I grew up a cradle Catholic. I grew up going through Sunday School. I went to Confession, and I went to Holy Communion. Yet, I didn’t find God.
Of course, I believed that God was in the Catholic Church. Jesus was our Eucharistic Lord who hid under the appearance of bread and wine. I absolutely believed in God, but when people said, “I have a relationship with God,” I was a bit lost.
How did you find God?
However, I never had that relationship with the Lord. I never found him.
To Find Him, I had to lose myself.
I went through the motions of Church yet never felt anything. Then, going through school, I found myself drifting further away from the Church and more towards the world.
I was more concerned with popularity and friends rather than God.
Which now… upon reflection, I can see how much that would have hurt Him.
College, I found myself in a bad position. I was so concerned with schoolwork rather than God. I was more concerned with my teaching degree and job prospects than my closest friend, God.
In fact, I was angry with God. Student loan debt, fear of job prospects, school work, and many other things, I felt like the Lord was dumping stuff on me left and right.
I just got angrier and angrier.
That’s when I saw it. One night after grad school, I was beset with anxiety and depression. I didn’t know what to do, I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to. Nothing.
That’s when I found God.
It is not very pleasant, to be honest. When you realize a friend was constantly waiting for you. I just ignored Him. I kept ignoring Him. I even got angry with Him.
And yet He was waiting, with a wounded heart, wanting to embrace his long-lost friend. It was a painful realization when He embraced me now, I think three years ago.
Would I change things?
I don’t know…
One hand, yes, I would. I would change everything. I would do everything I could to build and reinforce that relationship with God.
I mean…. I might even be in the seminary now, studying to be a priest right now, or in a religious community. I wouldn’t be stuck with student loan debt. I might be able to pursue what God wants for me right now.
On the other hand
I would say no. I realize that the mistakes I gave me the experiences in life I might be able to pass down to others.
I wouldn’t be the person that I am right now. The experiences I went through are what shaped me into the person I am right now. Sure, I might not be in the seminary right now, but may God didn’t intend for me to enter right now.
Instead, maybe God is calling me to help those close to me. Perhaps He is calling me to help others in a different way while He is forming me into the person I am supposed to be.
Sure, waiting isn’t fun. Sure, I do regret the mistakes I made, but I can use those mistakes to help others from not making them. That is the most important thing to me.
I want to help others, and maybe this is just one small way for me to accomplish that mission. The only thing I do regret is that my actions hurt Him.
Next post, I want to focus on a more practical guide on helping others find God. What I did, read, and some Heavenly helpers that guided (or shoved… St. Joan) me towards God.
I see you smiling up there, St. Joan and Therese… 🙂