This part of my story is a part that doesn’t worth a credit. But I share it here because something has change the progression of my life.
I’m a woman who is raised Catholic. My dad and sis are both Catholics and I have a very religious Moslem mom. Everything went well, we are very affectionate each other and live in harmony until now.
My dad, sis and teachers at school was teaching me Catholic lessons properly and I stick with those directions WITHOUT (pardon me) chemistry between me and God. Again, they didn’t fail me. I bailed out.
I had my “ah-ha!” moment when I was 22, when I went to the church every single week with my Dad and Sis and I spoke my mind, soon and often, about what I could no longer agree with them on.
I never explicitly said, “I believe in God’s existence. I just don’t have the chemistry yet and I am abandoning the faith you raised me with.” I showed them with my actions.
I still attend church tho.. but I didn’t speak to God.
I sang gospels, but I did not sing it from my heart.
I threw prayers ‘tho… but those were self-centered wishes. “Dear God, I want this, I want that, I want it to be like this, I want that job, et cetera.” I didn’t throw my gratitude.
I went through a long process of shedding the beliefs I’d acquired and didn’t finally come to the belief that there almost certainly isn’t an intelligent higher power until 2 years later.
Since then, I didn’t attend church as much as before anymore,.
Dad let me stray too easily away from the church. It’s not that he didn’t ask me to.. but I had another 99 reasons why I did not.
Along those days, my Dad hasn’t talked to me about it. The only attempt he ever made to convince me is telling me how Big Guy missed me every time he went home from church. “Hey, Jesus says hi. He said he miss you.”, He said.
I’m no longer living with my parents now. They live in the subs and I live nearby my office, which is 2.5 hours away from my parents’.
What happened since I live far from my parents is this… I get lonely.
Not in a social way, I honestly couldn’t ask for better friends. There are too many of them. I love my social life and those apart of it!
But, I miss someone that can give me advice and soul guidance. My parents used to do that in a splendid amazing way.
I start needing something that really can calm my heart.
And what has happened these days was…. that I started to pray.
You know – like, to God – like, the real conversation.
Then some time in a sunny Sunday afternoon I passed by a church nearby my office and there was a Sunday service that’s about to start.
I came in and at first is like : “Hi, God. I’m Irene. It’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry I was not in an intentional mood meeting you. I passed by in front of this church and I feel like I wanna come in.” I continued, “And I’m in a serious trouble.”
The gospels and prayers and readings and communions went by.
I shed a tear. Hahah! Yep. That moment caused me to sob even harder (of course, silently, otherwise the girl beside me would glared at me and start to be panic)
What caused my tear?
These lines :
“You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer NO resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, TURN THE OTHER ONE AS WELL. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, GO FOR TWO MILES. Give the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”
“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that YOU MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER, FOR HE MAKES SUN RISE ON THE BAD AND THE GOOD, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”
Big Guy forgives me.
He didn’t bailed out. I did.
My company and my job didn’t teach me to love my enemies and pray for those who ‘persecute’ me. They teach me “Ok, we’ll find a strategy how to beat them as well.”
My friends didn’t teach me to turn my other cheek if someone strikes on my right cheek. They would say “Beeeyotchhhh, who does he think he is?”
My money didn’t teach me to hand over my cloak when I lost my tunic. It would teach me how to multiply them.
I’m not trying to be simplistic, but… it starts there.
I’m not one of those who pray before bed or dinner, or pray every single second or day (not yet)
But I’m telling you, it’s difficult to find the chemistry of love when we find a thousand reasons to close our hearts and our doors.
I just.. have a little faith, like Mitch Albom in his book once said.
And I’m pretty proud of it.
I know, it’s a typical conversion experience — the dark night of the soul, the call for the help, the responding voice and then at last, the sense of transformation.
Let’s just hope I DO NOT JINX it. Tee-hee!