Since Feb 18, 2000
I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic and attended Catholic schools through college
I married right out of high school and started my sizable family right away. During the early years we had stopped attending church, there was not much there to attract me. But as the children grew I felt the need to have them have a religious education, so they would have an ethical base. So for many years we woke on Sunday to take the kids to church and CCD (Christian education) we saw the older children through all the required sacraments,But the church was only a Sunday thing for me
Our parish was going through the changes of Vatican 2. People were beginning to take some responsibility for their church. We were asked to serve on various committees by neighbors. I was actually not interested, but my husband was.
They invited him to make a Curisillo Weekend end retreat. Men and women make the retreat separately he assured them I would go (that was one of the requirements) .He went and came home so high and happy he really wanted me to go, and so I dragged myself to the week end.
I was in my second year of college and pregnant with our 7th child, so I was a reluctant woman when I arrived on that 1st night.
We were given notebooks to keep a record of the talks. What I wrote was the psychological techniques that were being used. I listened not to talks about God, but the talk of Christian social activists discussing things like the grape boycott, and social justice . I was very non involved in the entire process, that is until a mandatory chapel . The plan was that each table go into the chapel and pray for the other members of your table group.
When I walked into that chapel , I was so aware of God I could touch Him . I had heard people talk of a personal savior and never understood. That day at that moment I knew there was a God that loved me , I was so overwhelmed all I did was weep for 1/2 hour. God was good and He placed a Charismatic Catholic at my table. The social Justice leader had no clue, the Charismatic lady did. She hugged me and prayed for me. After I left that chapel I knew without a doubt that there was a loving personal God . But I did not know what to do with that knowledge.
As we left they gave each lady a small pocket bible. I knew the answer was there. So for the first time in my life I read the scriptures. After a few days I went out and bought a complete bible (funny to think of now, but it was a good news for modern man YUK) But that was all I could absorb and Gods word always works, no matter the simplicity.
For the next 3 weeks I read and I read, and I understood and I desired to know God more daily. One night, after a very long day, I sat in the tub, and I began to talk to God. I thank Him for affirming His love to me, and then I asked who is Jesus (I meant in a relational sense to me). I asked God to show me Jesus. He did not show me Jesus, He showed me, me. For the first time I knew how God saw me, how soiled and sinful I was, and how Holy and pure He was and I knew who Jesus was. I climbed out of that tub and fell to my knees and wept tears of repentance, I begged mercy and I told Him I gave Him my useless life. On the floor of my bathroom I found my Savior and Lord. I kept repeating Why me Lord? Why me? I still weep today as I remember that moment. How can God love one like me? Who am I that God should love me and yes pursue me?? That is the eternal question.
That was a over 34 years ago, and I still wonder why God would love me
I stayed in the Catholic Church us for a few years, I lectured and played in the folk group and most of all I worked the womens retreat that I made. I never wanted a woman to leave that retreat with out hearing the Good News.
As I was leaving the church a little at a time I also gave talks at Ladies prison retreats. But finally it was time to cut the ties to a church that I could no longer find any truth in. I began to go to Full Gospel Tab with other former Catholics, my younger kids got settled into the Sunday school and I stayed there until they had finished High school. I them left the tabernacle, because I could no longer listen to the hollow man centered messages. Because of my ministries I had a spiritual family, I had grown up spiritually in spite of the tabernacle, it was time to leave.
I was without a church for a few years when God placed in my path a Nazarene minister on the internet, we became friends and he nagged me to find a spiritual home, finally I realized that wisdom and I found a Nazarene church , I joined and settled in there.
With in a year I had met some VERY aggressive Calvinists on line that kept hitting me with the doctrine. After many months as I was doing my bible study I looked at Ephesians with new eyes. I became a Calvinist that day. Everything fell into place. Then I remembered something with a smile. On the morning after I was saved, as I floated around my bedroom, I thought I must find a Presbyterian church , (I knew no protestant doctrine , but I knew that Presbyterians believe in predestination) I knew that I knew , that it was all of God and none of me . He had sought me, I had not sought him. So low these many years later I finally found a Presbyterian church :>)
In memory of my grandson Nathan :
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
See you soon honey!