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Elisabeth Seidel’s memoir, edited by Dr. Jennifer P. Tanabe. Through her stories about life, her letters, journal entries, reflections and poems we learn her dreams, her struggles, her joys, her challenges and her victories.
Written from the heart, this inspiring volume follows her life from the beautiful French Alps of her hometown, where she learned that failed relationships in the family lead to so much suffering, and where she determined to find a better life.
Her journey took her through the early years of the Unification Movement in France, meeting Reverend and Mrs. Moon for the first time in Paris where she acted as their tour guide, her Holy Marriage Blessing with her beloved husband, Dietrich, the establishment of their family while he was a graduate student in Canada, and their magnificent efforts to reconcile the enemy nations of their ancestors – France and Austria/Germany.
Her life story does not end with Dietrich’s passing, as they established a bond of true love that binds them together forever in this world and beyond. She continues to offer the Holy Marriage Blessing to couples in North America and Europe, the foundation for peace in the whole world.
When one is invited to observe and experience another person’s life, it is always a special moment. To be able to capture a glimpse of the person’s joys, the high points of their life along with the most difficult moments of their life is a privilege and a blessing. Elisabeth Seidel’s “Stories of My Life” is no exception. In this memoir, the reader is introduced to Elisabeth’s family, friends and her husband and children and is able to journey with her as she recounts the events and experiences that have come to define her and most especially, her profound walk with God. She is open about her family and their own challenges and how those experiences shaped her own life and thought.
The highlight of the book, though, is her testimony to the love that she and her husband, Dietrich, shared and continue to share, though he has passed into the spiritual world. Her experiences with her husband tell the reader that there is such a thing as true love and that it is a vital part of her relationship with God, who she calls her heavenly parent. What is especially profound is how God brought Elisabeth and Dietrich together, not just for themselves and their future children but for the sake of reconciliation of their lineages and family lines. It is a truly remarkable and powerful love story.
We also get a glimpse of the life of someone committed to serving God as a modern-day missionary. As an early member of the Unification Church in Europe, we are able to see what kind of heart, devotion and spirit was needed and the toll it took on these early pioneers. At the same time, we see Elisabeth’s heart for others and the standard of living for the sake of others that has been the hallmark of Elisabeth’s life.
Through it all, what the reader comes away with is that God has been with Elisabeth and Dietrich every step of the way, reaching out to her and guiding her throughout her entire life. We are reminded that our Heavenly Parent wants to be and can be intimately involved with each and every one of us as well, with a love that is never-ending.
The book is straight from the heart and soul and it will touch the reader’s heart and soul.
~Dr. Kathy Winings, Professor, Religious Education, Vice President, Board of Directors for IRFF
Wow! It was such an amazing adventure to read this beautiful story by Elisabeth Seidel. Life is truly a river and reading through their story brought an unexpected integration between their river and my own. It was not possible to keep them separate. One definitely feels enriched.
Beautiful and intricate details of their journey have been so well-researched. Elisabeth has shared a life-work which must have been a joy to remember and to write. Her life story could serve as a model for anyone trying to write their own story. Elisabeth’s and Dietrich’s marriage could serve as a model and blueprint for any Blessed marriage.
My wife and I had the pleasure of knowing the Seidel family well. I served on the UTS faculty with Dietrich, and we were close friends. Reading this story was like forging a new friendship all over again. We were blessed to know them. Especially nice were their memories of times with True Parents. It was almost like actually being there with True Parents in person.
Every member of the Unification movement should read this book. It will refresh them, no matter what their spiritual life is or has been. But, have some tissues handy for their story will bring tears to your eyes more than once.
~David A. Carlson, Ph.D.
“Stories of My Life: The Search for True Love” by Elisabeth M. Seidel is much like the Bible in miniature – a collection of history, biography, autobiography, notes, reflections, poems, memoirs, letters, and even photographs. Elisabeth was one of the very earliest European believers that Sun Myung Moon was the Son of God, chosen and called to bring a new revelation to all human beings past, present and future during the latter half of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st Century. She first heard the truth of Divine Principle in Italy in her mid-20s and then pursued her study in her native and much-beloved France, later coming to the United States where she found a larger expression of true love.
Her physical father forbade her to visit or attend any church! But her Heavenly Father led her inexorably to discover her True Father and her True Parents as she matured and began her own personal quest for the meaning of life and, as she puts it, for true love.
In fact, memorably and remarkably, just two months before she was to meet and marry her own everlasting true love in physical form – her eternal husband, Dietrich Seidel – Satan tried to kill her! Few of us are hit in the back and literally run over by a speeding automobile running a red light and live to tell the tale. But Elisabeth is still with us, and you will not forget her story once you have read it. God is real and alive. Miracles do happen.
And how do we know God? We know God because we are created in God’s image – not “his” image – not “her” image – but in God’s image = male and female. And in the loving lifetime partnership and active international outreach of Dietrich and Elisabeth Seidel, we see God living and witnessing through them in this world … and to us.
~John Harris Kirkley (BA, MA, MRE, MSEd, JD) Professor, Attorney and Pastor. Pastor Kirkley is now heading the Charlotte Family Church in North Carolina.