To share my experience meeting God or like we church folk like to call it, my testimony, has been intimidating. Most of the changes that happened in my life took place at the core of who I am. Those changes have led me to find peace. This is the second part of what I’ve called His Pursuit.
I did not grow up in the church. Although like I mentioned before I was raised with customs and traditions of the Catholic Church, in my home rarely did we discussed things of the spirit. The idea of God had a more superstitious tint and I preferred more logical matters.
Why would then God be after me?
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” Ecclesiastes 11:5 NIV
The experience at the church changed me profoundly. I was not ready to give my life to Jesus, but in my mind for the first time I accepted the possibility of the existence of a Supreme Being that not only created me, but also was seeking after me.
At around the same time, I met Danny. Danny was this very cute 18-year-old that simply swept me off my feet. Although we had nothing in common except for a strong attraction to each other, we began hanging out.
He invited me to his church (yes he was a friend of my “churchy” cousin). And since the prospect of going to church with a guy I really liked sounded better than going back to attending Catholic mass, I joined him.
Again I had a hard time following the sermons at church, but it didn’t matter. Next to me stood a very cute boy who was crazy for me. Then we would spend the rest of the day together. He would hang on every heavily accented word I would say. We talked for hours although mostly it was because it took hours to put a couple of sentences together reading them from our not always reliable Franklin translator.
If only we had Google translate in our phones back then (You new international couples don’t know how good you have it). But we didn’t even have cell phones. We paged each other and with that we created our own unique language.
He wanted to join the military to get money for school. I hated war, and distrusted American Interventionism. He read J.K. Rowling and Stephen King. I preferred Marquez and Kundera. He was a Christian boy. I was a Humanist. He was a “gringo” about to go to basic training. I was a Mexican girl with a looming expiration date in my Visa stamp. He liked Metallica. I was a Nirvana fan. Yet, we both enjoyed playing GoldenEye 007 in my cousins Nintendo 64.
And at that age, it was enough for each other. I fell in love with his laid back personality, he, with my fiery eyes (his words not mine). We laughed. We played. We attempted to dance.
But deep down I was mostly attracted to something that I could not put my finger on. It was not the sexual “je ne sais quoi” that makes you attracted to the unexpected and sometimes ugly guy (inside and out). If I had to give it a name it was an aura of goodness. The only other person I had met with this attractive energy was my best friend Katia back home, who was the only Christian I’ve met before coming to the States.
When he invited me to dinner with his family. They all had this energy. Maybe because I was not fluent in English, I was more aware of what people put out. Their intentions somehow became transparent. They were free. When I returned to my uncle’s home, I started noticing that everyone under his roof had it as well.
By no means were they perfect people. But for the first time I noticed that having God in your life meant peace, a contagious peace, and an attracting force beyond evangelical words. I began putting attention.