So here’s my story. I grew up Roman Catholic. It was your typical go church every Sunday, stand up, sing, sit down, stand up, sit down, communion, kneel, sing, stand up, sit down, go home. I was baptized, I went to catechism, I made my first holy communion, I did it all. I grew up knowing of God, but not really knowing Him. As a family, we would all attend church on Sunday mornings. It was your typical routine. I read my bible, I prayed my rosary… I knew that I was doing this to be closer to God, to have a relationship with Him. But I never felt that I actually had God on my side. For some people that routine is what led them to be close to God, but that wasn’t the case for me.
By the time I entered middle
school my family had stopped going to church regularly, and looking back it never affected me in any way. I never questioned it, I never earned to go to church, I stopped saying regular prayers. I started to lose my faith, I started to forget about church, but more importantly, forget about who God was. I knew that He was there, but I never continued to pursue Him. As I got older I would go to church here and there. I would pray when I felt it was necessary. I stuck to what I thought was knowing God.
It wasn’t until I went through a storm that rocked my world, that I turned back to God. Over the years I quickly found out that things that I thought I had already dealt with were wounds that were left unhealed. It quickly became apparent to me that I tried to just ignore and push down all of the struggles that I had faced growing up. I tried to deal with them all on my own, I tried to not let any of my true emotions show. I was just a shell of a person holding it all together by a thread. Well… one day that thread snapped and I was left on my own trying to pick up the pieces. Although I had my friends and family, I began to shut people out. I wanted to figure it all out on my own. Quickly I realized that doing it on my own was impossible.
After a lot of soul-searching, I finally found what was missing. After attending a few services at a non-denominational church, it became apparent to me that I never actually knew who God was. Just attending those few services I realized that I had been lacking the drive to find out who my God was. I saw so many people dive deep into worship, and prayers unlike anything that I had ever seen before. I went through so much and I carried it as weight on my shoulders, weighing me down and holding me back. I never even thought that He would be someone that I could express all of my worries, doubts, problems, dreams, and ambitions too. It never crossed my mind that He could help heal all of these open wounds and open my mind to so much more. I grew up knowing God to be distant, I never knew that he would be there when I needed him most. I never knew that I could just give my worries to Him just let Him guide me through it all. I’m now attending church if not once, but sometimes twice a week. I have learned more about Jesus within the last year than I have my entire life. I have in a way re-committed myself to serving the Lord. Trusting in Him and knowing that He has a greater plan for me. No matter the struggles I face, I know that He is there. He is with me every step of the way. Through this journey, I have met so many beautiful souls. I have started to break down these walls that I never knew existed. I have let Jesus into my life. I have learned that nothing will ever be perfect, there will always be pain and struggle… but I’ve accepted that if it’s God's will and His way, and He will never let me down.
Here’s my message to you… If you’re reading this and you’re thinking that you maybe don’t have the best relationship with God, I’m here to tell you it can all change. All it takes is for you to be willing to just open yourself up. Let all of your doubts and negative feelings go. No matter what your relationship is with God, it can always be improved. Our God is a forgiving God, who will always have a place for you in His heart. Jesus saved me, and he can save you too. He will help you pick up every broken piece you have. My journey to finding my faith has been a very rocky one. All it takes is just one step, having a desire to know who God is. Finding a place where you fit, can sometimes be a daunting task. I never felt like I belonged in the church, until this year. I still attend Catholic church every once in awhile, but I attend that same non-denominational church every week. I still consider myself a Catholic… I have just taken a few different routes to further my relationship with Jesus Christ. Throughout my journey, I have shared bits and pieces with my peers, only because I just want to spread the word of the Lord. Finding my faith is not just my story. I want to shout it from the rooftops. I don’t want anyone giving up on their faith like I did for so many years. I don’t want anyone to ever be discouraged by anyone who has doubts about religion. I want people to ask questions, to read my articles and see my passion. I want you to build a relationship with our Lord and Savior, who gave his life so that we all shall live. Finding your faith may not be quick and painless, but the pay off when you do find your faith is indescribable!