When I was a baby, I spent the majority of my time surrounded by my very Italian grandparents. My parents would go to work and my grandparents would watch my sister and I all day. They would spend the day preparing dinner for the feast that would occur every night. Dinner was not served until my parents, my uncles, and my aunt got home from work. Once every family member was seated at the table, we were not to touch our food until we said Grace, thanking God for the food we were about to eat.
I attended Catholic school from preschool through 12th grade. I prayed in the morning, before every class, before every meal, and before I went home. I went to church every Sunday with my family. I prayed when I woke up in the morning and before I went to sleep. I pretty much recited prayers in my sleep.
I went to church on campus the first few Sundays of my freshmen year, but as my Saturday nights got longer, my trips to church got shorter. I eventually stopped going to church altogether and only went with my family when I was home on breaks.
My grandmother passed away in November of my freshmen year. Losing such an important person in my life and the person who taught me all there was to know about my faith, I found myself looking to God. I prayed to feel closer to my grandmother. Coping with the loss of my grandmother took a toll on me, but in the midst of a tough loss, I was able to reunite with my faith.
After returning from winter break my freshmen year, I went back to only going to church when I was home from school. I felt I didn’t have time for church or I just preferred to do other things instead of going.
Before I was supposed to go abroad, I was diagnosed with mono. I found myself asking God for help. I kept asking myself, “Why me?” Once I finally was able to go abroad, my roommate’s mother died suddenly. Again, I found myself looking for answers and praying that God could not only help her family, but also help me to help her. When I returned from abroad, my other grandmother was very sick. I prayed for her to recover so I could spend more time with her. When my grandfather fell into a deep depression after losing my grandmother, I prayed for him to find happiness again.
I turned to God every time I needed help. Amidst the most difficult situations, I finally realized that the one thing that I have always had is faith. Now, instead of looking to God only when I’ve lost my way, I remain true to my faith every day.