I grew up going to a Catholic church. My mother had been raised Catholic and had attended a catholic school, so we went to church with my grandparents and the rest of our extended family. We didn’t go that often, we just made sure we went on the important days like Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day to be with my grandma. I knew that there was a God, but it didn’t really mean anything to me.
I was always very shy and insecure. I didn’t like being around people or having to talk to anyone sometimes even my family. I pretty much lived in my own little world and went about my daily life on my own.
After I was married, my husband was more outgoing (along with his loud outgoing family) and I was constantly stressed out and worried. I was never truly happy. I would have fun from time to time, but it was always short lived.
My life seemed to be only trying to get through the day and always feeling like I hadn’t done anything right. This was even worse after we had kids. We had three babies in four years.
I felt like I wasn’t a good mom. I didn’t know how or when to discipline them and I just didn’t know how to make our life “work”. I had no hope or direction for my own life, so I had no hope or direction to give my children.
We still went to church a few times a year. My husband had grown up in church, so our parents would bug us, and we’d go for the important days. My mother-in-law was always inviting me to her church and talking about Jesus. I knew who Jesus was, God’s son died on the cross, but was kind of annoyed that she wanted to talk about it all the time (still didn’t like talking to people).
My dad was going to church as well and between the two of them I found myself going to church more often. I didn’t understand most of what they said in the sermons, but they talked about a new life and forgiveness and my sin. I felt like I needed this and wanted this and my heart felt like it was breaking when I was there.
My husband and I were fighting a lot. He couldn’t find a job and I couldn’t handle the kids and we both felt like something was wrong and this wasn’t how we were supposed to be living our life. He got a job as a military subcontractor, building bases in Afghanistan for the marines. It was crazy, but somehow seemed the right decision.
I knew I could not handle this on my own, alone with 3 kids, an emotional mess. I knew that it was time to make a decision and that I needed Jesus. I sat down one night determined to figure it out on my own, tried reading the bible, tried reading ‘purpose driven life’, even watched some TV evangelists. But finally, I put everything aside and surrendered my life to Christ.
The next morning, I was busy with the kids and realized I was so happy and stopped to wonder why. What did I have going on that day? Then I remembered that I had found Jesus. I started reading my bible and could actually understand it. I went to church every week and any other time they were having activities.
People at the church who knew me were shocked when I’d show up at a bible study or playdate, because I never was social before. I found my identity in Jesus of who I am, what it means and what my role is in being a wife and a mother. I have confidence in the life I am living and its purpose.