I have been searching for a “church” to belong to my whole life. I was taught the basic story of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit by my parents, specifically by my Dad’s teaching of the bible stories, words, and actions; and my Mom’s love and kindness.
Growing up, my family did not belong to any “organized religion.” As an adolescent, I went to a Baptist church, my sister went to a Methodist church, and my brother always was searching internally for belonging. My mother was raised Catholic and my father was raised in a very Christian home, but did not belong to any specific church. His family experienced very negative “church” life, so their family did a lot personal studying, praying, and searching. His mother and six children (and all of their descendants) are some of the most religious, outspoken, and devote people, I have ever met ( all belonging to different parts of the Christain faith).
My mother and father faced many religious challenges as they sought to be together, my mother’s parents were very Catholic, very” by the book” Catholics. Catholics didn’t marry non-Catholics. Catholic girls didn’t get married until a certain age. My parents loved each other, and wanted to get married. They didn’t listen to anyone, and they got married, despite many strong suggestions or threats, they received. They were 18 and 19 years old.
The story goes on with many parts and pieces, but fast forward 25+ years, and their youngest daughter is in a very similar situation, young and in love, wanting to get married. Her love interest’s family is Catholic, and her family is not. Now, the Catholic Church allows you to be married in the Church with certain rules. We got married in the Church, despite many strong suggestions against it. We were 18 and 20 years old.
Our story goes on, fast forward another 10 years, I am still not Catholic, I have so many questions (major one’s are listed above). I was introduced to a wonderful priest, who helped me get the acceptance I’d been searching for in the Catholic church. I joined because I believed in the Creed, and he gave me an explanation of the Church’s teaching about “implicit” faith for non-Christians. This helped me and I officially a converted in 2010.
In an effort to branch out and grow in our faith, we wanted more. We were asked to join a group of Christians from different backgrounds, and I thought this was a cool idea. Getting together with other Christians and sharing our common love for God. So, here we are, present day, I’ve been experiencing the most difficult time in my life and watching some of my dearest friends also experience hardship. So, I’m digging deep into my greatest source of strength. Many things are clicking together, I am trying to see how they are unified into one.
I want to thank the Lord for the blessings of history, family, friends, and faith. These are some of the greatest gifts I could ever imagine and I wonder all the time what makes me worthy to receive them. I want to devote my life to serving the one who has given these great gifts to me.