Religion has been a part of my life since I was born. I was baptized in the Lutheran Church and was raised in the Catholic Church. I went to Sunday school every Sunday and was confirmed with I was in eighth grade, I even helped out in the Sunday school office all through high school. I knew that I was Catholic and that I loved God, but that’s about as deep as my relationship with Him went. I owned a Bible that I never read and I could have cared less about going to church on Sundays. I used to make fun of the super religious people who carried around Bibles and talked about Jesus, but I was Catholic and that was enough for me.
During my sophomore year of college I started to work at a coffee shop that was run by one of the churches on campus, and I was surrounded by this group of amazing people who loved each other and Jesus. The atmosphere was so different in this place where people openly talked about God working in their lives and would ask me how my life was. I noticed that I started getting invited to Bible studies and church, but I would always decline, saying that I was Catholic and we did things differently.
For the next two years I hid behind the fact that I was Catholic, even though I didn’t even understand what that meant to me. I remember someone had asked me how I believe people get to Heaven and I was taken aback by this question. I gave the answer that I believed was correct and then they responded with biblical answers. I felt like a complete fool, I couldn’t even tell someone how the Bible says we get to heaven, because I didn’t know. I started to question my faith around that time, knowing that I knew absolutely nothing about this faith that I believed.
During my second semester of my senior year of college I began to question everything. I had friends who had come back to school after studying abroad and they had started reading the Bible while they were in China. I started joining in their Bible readings and started asking questions about the Bible and what God tells us. I had also been dating this boy who was also Catholic, and went to church every Sunday. I assumed because he was Catholic he would be a perfect match for me, but then he started to push my morals and question me. I remember one specific conversation where he called me a bad Catholic because I didn’t go to church every Sunday, and I was so offended at this comment. I believe it was at this moment that I heard Jesus talking to me and my life changed. I didn’t know anything about being Catholic, so I bought a Bible and began to read and learn and ask questions.
About a week later I was sitting in a coffee shop with one of my closest friends and we talked about Jesus and during that conversation I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. February 5, 2016 was the day that will forever have changed my life. I started putting together the puzzle pieces that led me to Christ and seeing God’s hand in my life even when I didn’t know it was Him. He had put these God-fearing friends in my life and led me to my coffee shop because HE LOVED ME.
During the last year I have changed as a person. I think in a different mindset than I did before, and I let Jesus take the wheel when I feel my life getting a little crazy. I have started to notice when God is working in my life and I am always trying to learn about my faith. I am so grateful for my beautiful sisters in Christ that helped to shape me into the Christian that I am, and I’m excited to see what God has in store for me!