I know the Bible very well, particularly the Old Testament, and use it as guidance in my everyday living; however, I interpret it drastically different from Christians and do not belong to any church. My faith does not fit any denomination, I have pretty much tried them all and found evangelical Christians' constant effort to "save" me, self-righteous and judgmental. I have never taken part in any activities or rituals of any spiritual entity of any religion neither did I belong to any such group other than the karakia (prayers) on the Marae (community centre). I have never gone anywhere to study the Bible or any religious book, what I know is from self-study of the Bible and my own spiritual experiences in having a very real relationship with my Creator. My religion consists of getting up each morning with what I believe God, whether he or she or it, laid on my heart and mind during the night. By the end of each day, if I managed to do what was given to me in the morning, making the best of the resources available on the day, then I celebrate a successful day. And the next day, I do it all over again. I do not live any regular religious practices such as meditation or prayer, my life is an act of worship. I try to make better sense of my world every day and try to live in tune with the will and timing of something or someone bigger than myself. I hardly ever make decisions on the spot but consciously leave it until the next morning as a way of allowing God's will to prevail. I know no other religion than Christianity yet I ain't no Christian. I found the fundamentalist Christian marriage oppressive. I have a lot of people from other religions in my network and find many of them a breeze, for some reason or other though, it has never come into my realm, to set foot in a temple of any sort. I have learned that when someone, irrespective of what religion, come to me and put their religion in my face, to run as they are using religion to abuse. So what is my religion? I am in the business of following clues!
I was registered and christened with three names, Susanna Susara Kruger, as it was tradition that a third daughter had to be given the Mother's names with the Father's surname. It did not take long before I was labelled with the diminutive version of my name which I carried through primary, secondary and tertiary times. At the age of 25, I decided that I was adult enough and took on the abbreviated version of my real name while my siblings told me that I was being snobbish. In New Zealand, at the age of 42, when I was admitted to hospital for surgery, they freaked out, thinking that they had the wrong patient. From then onward I adopted my proper first name which made my siblings more upset! At the age of 48, I wanted to enrol for further tertiary studies and my then husband did not approve of it, so I took back my maiden name. I looked at our marriage certificate and discovered that I was in fact Kruger and nowhere did it say that I had to take his surname. I did not have to do a legal name change, I simply provided my birth certificate and changed my driver's licence and passport. Needless to say that this was the last straw that broke the camel's back! For me it was the beginning, as when I began to work alongside Māori and they could appreciate, even my middle name, I was at last who I am meant to be, Susanna Susara Kruger. When I married a Kiwi bloke, I made it clear that I was happy to take on his surname informally and keep Kruger for professional purposes. It turned out that there was no room for me in his family, so I have decided to remain Ms Kruger as Mrs Kruger will give the impression that his surname is Kruger. I had to make one more change, in standing up for myself, I now pronounce my names authentically, in my own French-Dutch-German manner.