the God – all them were wrong. I was right.”
Eventually she started having lesbian relationships. But in order to bear the cause of feminism, she had to suppress her natural needs and desire to have a man in her life.
“That’s the big paradox. You hate them, but you want to be with them. You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them,” said Brigitte. “I wanted to marry and have children, a house – secretly, secretly, deep down – that’s what I wanted. But I couldn’t say that. You can’t say that when you’re a feminist.”
She admitted, “After eight years in that lifestyle I was very confused.”
Brigitte was in and out of therapy for ten years trying to make sense of the confusion in her heart and mind. She got off drugs, but joined a drug support group, hoping to find answers. At one of the sessions, a man in the group handed her a note with the name of a monastery. He suggested she might find the answers there.
“I said, ‘Are you crazy? You think I’m going to go to see the priests? I hate them, you know?’” And he said, ‘What do you have to lose?’”
Brigitte decided he was right.
“I’m desperate. There’s nothing. There’s no sense of this life. There’s nothing.”
So she made the two-hour drive to the monastery, and they gave her a place nearby to stay. The next day she met with a quiet, very patient young priest.
“I screamed my 30 years of resentment of loneliness of desperation, all my questions – everything – my resentment against men and God.”
The priest said nothing.
“He was really compassionate with me.”
Their second meeting was more of the same. Her railing against the church and God, him quietly listening. Then on the third day, Brigitte came to the meeting emotionally drained and nothing left to say. It was then the priest spoke, and told her the true story of Jesus, and His sacrifice for her.
“I looked at him and I said, ‘What, it’s true? I mean, okay, listen. It’s true? Jesus is God? No, no, okay. No. Jesus is alive? Jesus is God? It’s true? It’s not a story?’ I said, ‘It’s true? It’s really true?! My god! He’s alive? And God is Jesus?!’ It was a revelation!”
“I realized I wasn’t lesbian or an intellectual or feminist or anything, I wasn’t anything. All I was, was the daughter of God. I was the daughter of God and He loved me. He loved me so much He died for me. For the first time in my life I felt love.”
That day, Brigitte found her life in Jesus Christ. She now knew who she was. Four years later she married Hugh and together they are raising a family.
“Each day I thank Him. I thank Him. He saved me because I was going to die. There wasn’t any answers for me. So yeah, every day is like ‘Wow, what a life.’”