The Watering Can
I was raised by Jewish parents. Sabbath services every Friday night, Sunday school at temple every Sunday from first to tenth grade. I lived and learned the beautiful traditions of my religion under the gentle direction of my warm, loving mother and father.
The Jewish religion is filled with love and tradition. I loved it then, and I love it now. But as much as I have always loved and respected my forefathers and the familial cord of religion that binds me to them, I have always had a secret love for Jesus. As a little girl in temple, I knew I couldn't verbalize this to anyone. I knew I would be misunderstood. How could anyone understand when I didn't understand myself? All I knew during those years was that I wanted to know Jesus, and I was certain that someday, when the time was right, I would find him for myself.
Years went by and I held tight to the secret hidden deep in m heart. I had no idea when or how I would come to follow Jesus, I just knew it would happen. When I met and married a Roman Catholic man, I began to plan a future for our children in the church. My husband had a large, close family who were devout Catholics and they accepted me as their own. I couldn't have been happier. I knew that a new chapter of my life was about to begin and I could barely contain my joy.
I attended mass on Sundays with my son and my daughter. I was finally able to openly learn about my Jesus, and my children were never to know a time when He wasn't a part of their lives. When they were old enough, they attended CCD classes and began to prepare for the road that would lead to their communion and their confirmation. I was a happy mom! I felt especially blessed because of where I came from, having the Jewish background and now coming to the place where I was realizing my lifelong dream. I also began CCD instruction with a wonderful priest in our parish, and I converted to Catholicism in the presence of a packed church at the Easter Vigil mass in April of 1987. I chose a confirmation name and I chose my godparents, who stood up with me on the altar. I was thrilled. I was now a Catholic. This was the path to knowing Jesus. I had it all!
About four months later, I realized there was still something within me that was yearning for more. Again, I had no idea how to find what I was looking for. I took my children to church every week and I knew by rote every step of the mass. I lived for the homily, where the priest would delve into scripture and speak the words that Jesus spoke. It always seemed to end too soon and I would leave church every week wanting more. Finally, one Sunday, after receiving communion, I knelt, bowed my head, and told the Lord in prayer that I knew He wanted me to do something, but I didn't understand what it was. I asked him to help me find His way.
Life changed dramatically then. My husband, unknown to me, had been praying a similar prayer. He wanted a deeper relationship with God but he needed direction. He had an uncle who, we had heard through the "family grapevine", had recently become a "Holy Roller". My husband contacted his uncle and began to shoot questions out like a machine gun. His uncle answered every question with scripture. He was able to answer questions that my husband said sat unanswered in his heart for many years. My husband wanted to visit his uncle's church. He felt that God was leading us there.
We went from Catholic church one Sunday straight to a Pentecostal church the following week. We had never been to a Pentecostal church before, and I was completely unnerved by the end of the service. We went from the controlled, rigid structure of religion to the open, uninhibited atmosphere of the Pentecostal universe. With all honesty, I couldn't get out of there fast enough!
My life as I knew it was never the same after that day. I went home, glad to be away from an atmosphere I totally didn't understand. I couldn't wait to get back to my religion, to the church where I felt in control and where I knew there would be no surprises because everything was always the same.
But God had a different plan for me. Throughout that next week I could not keep myself away from the Bible given to me at church on Sunday. I couldn't control the curiosity and desire to dive into the Word of God just to get to know Him. I just kept searching through the Bible, all week. By the following Sunday, I was falling over myself to get back to the Pentecostal church and share with the people we had met the week before how tremendously God had worked in our lives since we saw them last, just seven short days ago. My husband and I understood now the excitement we had witnessed in these people at our first meeting. What had taken us by surprise the week before became something we wanted more than we had ever wanted anything in our lives. The only way we could explain it was that God had touched us. It was a tangible touch, the touch we had been looking for everywhere else throughout the years.
I Found what I was Looking For
The story doesn't end here. I keep my life filled with the presence of God. There is nothing I can do that He doesn't guide me through. This certainly doesn't mean that my life is free of problems and stress. This is all part of life. It means that I now have received the assurance that my Father's hand is upon my life and I am learning, day by day, year by year, even moment by moment, to trust Him no matter what turns my life takes. He is there for us, no matter how we live our life, no matter what kind of shape we're in. I have learned that He can take my mistakes and turn them around for His glory in my life. Best of all, I know that, no matter what, He will not turn away from me, His Word promises that. His Word is the truth and He is more than willing to show us that. All we have to do is ask. It's that simple.
God has shown me a beautiful analogy in the title of this hub. I entitled it "The Watering Can". This is my very human way of expressing Him as He who holds the water of His Holy Spirit over our lives and pours His Spirit over us as we open ourselves up to Him. In this way He hydrates us and causes us to grow. All we need to do is receive.