My parents had good intentions. They wanted me to be a good Catholic Christian. They had me baptized and sent me to catechism classes. I was confirmed as a Catholic when I was in eleventh grade, but I didn’t feel closer to God. For the following twenty years I was lost, but didn’t know it.
As a young adult, I kept trying to fill a void that I felt in my heart. I placed my worth on the opinions of women. I was obsessed and had my heart broken more times that I care to count. I also obsessed over material things, like cars, music, movies, and other items that I would collect. Nothing seemed to satisfy my desires as I kept looking for the next thing. I drank more than I should have and I’m incredibly grateful that I never got into drugs. Even after getting married and having a child, I still felt like something was missing.
During the first nine years of my marriage, I felt like I had two different personalities. Sometimes, I would be a nice guy who would help anyone in need. Other times, I was skeptical, untrusting, and negatively critical of people, especially myself. I surrounded myself with negative media and people who were equally skeptical and sarcastic. Although I had two different personalities, I think the one that was building people up showed less than the one who tore people down. I didn’t worry about sinning and rarely thought of God.
In the summer of 2012, my life seemed to be heading for destruction. There I was, twenty years after my confirmation. My wife of ten years left me on the day on my grandmother’s funeral. I knew that I needed something and felt Jesus calling to me. I started reading the Bible that weekend. After that, I started attending church, listening to Christian music, studying Christian literature, and received Jesus into my life. It was similar to the old days when I would get obsessed about something, but it felt so much more fulfilling. In October of 2012, I made a profession of faith to my family and friends at church while being baptized once again. My life hasn’t been the same since.
I’ve noticed three immense changes in my life after allowing Jesus into my heart. First, the giant void in my life has been filled. I am no longer looking for that next thing to satisfy my cravings. I used to be blind, but now I can see a glimpse of how incredible our Father in Heaven is. Now, I am continually searching for more information about Him. Second, although I have a few moments of weakness, I no longer enjoy tearing people down, even myself. I see others as if they are part of my family. I try to love everyone. I surround myself with encouraging media and am more grateful than ever for what I have been blessed with. Lastly, and possibly the biggest change in my life, is the peace I feel. I no longer worry about the little things that used to consume my thoughts. Jesus gives me peace. He fulfills my needs and makes me want to be the person He created me to be.
The past year could have been devastating to me. My brother killed himself. I turned forty, survived two heart attacks, and lost my job of fifteen years. Because of Jesus, I am not angry or worried. Jesus accepted me, even though I was broken, and loves me. History books are filled with eyewitness accounts telling of His miracle healings, His death, and His resurrection. He chose to come to Earth and die so that all of us can be forgiven and live eternally with Him in Heaven. As I lay in the ambulance while having a massive heart attack, I knew that no matter what happened to me that day, I can trust in God. I found peace and my blood pressure dropped. I believe that His peace saved my life that day. He takes care of all who believe in Him and He will take care of you too. All you have to do is have faith in Jesus.