When I was a baby I was baptized into the Catholic church. To my parents it was important for their daughters to be Catholic, so that was what I grew up knowing. I followed His footsteps through my first communion a few years later.
At 7 years-old I was still unsure as to what was really going on. My family never attended Sunday mass at our church nor really talked about God in our home. I got one weekly God session at CCD on Wednesday nights. I knew who He was and who His son was, but I still was not understanding why I had to learn about them. I also did not understand why all of my friends went to the Christian church on Wednesdays instead.
As a kid I HATED those CCD classes, always asking if I could skip that week. If it was a mass night, I knew the yawning was going to begin. Something about the smell of incense in a church makes me yawn uncontrollably (which I constantly got in trouble for).
But week by week, through my freshman year of high school, I went to those classes at the church. Until finally I was ready to make my confirmation. I had heard that the confirmation classes were different and more empowering, and I was actually excited for them because I thought that would be my time with God.
Those classes were different and they were better. I met new peers from different schools and eventually, we became a little family. We volunteered at the Salvation Army at Christmas for our volunteer project and it was eye-opening. Sadly we only had a few sessions following that day, and we made our confirmations only to never hear from one another again. It was not yet my time.
After all that time, baptism to confirmation, I never felt close to God. It was not until the summer following my confirmation that I felt and saw His grace.
That summer I was offered an opportunity to work as a servant leader for a Christian church camp. It was a camp that was owned and run by my next door neighbors that I barely knew.
At that point in my life I felt as if I had nothing else to lose, my parents were divorcing and the relationship I was in ended, so I went off to the camp for a week with zero expectations.
I was beyond nervous to go, I thought people would judge me for being Catholic and for not being "good" at religion. But I was wrong.
My neighbors and the rest of the staff welcomed me with open arms. That week I learned a lot about myself and what God meant to me. I cried when the week was up because I did not want to leave that beautiful place. I tried to keep up with my devotions after camp but life got in the way and it fell by the wayside.
A year later I found myself back at camp for not one, but two weeks. I was determined to do better. I learned more, cried more, and opened up more. Once again after camp, it did not continue like I wanted. However, I now had my neighbors as a part of my life, they helped me see my journey. Seeing the love they had for one another and for their individual relationships with God, made me want to be better.
After everything, I was left with confusion, I learned more about God as a person than I had in 17 years of being a Catholic. Did I want to give it all up to become a Christian?
I still do not really know. I did not become better, I slacked and let life get in the way, again. I know I love God and everything He does, which still makes me want to be better. I know my journey with Him is not over because it has not even begun, but I am ready to see where He takes me.