My first memories are of a world I did not quite understand. Did not believe in love. Did not fit in. I felt unaccepted or different in some way. I grew up in church, as a child. I believed in God, sure. Everyone around me did. If I was close to anyone, it was my sister. We had never been apart. Sure we fought but maybe the stability of our relationship made me believe in it. Do not get me wrong. I had parents that loved me and I know I loved them. I was just overwhelmed by the falsehood of the emotions throughout the world. “Best-friends,” relationships are not things that came easy to me.
My immediate family had something different. They were real. I am not sure how else to explain. They had a relationship with the unseen and looking back perhaps that is why I felt distant from them. I did not see things the way they did. They were kind of outcasts in a world because of the passion of their beliefs. People did not understand them and often they left them as they did not see the world as my family did.
At the age of 13, I experienced the loss of my closet family member. Not a death, I might add, but a separation. Regardless to say, the most stable thing in my life was now gone. This loved one chose what the rest of this world had instead of this family with lives that were acquainted with sorrow, sacrifice, and suffering. I felt loss, bitter, and soon became quite cynical. People seemed fake. The world seemed hopeless. It felt without reason or purpose. My uncle hired me to video tape his sermons as he was a preacher. I did this often without a feeling; however, one day was quite life changing. He taught on Mary Magdalene. People looked at this woman like she was crazy! Think about it: this lady gave up everything that she had and made an embarrassing scene at the feet of this Man called Jesus. It seemed like a waste. Many people believed in Jesus and even followed him as a disciple but did not find it necessary to have this sort of emotional, extreme reaction to such beliefs held. Many pray, read their bible, go to church; but you do not see this. As my uncle continued to preach, I found myself obsessing over this woman. I called myself a Christian, sure. But this was more than a religion to Mary. This was a person. A person she was so indebted to, she would give up everything just to thank him. I felt the most amazing yet earth-shattering rush come over me. My lips quivered, tears rolled down my face; I was speechless and shaking beyond control. I know that was the day that God came into my life and took me in. TRULY. It was no longer a religion. I wanted to know this Man Mary knew. I wanted Him. What she had. It was like I saw Him for a brief moment for whom he truly was and the indebted, thankful feeling I felt was too much for me to bare. As I was overtaken by this feeling of the greatest love I had ever experienced, it was as if the rest of the world disappeared, it didn’t matter anymore. This relationship was not fake, this love was real. This is where the world’s purpose, reason, and hope that was missing.
That was the day where my life began. History did not matter any longer. I now understood what my family believed in and the connection was immediate. I was part of this amazing family that God, Himself had put together from the remnants of what the world did not want. I wanted to be a part of this for the rest of my life, and it should be noted I still am. Through time, I have found that, like Mary and my family, I have given up more and more to have Him. And I can tell you: He is worth everything that I have ever given up and so much more.