It may seem odd, but my relationship with God reached it’s strongest, most mature level in my darkest of hours. I grew up in a Roman Catholic family (whole nine yards folks – went to Saint Petersburg, met Pope John Paul II, first set of Rosary beads from there . . . ) but it always seemed more like a duty. I love a Catholic service – the music, the structure . . . but I didn’t always feel the warmth. I was at an age when I didn’t realize that you can only get out of it what I put in.
By high school I had a renewed interest and while my parents did not go to church as often anymore, I went on my own sometimes. I tried, but it wasn’t try in the sense that I understand as an adult. You have to do more than just show up, that’s only the first step. Critical yes, you have to get there, but if all you do is show all you will see is a show. And when you leave you can’t carry that show with you – you showed up and watched. To take it with you, you have to GIVE.
My struggle with religion and faith was like waves – a constant coming and going. I struggled to find a place where I belonged. When Ryan was in the hospital, terminally injured with little hope, I found God on a whole new level. I found him because my eyes were open and even more, my heart was open. If you have been on the journey and haven’t yet found ask yourself, “Am I just showing up or am I giving back? Are my eyes open to the possibilities or do I fail to appreciate the little things God does for me? And finally, is my heart open? Am I ready to BELIEVE in a way I never have before?”
Get honest with yourself. If your answer was no, that’s ok, but now you know where you need to start. God is there, He is present, willing and ready – are you?