My Search, My Journey, My Gift for Our King
I was 17 when I stopped believing in God.
Raised a cradled Catholic, I was known as the “good girl”. So as a high school senior with no rumors under my belt, I felt boring, but then I started dating the captain of the football team. Finally this was my chance to be un-boring. One night, I snuck out my basement window to visit my boyfriend. Before sunrise, I snuck back into my house, and realized, I didn’t get caught! The sweet taste of rebellion was so delicious, I craved more. Before I knew it, sneaking out became a daily routine.
But one thing was getting in the way of my new found exhilaration: God. The guilt of sneaking out of the house to do more than just “see” my boyfriend was eating at my conscious. I knew that I was not following God’s rules, but I was too consumed by temptations to stop. Instead, I chose to stop believing in Him.
With God out of the picture, my life revolved around my boyfriend. I lived for him. I idolized him. He was in the center of my circle. I thought I had it all – the boyfriend, the looks, the popularity… but deep down I was empty.
I was 18 when I started searching for something to fill the void.
At first, I created my own rules to happiness. I wrote my own bible filled with false justifications to drink alcohol, party, and have sex. No literally, I wrote these justifications in a notebook and titled it “Christy’s Bible”. High school ended and I continued to lie to myself. The void grew.
Summer came to a close, and my “perfect” boyfriend broke up with me. My world shattered. I gave him all of me: my time, my heart, my body. I felt that without him, I was nothing.
Although I was desperate to crawl out of my darkness, it was so difficult to be happy when the guilt of losing my virginity weighed heavily on my heart. Thoughts of worthlessness plagued my mind. Honestly, I felt dirty. I thought that no one could ever love me, especially because I did not even love myself.
Hitting rock bottom, I finally was able to hear the God I tried so hard to forget. However many times I turned from God and denied Him, He was still thirsting for me and reaching for me. It was in that time that He gave me the chance to go on a retreat where I realized the truth I had pushed away for so long – That God is the only source of true happiness.
Initially, on this retreat, I was completely uncomfortable being among Catholics because I felt like the biggest sinner, like a whore in church. But I found the greatest peace in confession. After confession, I understood that God is so forgiving, and I learned to love myself again. I found authentic happiness in God’s undying mercy. I now saw who Christ was. He was my center. With this, I understood that my life is God’s gift to me, and so I better start treating my life as a gift.
It was fall semester of my freshman year when I chose to journey to Him.
Initially, my journey to follow Christ came with much resistance. I would be lying if I told you that after my first conversion I instantly became the perfect Catholic. Many times I slipped into my old habits that brought me instant gratification, but long term consequences. Sometimes I felt that I was living a double life: a church girl by day, but a party girl by night.
The structure that kept me close to God was being forced, dragged, and even stalked to go to a bible study. This bible study was lead by a FOCUS student missionary who thirsted for my soul to continue to love Christ. I thank God for this student missionary because without her perseverance, I would have relapsed into my past darkness that seduced me with temptations.
With time, this amazing FOCUS student missionary asked me to be her disciple. She asked me to commit to a life of excellence, sobriety, and chastity. All of the virtues I once rebelled against! However, I knew there was no turning back on God; He is the author of my love and my everlasting King. I knew that it was and is written in my heart to live by these Big Three.
I was 20 when I chose to start respecting my life as a gift.
After treating myself with the respect and love that God wants for me, I am finally able see the graces God gives to me every day. Comparing from where I was in high school, to where I am now, I am transformed. God’s love transformed me.
I desperately want to reach out to all the girls who are in the darkness that I once drowned in. I know there are thousands of other girls out there who are searching for happiness in the same ways I was. They are lost, as I was lost, but Christ drew me near. Now, as a third year student missionary, as a daughter of Christ, I desire to break the light into their darkness and introduce them to Christ. Everyone is capable of doing great things. For me, the great thing I can give is my love. My greatest desire is to pour all the love I can for Christ and His Church.
My gift to my King, your King, our king, is my service; with that, my love and my passion. An amazing FOCUS missionary once told me, “Passion is something worth dying for.” Lord, you are my passion, and my gift to You is my gift of self.
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Nov 11, 2013
My Search, My Journey, My Gift for Our King
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Since the pontificates of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has been commissioned to engage and embrace the world with God's message of love once more with ‘new methods, new ardor and new expression.’ It has come to be phrased, 'the new evangelization.'
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