glowing jesus

In order to know and understand my path towards Christianity you’ll need a little background information about me. I’ve always believed in Jesus Christ and thought of myself as a Christian. I grew up with a Catholic upbringing however, I’m using the word ‘upbringing’ loosely. My parents weren’t very religious and never enrolled me in Sunday school or forced me to go to church. However, my grandmother grew up in the Catholic faith and tried her best to instill those morals and values into my childhood. As I got older and entered in my teen years I stopped attending church. Later in life when I got married, my husband and I decided to ask the same Catholic Church that baptized me to marry us. We were honest – we were high school sweet hearts and had lived together before deciding to get married. However, the Catholic Church wouldn’t marry us because living together before getting married was against their beliefs. This was an important moment for me because I felt like I was being judged.

After four years of marriage, we had our first child and four years after that we had our second. Our oldest began to ask us questions about the Bible, God and Jesus Christ. While I did try to substantiate answers to by child, I didn’t feel comfortable being her only source of biblical information. To be honest, I didn’t know much. I could recite simple prayers and I knew the basic story that is portrayed in the Bible from my church sessions with my grandmother. Basically, I knew nothing.

My husband and I decided that we needed church – more so our children needed the basic understanding of their Christ Jesus. So we began to search for a church. If you’ve ever been tasked with ‘church dating’, you can understand my pains and struggles with finding a place we could refer to as our church home. We attended one church for a few months and then realized that we were constantly being referred to as visitors – our children were mentioned as visitors. The fact that I was a working woman with a career became a thing of discussion. Women within this church setting were supposed to stay home and parent their children or perhaps take a less challenging position. However, this was a serious deal breaker. I’ve worked very hard to get to make something out of my career. Furthermore, having two daughters look up to me as their role model – being submissive within a career standpoint seemed wrong.

Then we attended a few other churches and I never felt like Christ Jesus spoke to me. We ended up settling on a church that had good intentions and motives within the community. We felt comfortable and so did our children. I didn’t feel like the word of Christ Jesus was extremely powerful, but the Christian contemporary music was fantastic. Since my children seemed to like the children’s ministry I believed that this was what you’re supposed to receive from church. Oh, how very wrong I was. Don’t get me wrong the intentions behind the church and their community outreach was fantastic, but everything else wasn’t there.

Then a huge career opportunity came my way and my family and I took a leap of faith. We again found ourselves ‘church dating’ again and it became frustrating. Not only were we in a new place, but we had to find a church again – somewhere that had good intentions and a place where our children would feel comfortable. And that’s when it happened – my husband and I were so frustrated about the huge church settings and the inability to connect with others. I Googled churches again and found one that hadn’t showed up in our prior searches.

Honestly, I walked into the doors of my new church and was surprised. The people that greeted us were down to earth and not at all overwhelming. Other churches that we had attended put too much emphasis on new attendees – which made us feel very comfortable and caused the situation of rejoicing for Christ Jesus as a forced occasion. The associate pastor, who also serves as the youth minister, led the service and I cannot explain the overwhelming feeling that Christ Jesus shed on me this day. The service was about marriage and it was completely relatable. I felt myself tearing up because for the first time I felt the presence of the Lord telling me this is where you’re supposed to be. Not to mention the church’s efforts for the local food pantry is astounding and inspired me to help in every and any way possible.

I found myself emailing the ministry to get involved – which is not something I have ever done before. I was embodied with an overwhelming need to allow Christ Jesus to guide me. When we attended sequential services, the lead pastor was back and blew me away. I’ve never attended a church where the word of God was led to me in a relatable way. We just wrapped up the book of Zechariah and as my pastor broke down the words into terms I could relate towards my own life, I suddenly was able to see closure to issues that I was combating and trying to handle on my own.

The journey of finding a church led me to Christ Jesus. Prior to attending my church, I thought I knew who Christ Jesus was and I thought simply going to church was enough, but it wasn’t. It took the right service, the right people carrying out the Lord’s practice, the right place and the right time when God knew I needed him to step in. During the transition of moving, I found myself on long car rides and back forth struggling with a deeper sense of my past and present. I struggled on how to deal with my personal baggage and even though I thought I put my faith in God prior – I hadn’t. The overwhelming feeling that I experienced a few months ago helped me identify a deeper sense of my being and orchestrated other great happenings. Christ Jesus has changed my life. This is my story, what is yours?

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