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No Greater Love!

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I was raised in a Roman Catholic family, and went through will all of the Sacraments of the church. (Baptism, First Communion,Reconciliation/confession to a priest, confirmation...etc). As a very young child I was encouraged to pray, pay attention during ma ss (another name for church service), and to be a moral person. Being young and willing to please everyone, I tried my best to follow all of the rules that the church laid out. But something was wrong. Even though I was trying my best to be a good person, to stay out of trouble, and to follow the ten commandments, I never felt good enough.
I felt as though no matter how good of a person I was, I would never be good enough to ever please God. This was around age, 10.
I would often be lost in my thoughts about going to hell, because of my many unconfessed sins, and all of the sins that I was going to inevitably do.-I wondered, how can anyone ever go to heaven if you have to completely avoid sin? And what If my penance was not enough to give me a clean slate?

This fear, and doubt in my heart made my beliefs in God slowly disappear. Many years went on whereas I called myself a Catholic Christian, merely because my family practiced the faith, and that I was attending Catholic school. No matter what I heard at mas s, I still felt like there was something missing in the big picture of things.
Did I ever pray? -next to never. Did I ever think of God? - to me, at that point in time, he was just as real as the tooth fairy, or Santa Clause.

During the time of my disappearing faith, my father died from a cancerous brain tumor. I was about 11 years old. All went downward from then on. Family fights broke out of nowhere- over the most trivial things, I lost all of my friends at school, and became deeply depressed.
With my life in pieces, and ignorant of the knowledge of God's healing power, I stumbled upon what I thought was a beacon of hope.This was shortly after I made my one and only friend. my new friend introduced me to a guy who I thought could take away all of my pain.Without a father figure in my life, I would have clung to any guy who came my way. Weeks and weeks went on, with my friend promising me that I could meet this guy.-He never came to me. But being stubborn and desperate, I would continue to prod my friend with questions about this amazing guy. She would tell me how sweet he was, and how he wants to meet me and make everything better.

Months and months later, even though we never officially met, I would continue to prod my friend with more and more questions, until I felt
better about myself-through what he thought of me. I grew dependant, on hearing his thoughts of me. (he only knew of me, through my friend's description of me, as well).
Months and months turned to years. (This infatuation endured from about age 11 to age 15) After a few years of pursuing this "mystery guy", I eventually spoke to him on the phone, and we would speak romantically to each other, and send love letters via email. (His excuse for not meeting me was his busyness). Around age 14, I started to pray again-but selfishly. I prayed and prayed almost every night to meet this guy.During these prayers I was in great distress, crying, begging, in the most desperate state of heart/mind that I have ever been. My prayers were not answered, or at least in the way that I expected... and I'm not about to say that God had a better plan of setting me up with the quarterback of the school football team either! God knew the kind of love that I was really looking for. More than the kind of love that you read about in Harlequin romance Novel!
And he knew exactly who could provide that kind of love....

Soooo, a few years latter, around age 16, in cooking clas s, my teacher was taking attendance. When this teacher of mine took attendance, she would usually follow up with her "thought of the day." On this particular day, she spoke of praying, and how to talk to God. She mentioned how when you pray, you could talk to God, like you were talking to a close friend of yours. And how casual it can be. For the next few nights, alongside of my prayers to meet the guy mentioned earlier, I would just talk to God. I would tell him how I feel with my own words. (I used to pray with pre-scripted prayers). It didn't seem to make matters better with my infatuation, but It was a start! and soon after I stumbled upon a Christ- centered radio station.
I would listen to it, before I went to sleep at night. The music intrigued me, since the lyrics were full with emotion, and the music was very powerful. I wondered how these artists could be so close to God? I would even stumble upon random commercials speaking of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. At the time, I had no idea what a "personal relationship with Jesus" was. I thought that kind of stuff was only for like nuns or priests, or religious fanatics, or saints, for that matter.

As weeks and weeks went on and I would find myself talking to God more and more; And listening to more Christ- centered music. This was weird, because I found myself slowly believing that God was real again. And as I let my curiosity about Christ increase, my curiosity about the guy who I thought would make it all better, decreased. Then out of nowhere, my friend told me about a youth group she heard of through other friends. Though It was held at a Protestant church, (which was foreign to me at the time), I decided to go there and check it out.

After going to the youth group a few times, some of my old views of God, and Christianity were shaken up. The youth pastor spoke of how God wants to intimately be a part of everyone's life, and how awesome his plans are for us. This was not the God that I was familiar with! I used to think of God as a merciless judge, who was too busy and unapproachable to care about someone as unimportant as myself. And I used to underestimate the power of Christ's death on the cross, and it's meaning. I was so wrong! I came to realize that my own actions/deeds were not my way to salvation. And no matter who I perused romantically, I would never become whole through them. I also found evidence of God's great love in the bible (that I was never encouraged to read/interpret in the past). The love that I was searching for through another man, was not worth shedding tears for. God heard my anxious and desperate prayers for love, and he most certainly answered them! God showed me the greatest love that anyone could ever dream of...his love.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

His love endures forever!

Amen! Hallelujah!
Praise the Lord of_the_rose. That is a wonderful testimony.

1 Timothy 4:12 "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
Hi of_the_rose,

What a wonderful testimony! It still amazes me of God's infinite love and grace. How he watches over us as we grow and gently guides us home to Him. I grew up in a family that lived with abuse and alcohol. Not to go too much into depth right now but He was there every step. And how awsome is it that in His great love He has brought another dear sister into the fold. Oh how I want to praise Him for He is so magnificent.

I'm so full of praise - I'm speechless.
Best wishes,
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Staff Member
Beautiful testimony sister thank you for sharing this :)

Our GOD has the greatest love of all, above all!

Praise Him in Jesus Christ our Savior of Love

I thought I'd say hello, since you're in the same province as me. I read through your three submissions or articles, which were interesting. I've printed some articles too, on the covenant. This message is from xpt_him_soon. God bless.