Growing up, I went to Catholic school and my Grandma made sure that I got baptized and received my first communion in the Catholic church. I thought it was nice, I guess, I don’t remember too much except for being argumentative with my Sunday School teacher ( a recurring theme in my life). Around the age of 11, my great Grandmother passed away. The services were held in a Catholic church where the small town priest described these wonderful loving characteristics of my great Grandmother. I loved my great Grandmother, Mimi as we called her, but she didn’t exemplify what the Priest was describing. In fact, many of the Catholics I knew weren’t exemplifying these Christ-like qualities that the Priest went on about.
Sitting in that stuffy Catholic church that day, I decided Mimi, and most of the Catholics that were around me, were complete hypocrites. I thought if they can’t live this out, then it must not be true, and who are they to tell me what I can and can’t do anyways. With that in mind, I denounced religion, I denounced God, and I told myself I would no longer be a Catholic, not that I was really practicing anyways.
That year when I went back to school, I was ready to be bad to the bone. My 7th grade self started wearing skater shoes and being interested in 8th grade boys. Well the skater shoe fad faded, my interest in boys fell to the forefront. I had my first kiss at a middle school dance with my 8th grade crush and we dated for a whole 3 weeks. I was in love, or at least that is what the pre-teen version of myself thought. We parted pretty amicably, as distraught as I was, and it was onto the next. At this point I was starting to go into 8th grade and there were new horizons to see, high school boys. I started dating a 10th grader (scandalous I know) and we definitely got into more than kissing.
The boyfriend after that was in my grade, and only 11 months older than myself. We dated pretty seriously (8 months), for 8th grade anyways. When we broke up, I took it a little too hard. He was unfaithful and definitely bad news, but it broke my heart nonetheless. I had always had a problem with depression (and it ran in the family), so I started to spiral after this break up. I ended up in the psych ward the first time for being unable to stop crying. I thought I just needed to grieve, but my mom thought I needed psychiatric help. I was taken to the hospital and then put into an outpatient program. This had to be in December, because I wanted to be done with this partial program by the time my birthday rolled around on December 21. I smiled my way through and told the doctors what they wanted to hear so I could get out on this magic day.
That was the year I turned 14, and it was not a the magical year I had intended it to be. I battled mental illness and went through more therapists than I can count. I ended up in the inpatient program after two failed suicide attempts. I had hit rock bottom at 14, and had no way to get back up. I got counseling, and antidepressants and birth control, and learned that bullying may be an everyday part of my life from then until graduation. All the while I was still cursing God and stayed in a pretty rough spot. I learned how to smoke pot and drown my problems out with drugs and more boys.
Sophomore year brought some new friends, more pot & a new relationship with a boy from another school that I met at a birthday party. As soon as I saw him I fell head over heels and he treated me like a princess. Something that was different about him though than my boyfriends in the past, and that was he went to church every Sunday. We had some conversations about it and for a little while I went to church with him every Sunday so I could spend some more time with him. That was the first time other than Christmas and Easter that I had been in church. This wasn’t a typical Catholic service either, it was more fun, there was a time for songs at the beginning and then a Pastor spoke for a time. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t storm out angry either.
That relationship lasted for another year until I went to Europe and had more mild version of Eurotrip. I didn’t miss him like I should and I decided the relationship should end. After that, I ended up going into a different spiral of drugs, sex and rock n’ roll. My senior year of high school I ended up smoking too much, tripping on acid, and going to prom high on ecstacy. This was a far cry from who I was when I was younger and it consumed my life. I had a bunch of quick one off relationships senior year that fueled the want for drugs to make myself feel validated within them. All the while I was an honor student who got into a prestigious private school that was the only one I applied to.
The winter of my senior year there was a guy I had met that was dating my best friend’s older sister. I thought he was the most attractive man I had ever seen. As soon as I met him I wanted to be with him, but he was dating someone else so I just tucked the idea of him away until later. One night when I noticed an absence of him with her, I messaged him and hoped for the best. He replied and it turned from messaging, to texting to hanging out and dating. My obsession with boys made me want to know everything about him and hang out with him non-stop. He happened to always be busy on Sundays and Wednesday nights, and I was mad he couldn’t see me, so I asked where he always was.
He was okay with my inquisitive nature and told me he was at church during those times. Without hesitation I asked if I could go with him to the next service. He said it was no problem, and so I went, and kept going for a month. The first service I went to the Pastor spoke about having a mustard seed of faith, which I thought was cool because it was the only thing that still intrigued me about the Bible and the Christian faith. I started faithfully going for a month until one day I decided I needed to make this real and start a relationship with God. At the end of the service the Pastor said “Does anyone want to pray a prayer of repentance?”, before I knew what my hand was doing it shot up and I was walking to the altar to start praying. From that day on, things got a little easier, I stopped doing drugs and drinking. Some other things like my depression and obsession with boys took time to subside. The point is, without Jesus, my life would not be where it is, and I would still be that drug addicted, boy-crazy girl I was in my teen years. My life was renewed by the power of Jesus Christ, just like tons before me and hopefully many after me.
If you have never given your life to Jesus, all it takes is a simple prayer of repentance. Much like the one below. In John 3:16 God says “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. That eternal life is something you can have and it was bought with the blood of Jesus Christ. If you ever have any questions about Jesus, please e-mail or message me. I would love to pray with and for you.