What I'd like to share with you now is what changed my life forever...classmates.com. That's right I said classmates.com. My closest friend, CT from elementary school who I had lost contact with when I went to college had looked me up on classmates.com in April of 2001. I had no idea what was in store for me next.
I was so thrilled that she contacted me I emailed her right away, and we began talking on the phone as if there was never any distance between us. She was thrilled about my son, and she wanted to meet my husband. We had wonderful conversations. She seemed different though, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was. I could detect a joy in her voice that hadn't been there before.
It was that very joy and contentment that I craved. I asked her why she sounded so different, and she told me. It was Jesus. She was a believer now. She didn't do the same things that she used to do because she followed Him now. In fact that was the reason she joined classmates.com. She joined so that she could find me, and share the love of Christ with me.
I knew what she was saying was true, and was very open to it, because I had just been praying before she contacted me about figuring out how to get to know God. I specifically remember saying, "God, I don't know who you are, or how to get to you, but I know it's you that is missing from my life." Little did I know how easy it was to invite Him into my life. I didn't even realize that what I had said was a prayer.
At this point you are probably wondering what I mean. How is it I was praying, but I didn't know God? How is it I was saying those things, but didn't know I was praying? You see I was raised in a Roman Catholic home. I knew doctrine, I knew who Jesus was in name, and what He did, but I didn't have a personal relationship with Him.
God had always been this far away diety that if I didn't follow His rules would damn me to hell. I never heard the song Jesus loves me. I didn't know I was fearfully and wonderfully made as it says in Psalm 39:14. I didn't know John 3:16 "for God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life." I didn't know to read my Bible.
When I was 19 I can remember being so frustrated with life, and the man made religion that I had known, that I was foolish and I cursed God. I kept trying to be good, and I kept failing, so I gave up on God and decided to do things "my way" all of the time. In Roman Catholicism it is all works based. You earn your salvation, and you don't quite know where you're going until you die. I couldn't live like that anymore. I figured I was going to hell, so why bother. It was torture.
I had been running from Him for quite some time, and my running shoes had finally expired. I had a ton of questions for CT. In June CT had invited me to visit her. She was a nanny at the time, and lived in a nice townhome in Northern Virginia. My husband was on a military deployment overseas. So I packed up my things, put my baby boy in car, and we went for a trip.
We stayed up talking every night. She brought me to church, and I think for the entire service I must have cried. The music was beautiful, and everyone had jeans on! The pastor speaking wasn't wearing robes, he actually was holding a Bible, and he read out of it. He also seemed to be talking with words that I could understand, and it was quite interesting. Somethings hurt, as the truth often does, but I didn't mind. I knew that I needed to change.