I know that I kind of wrote about my testimony in my inspirational post from a few days ago, but I really wanted to write about it, especially since I experienced an eye opening event today :) So here it is.....
I was born a Catholic, and I've been a Catholic my entire life. I was baptized when I was little, made my first communion in 2nd grade, and was Confirmed in 8th grade. I've always gone to Church every Sunday with my family. On the outside, I was doing everything right. I guess I've always done what Catholics "do" by attending Mass and taking part in the Sacraments. BUT, I wasn't doing anything right on the inside (which is what matters most). Sure, I was going to Church every Sunday, but I wasn't actually "there". I could never pay attention to everything, and I often found myself thinking about other things and not thinking about God. This was happening even this time last year. I always just went through the motions. I never put anything into Mass, and I never really got anything out of it.
However, over the past couple of months, I've started to change. It started with reading Eat, Pray, Love. I also started reading Kelly's Korner and Bring the Rain - both blogs about women who's faith BLEW ME AWAY. I wanted a faith like that. I always heard stories about people who say that God spoke to them in a specific way that caused them to turn to Him. This had never happened to me, and I longed for a connection to God like that. Well, you know what? I got it. It came to me slowly through those blogs. I got tired of always wanting somthing extraordinary to happen, so I took it into my own hands to pray to God and try to connect myself to Him. I think he knew that I could do it on my own :) And one day, I just laid on the ground and prayed. I can't even remember what I prayed about, but I prayed and prayed. And I did it the next day too. I just got a feeling of peace when I prayed that was unlike anything I've ever experienced. By continuing to read these blogs, I was inspired to start reading the Bible more often. I am in the midst of looking through it for verses that stand out to me and speak to me. And honestly, it's great! I've also started reading Gitzen Girl's blog and that blog has truly inspired me too.
So, I've been working on praying and reading Scripture, and I have DEFINITELY improved SO MUCH! But, I still found it hard to concentrate in Church. My mind would just continue to wander and wander, and it was really starting to drive me crazy! So, today, I decided to really pay attention to EVERYTHING, the songs, the readings, and the prayers. And let me tell you something, MY MIND DIDN'T WANDER! Everything became so much more meaningful to me. The readings were about how if you have enough money and riches to cover yourself, give to people who aren't as fortunate. (You can read the readings here) That is what God wants you to do! Father also said that "who you are is greater than what you have". This is somehting I've been praying about and trying to remember. Money really can cloud your mind, and it's hard to clean it out, but it can be done. It's better to be rich in love than to be rich in money, because your money isn't going to matter in the next life, but how you loved others will.
The readings have inspired me to start to give back to charities. I'm hoping to set aside some money each month and donate it to a worthy cause. I think that would be a nice thing to do, and I would be helping others too!
So, my testimony mainly takes place in the last couple of months when I really started to open up to God. I know I can't change the past, but I can stay on the right track in the future :)
P.S. This has nothing to do with my testimony, but today I was on a cleaning/organizaitonal spree and I cleaned out my closet and a little bit of stuff under my bed. Look at what I found:
Abby gave this to me in 5th grade! Hahahaha I couldn't believe that I still had it. It just cracks me up :) It was obviously before the days when we started using photoshop.