"Just being in her presence and being with the people who were around her, faith was a big part of their lives, and it was making me think."


Finally, says McGinnis, "somewhere in the middle of all that, I think it might have been 1993, I had a professional situation blow up. It blew up because of me, because I was frantically trying to control everything about my life. As soon as it happened, I knew I had shot myself in the foot - I was far enough along in recovery to know that my control addiction was ruling my life.


"That day, I got on my knees and said, 'God, I don't know what you really want of me, but I cannot handle my life, so I am inviting you back in.'"


McGinnis doesn't want to call that her "definitive moment" of salvation. She instead describes her conversion as a series of moments. But after praying that day, she felt "a real sense of direction."


"I felt I needed to get back into going to church on Sunday, I needed to open the Bible, I needed to pray every day."


Now, says McGinnis, she continues with a "stumbling kind of walk."


She likes the way author John Eldridge talks about "waking up as a non-Christian but becoming a Christian by the end of each day." She loves how Eldridge grants people permission to be real: "... to understand that you wake up in the morning, and even though your best intention is to have a quiet time, and get your heart right with God, it sometimes doesn't happen. If by the end of the day, though, I can have a moment where I feel that I'm connecting to somebody greater than myself, that's significant."


McGinnis says she will always ask hard questions. "A young woman who I knew here in town just died of breast cancer. She barely turned 40. Why does that happen? Why would somebody go out to Home Depot and randomly shoot people? Why?


"I think of myself as sort of a struggling Christian and an accidental Christian," she adds, "but there is no question in my mind that I've been saved."



To learn more about how Ruth connected with her roots, check out the book Breathing Freely.