Growing up I was raised Catholic. I was raised to complete my sacraments, confess my sins and that is how I was going to make it into heaven. I don’t recall even being told that I should have a relationship with Jesus. I was part of a teen program at my church but I went more to be with my friends than to learn about God.
As I got older and moved out of my house to move in with my then boyfriend, I strayed away from God. I knew in my heart what I was doing was wrong, but felt so distant, I didn’t know how to return.
My boyfriend and I ended up having two girls. When I had a workers comp injury we moved to the High Desert. We did try to go to a catholic church a few times but didn’t feel connected like I was hoping to feel so we stopped going.
I remember driving past HDC on my way to my moms and feeling an urge to want to go but was afraid of what my parents would say. One day I mentioned to my mom and she told me she thought it was a great idea. She told me how my niece and her family were attending and they really like it. I reached out to my niece and she told me how much they enjoyed going and how their kids liked it too. That year on Mother's Day we made the choice to attend HDC and I am so glad we did. It made me realize what I was missing all those years growing up going to a Catholic church where I didn’t feel a connection to God. Going to service on Sundays and learning about an amazing God I never knew, was such an amazing feeling. During that time my boyfriend stopped going to church, but me and my girls still continued to go. We would invite him every Sunday and prayed that God would put it in his heart to return.
During this time my boyfriend and I were having major relationship issues. At times we thought that it was best if we just split because we felt that it just wasn’t going to work out. Even then there was something telling me not to give up on him and to continue praying for him. Unfortunately he had lost his job and was out of work for about a month and a half but it was a blessing in disguise. He received a call from the temp agency to start a job with the County of San Bernardino. He came home from the first day of work with news I would have never thought I would hear. He had met a man named Ricardo and after talking with him all day he decided to give his heart to Jesus.
From that moment I saw a change in him that made me realize how faithful the Lord is. I prayed for my boyfriend to come back to church but instead he showed what He can do by just being faithful. From then on our life as a family changed. My boyfriend asked me to marry him after 10 years of dating. We started to go to church again as a family and we are a family united in the Lord.
Choosing to follow and give my life to the Lord was not so life could be easy, but to know that there was someone there who truly is looking out for my best interest, someone who knows what I need before I do. To know that it was not me who got me this far but the Lord who was by my side even when I didn’t ask Him to. There is no other perfect example of true love.