This is Holy Week, a time to reflect on the reality of the death and resurrection of Christ. I can’t help but also reflect on my own walk. I have always believed in something bigger than me, caring for me. As a very child I pictured this in the form of giants that I could not see. These creatures had control over all of us as well as the world we live in.
One could say that I have always had a rather vivid imagination.
My family for the most part are Catholic. In which I was raised as well. Baptized as a small child, receiving communion and having my confirmation at thirteen or fourteen. I honestly cannot recall.
My family was fairly active in church. We attended mass on a weekly basis.My grandfather, whom we called Pops taught CCD and was also a lay Eucharist minister. He brought communion and holy water to those in local nursing homes. My sister, who would later be the first to leave the Catholic church also taught CCD classes for a time.
As a teen I had no interest in God. Attending class but not being fully present. I counted the minutes until I could leave. Or spent my time making fun of a video played for us. After the loss of my mommy and a few years later my Pops, we stopped going altogether.
It was a slow, subtle stop. First it was a Sunday here and there. Then none at all. Easter and Christmas we still attended mass, well most of us. I didn’t mind whatsoever at that time.
Who needed God when I had anger, food and television? After all it was all I needed at the time. Still God pursued me. Despite myself and being resistant he pursued and protected me. I managed to get to the edge of things but never completely over.
I began to attend mass again but kept people at arms length. I wanted to hold onto my anger and live my life how I wanted to live. It was what I knew best. But still I longed for more. In the end, the Catholic faith was not where God intended for me to be.
Easter Sunday, eight years ago that all changed. For months I had attended services at my sister’s church, a Baptist Church. Seeing as I was only used to the rhythms of a mass, it took me awhile to grow used to this church. I still kept my distance, willing to attend but not engage beyond the surface.
As much as I did not want to admit it, I longed for Christ. I was wrestling with God and what it could mean to follow him. Because I understood I would leave behind so much of what I knew.
Towards the end of Easter service, the pastor invited those who wanted Jesus to come forward. I found myself standing up and walking towards the front. In that moment I felt Jesus with me, in a physical way I had not since I was a child.
So began my imperfect walk with Christ. I resisted a lot of the things God wanted for me. I admit I still do. I couldn’t quite believe that God wanted me, that he loves me as no one else ever can. But he still pursues me. Caring for me through so much in these years.
Believing in His truth has made it possible for me to become the person He wants me to be. If you feel God pursuing your heart, please stop running. Let go of what you think comforts you, as those things don’t linger . Jesus is the only one who sustains.
That is my Easter story. Thanks for reading.