My Faith Journey So Far (please read)


#1

Just for some background info, I’m 15 years old right now, and a sophomore in High School

I’d like to start off and say that I was raised in the Catholic Church. But like most cradle Catholics, sadly I had no idea of what the Church taught and thought that all the split-offs of the Church were just places with different names. However, nothing really happened of note until I went into 8th Grade. I was transferring from a Catholic school to a public school. That first day of 8th Grade was one of the most important in my life. On the plus side, I met some great friends. On the down side, these same friends would corrupt me and influenced my insanely naïve mindset, which produced some bad habits and unique personality traits that are extant to this day (like my cynicism and sarcasm). At around the same time I discovered pornography. Not like Playboy or Hustler, but Victoria’s Secret. Now I know that’s a far cry from publications like Penthouse and Maxim, but it was just as bad. I had no previous exposure to anything like this before, so imagine the effects it had on my mind and the way I viewed women. I would literally lust over each issue (my mom had a subscription) for HOURS. Days even! And when that got old, I just scoped out the girls at school, drawing even more gratification through low-cut shirts, mini skirts, tight pants, full-busted sweaters, you name it, I lusted over it! Even worse, I developed a habit of masturbation around the same time as well, which only served to exacerbate my objectification of women even more. I was so trapped by this that my average was 3 times a day! Can you imagine that? I was so obsessed with instant gratification that I never denied it for a second. And I lived like this every day for about 2 and a half years. While that sphere of my life was a huge black spot on my record, a spot of equal size was developing in my social life. Now I know me having a social life is a bit of an oxymoron, but I actually was pretty talkative around my friends now. I used to like a hermit, but one of the good things that happened in public school was that I began to be more social. Anyway, I was the funnyman of the group. When my friends got together after school, I was the life of the party! It was never any wholesome or good conversation that we had though. See, my life had basically dissolved into 3 different, totally separate, touching but never overlapping, mini-lives. It breaks down like this: I had my Church life, where I was very pious and went through all the right motions on Sunday (people thought I was the holiest kid on the block, including my parents, oh the irony), my home life where I was just a smart kid who got good grades and was a good kid in general. Then there was my school life. Ooh, boy oh boy was it different from the other two! I was so unchristian in my behavior, that there are probably atheists and axe-murderers with higher moral standards than I had. Let’s see where can I start? As previously mentioned, I lusted heavily over every attractive girl I saw. In addition, I would be the first to tell a perverted joke (that’s what she said, etc…), I would always use the most profanity out of all my friends (pretty much every other sentence had a vulgarity in it), I would always be the first to put other people down for my own pleasure, and I was incredibly rebellious in speech and action. I will never forget the time at King’s Island when me and a friend were talking about music, and I saw a gravestone with Jimi Hendrix engraved in it, and I gave it the finger. I wish now that I could take that back, because that still bugs me, that incredible mark of disrespect towards one of the greatest musical innovators in history. And in the midst of all this, I thought that I was a good person! Can you believe that? I thought that all people acted the way I did, and the only people who thought any different were the religious nutballs on TV. Now that I’ve given you the basic background, I can now tell you how I was, for all intents and purposes “born again”.
It started in the winter of my freshman year of High School. My mom (I’m sure the LORD inspired her to do this) talked to me about joining this youth group called Student Venture. Of course I opposed it. I said that the only people who did that stuff were fanatics, and I didn’t want to be associated with those kinds of people. I remember saying specifically that “it’s not my thing”. However, my mom (God bless her for it) kept pressing me about it and finally, one February evening, I had nothing going on, so I just decided to go to one, and try it out. I was blown away. Much to my surprise, I actually liked it! The leader there was someone who was high-powered enough to be a TV fanatic, but cool enough to be able to relate with people my age and not sound “old-fashioned”. His name is Dan, and that first night started a chain reaction of events which changed my life. We talked on that night about Dan’s own struggle with pornography in High School, and how when Jesus died the curtain in the Holy of Holies was torn down the middle (it was 2-3 feet thick). Thinking back to this I think it has symbolic value in my own life, but more on that later. After that first meeting, I went back every week. Eventually I heard about this thing called Getaway, which was a huge youth conference down in South Carolina, on Myrtle Beach. I wanted so bad to go to that! That Getaway was the single most important event in my life so far BAR NONE. Nothing in my life so far has wrought such a big, and positive change in my ways. God really moved me down in SC; I was bedazzled with His glory!
continued in next post


