Life’s interesting, isn’t it? Even when it seems dull and monotonous it’s interesting how it can distract you from yourself. I might be making absolutely no sense here but if you’ll allow me to explain i think i can clarify my point.
After my previous Faith Filled Friday post over a month ago a few drastic events occurred in my life, You can’t really judge them without the context so please bare with me with me while i establish it for you.
I was born a Catholic. It’s hard to imagine someone as being ‘born’ a certain religion but from my conception there was a predetermined spiritual path that i would follow for the rest of my life (or so my parents thought). This meant i was raised within a very strict church doctrine which dictated every aspect of your relationship with your faith and God. I knew prayer to be a set of rituals, practised in the same way, at the same time and in the same words as they had been for years by everyone else in my religion. I had 12 years of Catholic Education, 6 of Sunday School, 2 of Teaching Catechism and practised as a Special Minister of the Eucharist in my church for another year. In all of this time i had never experienced a personal relationship with God.
Like thousands of people before me i became a ‘Non-Practicing Catholic’ once i left the confines of my Catholic School and entered a secular University. For the next 5 years i attended different Catholic services on and off, considered joining my university’s Christian Union and finally let my faith fall by the wayside.
I was never fully ‘free’ of my religion though. It still appeared on religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas and i would fall back into tradition for a short period of time. When i married i considered a Catholic wedding as i new it would please my family but in the end i couldn’t reconcile my husbands lack of faith and my churches strict rules. In the end i decided my marriage was for myself and my husband and not an offering for God and we were married by a civil celebrant.
Not long after i was married, with the help of a friend, i began searching for something more. I was a travel agent at the time and booked some flights for the Pastor of a local church. There’s a rather funny story about the evening which i will save for a later date but essentially, the friend and i looked up the church and decided to give it a go that Sunday and see what we thought.
My first experience of C3 was remarkable, I was completely at a loss. In Catholic church you stand meekly with your head bowed, arms crossed and keep silent. Here people were singing, participating and seemed so happy to be at church, something i wasn’t used to. I kept going and looked forward to the service every week but it took me a full year to make the decision to answer an alter call and get right with God.
Whats the point of this long and elaborate post you may ask? It wasn’t until after that alter call that i prayed and i believe, truly communed, with God in a real way. I was developing a personal relationship with God.
My life had hit a low point, I was working a job that i hated and was too scared to leave for the financial risk it would place on my family. I meditated on Matthew 11:28 and decided to put my faith in the Lord in a real way, to come to him with my burdens and trust that he would give me rest, and he did.
I Prayed in the car, meditating on this verse, through song when i was faffing about the house and continuously came back to it. I put my faith in The Lord to watch over my family and i left the job that was causing me so much pain and set about looking for a new one. Within 7 days i had a new job which was exactly what i needed and I absolutely love it.
I honestly believe that without putting my faith in God the way i did, i would still be struggling, weary and carrying incredibly heavy burdens.
I am so grateful to God for looking out for myself and my family, All i keep repeating in my mind are the lyrics to Chris Tomlin’s : “Thank You God for Saving Me”
All of this being said, I’ve allowed life to get in the way of my faith and my focus. I’ve missed church and declined invitations solely because of a new job and a busy schedule. This week (even though it’s 2 day late) I’m refocusing my priorities. I feel directionless and need to find my faith that there is a plan for my life, no matter how impatient i am to get to it now.
Here’s my focus for the week, Hope and a Future through faith.