“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” [Galatians 2:20]
My parents divorced at a young age so my spiritual journey was a little confusing. My mother did not attend church very often, but my dad was extremely dedicated to his religion. As a child, I spent my school years with my mother in Alabama, and attended a small Pentecostal church with my Grandmother. In the summer months I was taken to Arkansas to spend time with my father. My father attended a very large Baptist church. At the time, I did not notice the difference in beliefs of the churches, I just knew that membership and memorization of Bible scriptures were very important to the Baptist people. Looking back on the foundation of my faith, I can never remember a time that I did not believe in God. My father laid that foundation for me. At 6 years old, I remember sitting outside my Sunday school classroom and saying the words, “Jesus, come into my heart.” That night I was baptized. I have my dad to thank for beginning my walk with Christ. He pushed my foot forward and God took it the rest of the way. If it wasn’t for my faith in God, I would not have been able to endure the losses I have had in my life. Although I was very happy being Baptist, God had another plan for me that would bring me closer to him in a way I could never imagine.
I married my husband in 2006. The first couple of years of marriage, we did not join a church. My husband grew up in the Catholic Church but was never baptized. His mother was Catholic and his dad was Baptist. They planned to let him decide for himself when he was older what church he wanted to join. I often looked for a Baptist church to attend, but my husband did not want to join any church unless it was the Catholic Church. I compromised and decided I would at least attend a few Masses. At first I felt very hesitant and unsure. Mass was different from anything I have ever experienced. Everything about Mass was foreign to me; the kneeling, the chanting, the readings, the sign of the cross, and even the music was different from anything I’ve ever experienced. But I have never felt God’s presence as much as I felt it in this Catholic church. Being in a place that felt so spiritual, sacred, and intangible was new to me. It felt like heaven was closer than ever before.
My husband and I enrolled in R.C.I.A that following September. Within the next 6 months, I learned so much about the Catholic faith. I knew that my morals and beliefs on worldly issues were the same as the Church, which is one thing that drew me to start the classes. But morals are not what kept me coming back to class. I never knew about the Holy Shroud, the wonderful works of the Saints, or the Devotion to The Divine Mercy. These wonderful findings, and realizing how close that I can get to God through the Eucharist in the Catholic faith, led me to join the Church on Easter of 2009. I was not baptized that day, because as Catholics we believe in only one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, so instead, I received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But my dear husband was baptized that Holy Saturday and it was so wonderful to get to experience and be a part of that. At that instant, I felt the responsibility to help him lead our home by planting seeds of faith, and trust to make sure he, nor, I ever stray from the faith. We both received our First Communion, and our marriage vows were renewed that same night. We were both fully dedicated to our new lives as members of the Catholic Faith. It was a night of joy and thanksgiving, for the love of my life and I were both welcomed into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.