My story on rediscovering my faith!


#1

I thought I would share this with you all, in hopes to possibly inspire some people who have left the Church, along with those who are merely curious about the Catholic faith. I’d like to think that if someone as deep in sin as I was could come back, anybody can :wink:

As a teenager, I decided that once I moved out of my parents’ house, I would no longer attend church. I found the Mass boring, found the guidelines of Catholicism to be ridiculously difficult to follow, and felt all Christian teachings defied science. I toyed around with the idea of Aethiesm but settled upon Agnosticism because I could not let go of the fact that **something **had to be out there.

During this time, I committed every sin in the book with the exception of theft and murder:
I thought plenty of impure thoughts and acted on most. I sexually messed around with men who meant nothing to me. I kissed a few women for the purposes of turning men on (it’s a very common thing of my generation to do, sadly enough) and I sexually messed around with one before deciding it just wasn’t for me (solely because I wasn’t sexually attracted – if I was, I’m sure I would have had more).

I had a band with the mission of being as shocking as possible. The lyrics were incredibly immoral, with explicit content condoning illicit sexual union, violence, and drugs. I abused alcohol more times than I can count. I did quite a bit of sexually-charged modeling. I didn’t pose nude, but I did do my share of sexualized imagery and thoroughly enjoyed posing with men in underwear. I read erotic stories and looked up pictures of supposedly artistic nudity for my own self pleasure.

After I was done with my wild child phase, I settled down with a guy. We moved in with each other after dating for a year. I was so blinded by our mutual lust that I did not realize how far from right he was for me. I initially thought about marrying him but later realized he was not “the one.” Any time he mentioned the subject of marriage, I immediately changed the subject because I knew it wasn’t what I wanted. Still, I lived with him for 2.5 more years.

Two years into my relationship with this guy, I started having an affair with a married man. This man was the perfect man in every possible way: he understood me, had common interests with me, truly seemed to care about everything I had to say, he was kind, funny, intelligent, attractive, and – the only catch is, he was married. I knew he was married, but I went for it anyway, since I was not happy with the relationship situation I had. He claimed that he and his wife were not in love with each other and together for the sake of convenience. Deep down, I knew the relationship was wrong, but it felt so good that I just didn’t care. :blush:

Despite all I did, I considered myself to be a “good” person. Don’t get me wrong - I had good traits, like I was genuinely kind and considerate of others, usually honest and sincere, and as much as I tried to deny God, I still prayed and believed (even KNEW!) deep down that there was MORE out there than I tried to rationalize. I started asking God to help my lost soul find the true way to Him. I asked him to open my heart to the truth and the light. I said, “Dear Lord, if all I am doing is truly wrong, please help me out of this mess.”

On November 27, 2008, I ended the 3.5 year relationship that I knew would never lead to marriage. I had no initial plans to end it with the married man (infact, I kept telling him things like, “Once I have my own place, you can come see me ANY TIME!”), but after going for a LONG bike ride (we’re talking 60 miles of long!), I started thinking. I realized as I admired the nature around me that this time, it was just me and God. I started to pray, asking God to help me cope with my situation. I kept telling God that I hoped I made the right decision. Then, I realized that I had to end it with the married man, too. I prayed for hours asking the Lord to give me strength, to forgive my sins, and to help me move forward with grace.

That Saturday evening, I went to Mass for the first time in over four years. I was amazed at how beautiful Mass was and amused at how much less boring it was now that I was going voluntarily. :wink: I felt this rush of joy throughout my soul that I had not felt for so, so long. I felt like I belonged there. I tried my best to hang on every word in the readings, to meditate on Christ’s love, and to sing along with each note of the hymns.

After Mass, I approached the priest and asked if he would hear my confession. I told him everything I had done in the last 4.5 years, said my act of contrition, then gave him a BIG HUG because I knew I was free from all my sins! :slight_smile: I walked out of confession feeling like a completely new person, with all the burden of my sins lifted from my shoulders. Before attending Mass and confession, I was feeling immense amounts of grief and sorrow over cutting those two relationships from my life. After this life-altering experience, I realized I made the right decision and there was no going back. God would help guide me for the rest of the way.

Now, I am getting involved with my parish Youth Ministry, am volunteering to help the homeless, and trying to make more friends who share my faith. I am so happy about rediscovering my faith that I want to tell everyone I know about how I am a new person… but in the end, I am the same old me – just a me with faith and morals this time :slight_smile:


#2

Welcome back and may God bless you always!:slight_smile:


#3

God bless, that is a wonderful story. It is a great journey but i want to warn you ahead of time that you will be tested to the extreme and will waiver many times. Just stick with it no matter what, you need to be stubborn in your faith to make it though some of the tough times. Don’t give up no matter how many times you might feel like it.

In the beginning the experience is like a springtime of happiness and elation but you need to be able to make it through the winter as well.


#4

Congrats on coming back.

I am in the process of becoming Catholic after leading a not so perfect life. I can relate how exciting and awesome it feels to experience everything. It is like a whole new world and I wished I would have discovered it sooner.

Good luck in your future.


#5

That is so amazing that one of the first things you did was go to confession. I think a lot of people have a hard time coming back to the faith because they are afraid of confessing their sins. However, without confession and forgiveness they are never able to drop that heavy burden of their past and truly embrace all that the Church has to offer.

I say bravo on your return and remember those feelings of happiness after your confession for when your faith is challenged in the future.


#6

Thank you for sharing your story.
And for having the courage tor give up your attachments to the contrary kind of life and to accept God’s wonderful graces of conversion

May God continue to bless you, and others through you


#7

hug Welcome home to Rome!


#8

Welcome Home! Thanks be to God!
Thank you so much for your faith sharing. Thank you for your service to your parish.

God’s love is forever!


#9

Praise God! And welcome HOME! Your story will be inspiring to so many. I’m so happy for you! :slight_smile:


#10

Thank you for your inspiring honesty!

I too abandoned Jesus, only to rediscover how perfectly beautiful His Gift of the Catholic Church is.

Unlike you, I did steal and I ended up in prison for my sins. It was there, when I wanted to go to Mass and to receive the Holy Eucharist, but could not, that I realized that I had thrown away the Truth.

We are so spoiled. It was not until I had deprived myself of all that I loved, Jesus, my family and my freedom, that I finally got it.

Love Jesus with all your heart, all your soul and all your being. It is then and only then that life becomes truly worth living.

“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” Lk 9:23.

‘Deny himself’, i still can’t do that, "take up his cross daily’, every day? No days off? I definitely can’t do that!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

Mark


#11

Welcome back!! hugs thank you for sharing your story, that is so encouraging, and whenever we walk away from God He is always drawing us back :wink:
God bless you!!


#12

Welcome back!


#13

NightngaleShane,
Thank you for sharing your story. I have never left the Church,
but I know how wonderful it is to walk out of confession and
know you have been forgiven.
Your story inspires people like myself who have family, friends and
those people are going through what you just left. It keeps us
praying for those loved ones to return as well.
Welcome Home and have a Blessed Christmas.


#14

I’m so happy for you.

Michael is right. God gives us very many graces and joy in the beginning, but with time, he allows us to be tempted. It’s so we can really mature in faith.

Sadly, many fall away during this time of testing. Be strong!! Persevere!!!

God bless you in your journey! :slight_smile:


#15

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