My Relationship With God - Where I Came & Where I Am Now
I was blessed to have two parents who felt being raised Roman Catholic was important for their children. We went to church every Sunday and Holidays. We also went to a catholic grammar school from 1st to 8th. This was a nightmare for me because corporal punishment existed and if you weren't what they thought you should be you became a target. I recall being in 2nd Grade and getting smacked in the back of the head because I wasn't holding my pencil correctly according their standards. Being left handed didn't help either. I was fortunate that they stopped forcing children to write with their right hand the previous year. My experiences in grammar school was a nightmare. There was also a personal experience that hindered me from becoming a young lady and to this day causes me to withdraw from time to time.
As you can see, I did survive grammar school, went onto high school and after graduation I worked for a period of time, got married, had kids, got divorced and went to work full time. From the time I graduated from high school until the fall of 1996 my relationship with God took a back seat. I made the mistake of associating God with school and ultimately the church. It took me quite awhile to realize that the nightmare I endured occurred because of the individuals I encountered during that time in my life. To this day I have to remind myself from time to time.
In the fall of 1996 I made a decision that changed my life, enriched my life and ultimately saved my life. My oldest daughter had gone on a teen retreat the previous November that made her a different person. In fact, she was a volunteer the weekend I made my TEC - Teens Encounter Christ. I contacted the Deacon who ran this program, asked about volunteering and found out I had to make the weekend first. This is required so you can understand what the retreatants faced, share the same experience and have a clearer sense of what the program was intended to accomplish. The program is based off the Jesus Crucifixion, Jesus rising from the dead and his going ascended into heaven.
Those three days began a new journey towards renewing my faith and my relationship with God. Even during the time that I had turned away from God, he never left me. Throughout the past 16 years since that fateful day in November I faith has grown in leaps and bounds. This journey has hit many road blocks, my life challenges, meaningful deaths, senseless deaths, surmountable loss and with it all, my relationship with God, my faith, family and friends have sustained me. I've been able to overcome my worst three addictions, food, marijuana and alcohol. Finally released the inner demons of my mental illness, allowing myself to be honest, to receive the right diagnosis and take the proper medication.
All that I've overcome, the fears I faced, my daily challenges, the relationships that have prospered all relate to my relationship with God. I am grateful for what I have, what I've gained and excited about what my future holds. That would never have been possible before. I pray, talk to God, Thank Him for what I have and for giving me the grace to know that everything happens for a reason that he gives me what I need, not always what I want because he knows that the need is greater than the want. There are times I need a nudge to remember that I am human therefore will make mistakes and need to be patient with myself. That others are human to and the need to be patient with them as well. When I have questions I recall a very special prayer, The Serenity Prayer, that puts it all in perspective, it goes like this ...
God Grant me The Serenity
To accept those things
I can not change
The courage to change
Those that I can and
The wisdom to know