A Delayed Conversion

I was born and raised in a beautiful catholic family. My parents were very active in church so I used to tag along with them whenever they went to church. Besides tagging along with my parents and being nothing but a Sunday Christian, there was not much more to my faith. In my middle-school years, I used to have this mindset that I am going to turn to Christ when I’m in my twenties or thirties, and until then, I wanted to live the life I wanted to. I had so many different priorities and my heart was completely divided. I was always the “happy girl” on the outside, but deep inside I knew I was broken. I remember being so occupied in the World and what it had to offer me. Oftentimes, I would look for love in all the wrong areas. I had everything I wanted and more. The World would give me so much temporary joy, but I found that this “joy” would disappear in a few days. I soon found myself in a state of utter despair. I began to have this deep longing in my heart, and it seemed as though nothing in this World could satisfy this longing. I never experienced the love and joy of Christ in my life yet. However, in 2015, when I was a sophomore in High School, my spiritual journey with Christ began. I attended a Tampa youth retreat in January and that was when I met Christ. During the second day of the retreat, Father Soji was blessing many children. As I was getting blessed, a sudden feeling of heat saturated me. It felt as though my heart was on fire. My divided heart was now pieced-together. After attending that youth retreat, my relationship with Jesus Christ began! By the Grace of God, that same year, I was able to attend many retreats. After every retreat that year, my relationship with Christ began to get deeper and deeper. I remember opening up my bible one day and one verse stuck out to me. Sirach 5:7. The Word of God says, “Do not delay your conversion to the Lord, and do not put it off from day to day.” I remember thinking that it was almost as though this verse was written just for me because I used to put off every opportunity I had to give my heart to Jesus. My walk with Christ has had many up’s and down’s, but I’ve always managed to pull through. The Word of God taught me something very important in the Gospel of John, “I do not give to you as the World gives” (14.27). I soon began to realize the depth of His love and how this love is so much more than anything the World can ever offer me. On this spiritual journey, I met so many amazing people that were so zealous for Christ and His Church! Building fellowship with many brothers and sisters in Christ, helped me to have a spiritual support system. Whenever any trials would come my way, I knew someone was on the lookout. I knew God saw every little thing that was happening in my life. I began to surrender everything to Christ and knew that he would do wonders, and that’s exactly what he did. There were times in my life I felt as though I was trying to survive a storm all alone, but Christ gave me his hand and he held my hand every step of the way, till this very day. I was redeemed from the darkest days of my life and there was a new source of light entering my life. The Word of God says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the World.” The steadfast love of our Lord never ceases— He remains faithful even when we are not. His love is the same yesterday, today, and forever! St. Augustine once said, “Late have I loved you, Lord.” I only wish that my middle-school mindset was changed earlier so that I could have begun loving Christ at an earlier point in life.