Gina's Testimony

A Humble Transformation

I was raised in the Catholic Church and I was baptized as a baby via sprinkling. I went to Sunday school and received the sacraments of penance, first communion, and confirmation. Confirmation is sort of a reaffirmation of faith. As an adolescent I was at the age of accountability. Therefore I could make the decision to continue to have a relationship with Christ. I went to Catholic school from 7th grade to 12th grade.
I feel that from an early age I knew about and had a relationship with Christ. I seem to recall this more in my pre-adolescent years. I think there is a bit of a misconception regarding the Catholic religion in terms of its devotion to Christ. I was always taught the importance of a Christ centered life. However, it was not as deep or intense as other Christian sects. It was definitely much more ceremonious as opposed to thoroughly probing the word of God. During the early period of my life I did not read the bible, but I did pray a lot. I also went to church and Sunday school. I think I was about 16 years old when I really felt the Holy Spirit move within me. My mother started going to Charismatic Catholic and other Christian services. Through these experiences I started going to teen events hosted by these churches. It was there, that I wanted to make Christ more central in my life. While, I always believed that Jesus was real I accepted Christ at an alter call during one of the teen events. I don’t know exactly how to describe it. They were preaching the word and I just felt an urgency
to have a better relationship with the Lord and I just wept and wept like a little baby. No one was coaxing me or anything like that. I was just overwhelmed. Then I started to want to know more and learn more about Christ. I also developed a better prayer life. However, I had a long way to go because I was still young and immature as a Christian. In fact, I was so immature that I was not pleased when my mother bought me a bible for some Easter. I wanted my candy filled Easter basket. Not, some silly bible. God, forgive me! I was not a happy camper. In fact, I was downright angry. I did not appreciate what a wonderful gift she was offering me at the time. I am not sure if this happened before or after I had the weeping experience. I hope it was before, but I can’t be sure. As a young adult that Bible became a huge part of my daily life and now, it is the most important book I could ever read. It is my guidebook to life. I experienced a lot of turmoil as a teenager and young adult, due to my visual challenges and my inability to handle them properly. There was a lot of turmoil and dis-function for various reasons. My family experienced many trials. My father and I did not have a good relationship and that was extremely difficult. Often times, my mother was the mediator which put a strain on our relationship. They considered me to be a rebel. In some ways I guess I was, but I was desperately trying to find my identity. I was able to turn to the Lord for help and comfort, but unfortunately I turned to other things as well because I was not completely relying on the Lord to get me through the hard times. For a long time I was fluctuating between two worlds. I was trying
to grow as a Christian and deepen my relationship with the Lord. However, I was not walking exactly as I should. I was still living in the world. I did not understand or realize that what I was doing was not pleasing to the Lord. I, drowned my sorrows in alcohol and had many bad relationships because I was looking for love in the wrong places. I wasn’t using the great gifts that God gave me to serve Him. Instead, I was serving myself and playing in bars and dreaming dreams of becoming a rock star. Needless to say I made many mistakes and bad decisions. I wish I had been more cognizant of what I was doing. However, as I got older and wiser I continued to grow and change for the better. It seems that my faith and relationship with Christ has been a series of steps towards growth and enlightenment. About 15 years ago I reached a new plateau of commitment in my faith. I recommitted my life to the Lord and have tried ever since to walk right with him. I have repented for everything from my past and am dedicated to living a Christ centered life. That 15 years ago coincided with finally, finding a wonderful man of God. We, have both grown so much over the years. We are on this transforming journey together. He, too is a musician and used to have the same dreams. Now, however our desires have changed. We, no longer serve ourselves, but we long to serve Christ using the gifts He has so graciously bestowed upon us.

However, I still have room to grow and sometimes I still struggle and stumble. I am not perfect, but at least now I strive to be and I desire to be more pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. I try to base every decision on biblical principles and precepts. I feel that I have a good relationship with the Lord. By the grace of God I am doing my best.