#2

continued from above

I’d like to fast-forward to Getaway. It was awesome! While I can’t remember much of the individual days, 2 big events stick out in my mind. The first occurred in a silent prayer with God we did called quiet time. It was there that God showed me part of His will for my life. They gave us a verse of Scripture to meditate over and pray about. I can’t remember what verses it was, other than it was a Psalm, but in a nutshell it was: “Lord, know me. Search my ways, and if there be any sin in me, lead me on the path to righteousness”. As I was praying this, the usual images of sin in my life came to mind, but most unusual was the image of me playing guitar. I was most puzzled by this, because I didn’t have time to ask God what he meant by that (quiet time ended right as it happened) so I thought then that God wanted me to give up the guitar for Him. Later that evening, I was talking with Dan about it, and he said that maybe God was trying to tell me something involving guitar. So I prayed about it some more, and God basically told me that He wanted me to form a Christian rock/heavy metal band. I also gathered from Him that my band would be very successful. Quick fast-forward to 2 weeks later, on family vacation in SC, I was praying about this and God sent me an image of a man playing an awesome guitar solo in front of at least 60,000 people. On another occasion that I was praying about this I heard the phrases “national phenomenon” and “household name” repeat in my head over and over. I think that the LORD was speaking to me then.
Rewind back to Getaway for the second big event. I have a very close friend, named Aidan, who is probably my best friend in the whole wide world. He has supported me when I was in between a rock and a hard place and I felt like the softest man in the world, and is solely (with the help of God and the Holy Spirit) responsible for my staying Catholic. He has my eternal gratitude for what he did for me at Getaway. What happened was that Aidan was very well versed in the Catholic Faith, and I hadn’t a single clue what the Church taught. After the main meeting one day, Aidan pulled me aside and said, “I’ve been hearing a lot of Protestant stuff here, meet me in my room”. So I went up there, and what happened was that Aidan gave me a lesson on all the Church teachings and how they are backed up by Scripture. We talked in his room for about 3 hours. Then after that we went down to Fuddruckers and had lunch, so we talked for another 4 hours there! That was more about what happened with Aidan since 7th Grade (we kind of moved apart when I went to public school) Aidan and I really became close friends there, but I can’t tell you what we talked about, since that’s his own story :wink:
Now for the post-Getaway. Here’s where I draw the connections with the tearing of the curtain. God basically took the sin in my life (represented by the curtain) and tore it apart. I left Getaway a changed person. In fact, if my pre-Getaway self were to meet my post-Getaway self, my post-Getaway self would end up beating the **** out of my pre-Getaway self, because we are THAT DIFFERENT! Although in the eyes of the Church I was born again when I was Baptized, realistically and spiritually I was born again at Getaway! I have a totally different outlook on life now. I have dropped the swearing, the perverted jokes, the pornography, the rebelliousness, the 3 lives, the lust, and masturbation is no longer has control over me. I am a brand new man thanks to Getaway, but really, all the glory and honor is yours Father, forever and ever.


#3

Hello,
I have just read your story and I am amazed at what you have achieved, I wish you all the best for your future music career. You have truly been blessed by God, your life will only get better!!, well done!.
God Bless,
Mick.:thumbsup:


#4

be sure to ask a priest about cussing. Swearing is a sin, but not cussing. Just ask a priest.


#5

Hi, Mini gerbel,
can you please explain the difference between cussing and swearing? cussing is not a word we use in the U.K., I always thought it meant swearing, please excuse my ignorance :D,
Thanks and God Bless,
Mick.:wink:


#6

can you please explain the difference between cussing and swearing? cussing is not a word we use in the U.K., I always thought it meant swearing, please excuse my ignorance ,

I think that swearing tends more towards the side of oaths or vows made rashly, like OMG, or Jesus Christ used as an expletive, or any of the Holy people’s names used in such a manner.
Cussing is more of vulgar words like: F***, S***, Motherf*****, C*** (rhymes with runt).
It also entails words that are considered “bad” depending on the context like damn and hell for example.

Oh, and thanks a lot english guy!


#7

Hello The Who Freak,
Thanks for the explanation, that has made it very clear, have a happy life,
God Bless,
Mick.:thumbsup:


#8

pretty sure the F word is okay. Ask a priest or go to our "ask a priest section. Thats your best bet. We may disagree here, but just go there.


#9

In fact, if my pre-Getaway self were to meet my post-Getaway self, my post-Getaway self would end up beating the **** out of my pre-Getaway self, because we are THAT DIFFERENT!

So let me make sure I understand this. Thanks to Gateway you have now become a more violent person? And thats a good thing?


#10

Where did you have the idea that saying “F” word is okay? You need to read these passages:

Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

1 Peter 3:10: “For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.”

James 3:9-12: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”


#11

I trust in the Catholic church. not men to tell me what is right and wrong. But mean guided by the spirit. go to ask a priest section on the forums on CAF.


#12

Did you mean you trust in the Church, the priest on this forum but ignore what St. Peter, James and Paul said? I am quite confused.

Show me where in the forum a priest says cussing such as “F” word is ok?


#13

I do not care for responding for I already know the truth in this matter. go and seek truth for yourself


#14

I only posted for the sake of those who need to read what St. Peter, Paul, and James say. Ignore as you wish. :slight_smile:

use the “F” word on this forum and see how fast admin will respond to …I am not really challening you here…but hope that you will get the point. :smiley:


#15

So let me make sure I understand this. Thanks to Gateway you have now become a more violent person? And thats a good thing?

Hahahahah! Sorry, but I was using that as a way of expressing how different I was before and after Getaway. If my before Getaway self and my after Getaway self were to meet, there would most probably be a physical fight because we would not be able to stand each other. They would be (and are) total opposites.


#16

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