My faith journey started out the same as anyone else being raised Catholic. I was baptized; I had my reconciliation, my first communion and my confirmation. My spiritual foundation consisted of attending CCD, which was what religious education was called back in the 70's, and memorizing prayers and the Ten Commandments. I attended Church on the main holidays and sometimes in between, and I prayed to God at holiday meals and sometimes before bed. I felt that I was doing my part to check off the box, religion expectation, of living a good life. I believed at the time that what I was doing was enough, but then the hard times started coming. At times the rain fell so hard, I could no longer see a blue sky in my future.
In the late 1980's, a friend and co-worker at a Girls Group Home we worked at invited me to attend Willow Creek Community Church with her. I think that she invited me because we had seen some horrible experiences in the lives of some of these young girls, and we had discussed how to come to terms with it. Little did she know that she was throwing me a lifeline. I immediately loved Willow, attending and buying Cassette tapes of the worship and messages. I attended some classes and bought a book called "With God all things are possible". I still have that book although the pages are falling out from so much use. The rainbows still did not appear in my life, but I could see specks of blue behind the clouds now. This path of praying for God to guide me and to help me continued for the next 28 years. Since I wanted my girls to have their own faith and a sense of belonging, I returned back to the Catholic Church to raise them in a faith that I understood and that I could check off the steps they needed to do, for me to raise them to be a good person. There were many valleys and mountains during those years as I married, had three daughters, got divorced and started a new relationship. I continued to search book after book to help me in my life, to show me the right and true path for me. When life was going well, my prayers subsided, and I would get lost in living life here on earth, but when times got hard I would cry out for God to help me. After yet another very low valley in my life, I felt compelled to return to church. I am still lost and lonely at times, but I am slowly creating a new life.