People who are raised Catholic, would know what I mean when I say most parents of newborns will have their babies baptized into the faith very young, probably within the first 6 months after birth. I was a late bloomer. When I was 6 years old, my grandparents gained full custody of me, and being that my mother had never done anything to introduce me into the family’s religion, my grandparents did not waste any time in having me baptized. Being that I was not baptized until I was six, I immediately had to take Sunday school classes for my First Reconciliation and my First Holy Communion.
When I was in second grade I was already altar server, which was not an opportunity for kids until they were in fifth grade. Grade school kids who were altar servers helped with simple duties during mass such as processing in with candles, holding the prayer book for the priest to read from, etc. As a kid, I placed a lot of importance on my faith; it was really all I had. My mother was a drug addict and had left me alone worrying about what she was doing days at a time, so then my grandparents came to my rescue. With all the misfortunes in my life, religion was a means of hope and happiness.
By third grade, my grandparents had me attend to St. Hughes, a Catholic school. I was saying my prayers at night, something that most kids probably would not have time for. As I continued to grow and mature, it was only typical that I encountered such problems as being out casted amongst students in class, and heartbreaks over boys throughout high school. I usually turned to prayer for relief and comfort. As life in general continued to get me down and bring me heartache, I came to the realization that perhaps there was not a God, or if there was, I had no idea how my prayers and church-going would help me.
By the time I was a junior, I had stopped going to church (except for when there was holiday mass. ) I considered myself uncertain at this point. I had gone from church going altar server who said their daily prayers to someone who, dared to pray at all, I was screaming curses at God, blaming him for all the misery in my life. After high school, I immediately moved out of my grandparents place. I then decided to move in with my boyfriend and we then split three months later, due to him cheating when we were engaged to be married. I was so heart broken and confused.
I saw everything I earned and worked for in my relationship was all for nothing. I went through a party girl phrase for a while with my good friend Desiree, after she found her fiance had killed himself, we just kept partying and hanging out with a crowd of bad people who did drugs and who did not care about their life. I was at a different point in my life; I felt I could see things more clearly and more for what they are. My grandmother has always offered me advice and still does to this day, but always with some “Catholic” twist to it.
If life got me down, or if I was going through a rough patch, my grandmother encouraged me to pray and believe in Jesus. Though listening to her advice never felt it would do me any good. There were moments of thinking God was punishing me for not being true to my faith and for the choices I was making. Today, I have changed in a lot of ways. I did move back in with my grandparents for a few more years, which was quite helpful for me to get back on my feet. I met the most amazing man of my life, who I will be marrying in 2014. I took another chance and I moved out again and I now leave in Lansdale with my fiance.
I have a chance to be a step parent to two beautiful girls and show them that there are always choices in life that you will have to make that you believe are right. I do not party anymore, but I do have some concerns for my girlfriend Desiree who still does it and has a 4 year old daughter at home, but I do the best that I can to be a friend and convince her that there is more to life then partying, especially with having a child home wondering when you will be home. I do follow some of my catholic traditions I do pray here and there to God for help in certain things like good grades, better job opportunities, and of course, health.
I have not attended church still for a long time unless it is a wedding or a funeral. I believe that God puts obstacles in front of us that he knows we are able to handle. I still believe that God works in mysterious ways. I have convinced myself that there is karma. I believe in what comes around goes around and I state this because I recently heard my ex-fiance has been hit with money problems, which was something he left me with when we decided to get a home together and I took out a loan to put a down payment for a home, which made me glad he will feel the stress I felt with paying back so much in a short time.
I went through so much in my life that I did believe God was mad at me because I stopped praying to him or not attending church anymore, which made me think he was punishing me for all the wrong doing and hate I had towards others. I know now that I can make things turn around for the better. The past only makes you look forward to what the future has in stored for you, only you can make what you believe are the right decisions in your life either with faith or without. What happens in your past makes you stronger for the future is what I believe.
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