This is the first posting of this site and this story is what prompted the creation of this site. It is a true modern day story of the prodigal son. I'm going to tell you this story in three parts. I think that the backstory is an important piece of the story because it shows that if a divine intervention can happen to me it can really happen to anyone.
This story is about me following thru with a plan that was not my idea. And, as they say it, it was an offer I couldn't refuse. I think that I had evaded His plan for me long enough, and all of what I had experienced in life so far was preparing me for what was to come - following Jesus with an open heart. I think that doing this is both difficult and simple. What I mean by that is, His rules to get to heaven are relatively simple, but, to follow through on them is the hard part due to our propensity to sin. If you question this theory, look around you, it’s everywhere: The Ten Commandments, The Golden Rule, as well as loving God with all you are, are ignored for whatever reason. If you followed these, according to the Bible, your chances of making it to Heaven are probably pretty good, but I still don't presume to know what God thinks. Unlike us humans, God and Jesus do not lie or go back on their word. So, if we are to believe the Bible is the word of God, it stands to reason our chances at Heaven are probably pretty good. I believe that there are consequences for all of our actions. The experience that you are going to read about, if I had turned my back on Him after this experience, I felt it would have been a betrayal that I wasn't willing to live with.
So here we are, I hope you enjoy this story and I also hope it inspires others to come forward and share their stories, post testimonials, and show God is working with people every day. If we stop to look we will see it happening all around. For me, that is a reassuring feeling, especially when all you hear about around the world is negative or bad. Just by following what was in my heart and other promptings that I learned over time, which was a nudge by Him, I was led to create this website to share.
I was brought up in a faithful Catholic family. We were all baptized, sacrament receiving people. I went to bible classes and church regularly thru 6th grade. In 7th grade, My parents sent me to parochial school through high school. The people given the role of educating me always talked about vocations and a calling to the priesthood or religious life. I could never connect with this because I never felt a calling by Jesus; In fact, it was quite the opposite. I heard nothing. I never felt a connection to the Catholic Church. I soaked in the information given to me, and went through all of the motions, but it was nothing to me emotionally. I was really only interested in sports, music, hanging with my friends, and having a good time. We grew up in a time when it was cool to press the envelope without really breaking the law, and cool to not get caught when we did break the law. Mischievous acts, seemingly age appropriate rights-of-passage, so it couldn't be that bad, right?
As I got older, it was more of the same feel-good things and less of Jesus. I never forgot about Jesus, I just didn't give Him a whole lot of attention. He was always there on one shoulder and the devil on the other shoulder. I just seemed to listen to the devil's side because it was a more fun, easier path - everyone I knew was working hard and playing hard. The details of it aren't really relevant, let’s just say that we had a lot of fun, as I saw it then, but I was ignoring the rules put out there by God and Jesus. I am so grateful for not passing away while my soul wasn't ready to make it to Heaven because of my choices. Now I feel I have been given another chance to get right with God.
I don't have really any regrets from this time in my life because it led me to where I am today, and formed the person I am, with the perspective that I have. Which is no better or worse than anyone else, it's just my life. And as God has created all of us uniquely different, it stands to reason that we will all have a different experience on this journey, that experience gives us all a different perspective on things.
When I began to tire of the party lifestyle, I happened to cross paths with the love of my life. She was at the same place in her life, it seemed, as I was so together we changed direction. We got married and decided to start a family - these two decisions pushed me even more in the direction of trying to live as a better person by starting to follow the basic rules of God.
We both wanted to raise the children with God in our lives. When the kids were little, going to church was difficult. We didn't feel like we were getting much out of it because we were tending to the children the whole time. When they got a little older, we felt the kids were getting to the point that they needed additional faith-based influence in their lives. We made the decision to send them to a parochial school thinking it would be good for them. In the first few months of them going to school, and us returning to church regularly, little did I know how this decision would alter my life. To be continued...