Not quite a teenager, and not quite sure "who I was," I had a very lax relationship with the Lord. As many pre-teens feel, I felt like I had not yet discovered who I was, or what I was all about. Desiring something to cling to and call my own, I became involved with many activities, hoping to find my calling, or at least to occupy my mind until I did find something that fit my persona. I tried everything from cheerleading and Girl Scouts to hobbies like Star Wars and pen-palling.
The summer before my freshman year of High School changed who I am today. I was dragged off to Ohio for a religious conference, and I was not looking forward to it. I did not want to sit in a hot car for hours to be hauled off to another state that I did not want to be in. Thoughts of being able to catch up on my letters and Star Wars books were a small comfort along the way.
When we arrived, we walked into a rather large gymnasium where we were seated with thousands of "Jesus Freaks." I sighed and sank deep into my chair as speaker after speaker got up and gave their talks. I don't remember what they were talking about and I wasn't paying attention, anyway. I was so bored. The second I tried to pull out a Star Wars book, my mom slapped my hand and told me to pay attention. Ugh. This was going to be a long weekend.
The next morning, we went to mass bright and early. I just couldn't believe that we were going to mass on a Saturday morning. The day droned on as more and more speakers gave their talks on "How to be a better Christian," or "The importance of the Eucharist," nothing that interested me as much as my precious Star Wars.
That same night was interesting, to say the least. We ended the night with a benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The Blessed Sacrament was placed in a monstrance that was made of gold and surrounded by many precious gems and jewels. We all got down on our knees and prayed to the Lord as we sang praise and worship songs.
The priest lifted the monstrance and began to walk around the gymnasium so that everyone was able to take a close look at the Lord and be near Him. The room felt intense and warm. Two altar servers walked with the priest, bearing candles as the lights dimmed to a low. The room fell to not a hush, but more an intense quiet sound. People began sobbing and shaking, crying words of repentance and praise.
When the Lord passed by, I looked deep into the center of the monstrance, trying to see what everyone else was making such a fuss about. As I looked into the Soul of Christ, I felt Him look deep into my soul, consuming me, asking me to be His. I immediately began to cry, the sound of my sobbing blending with the sounds of others crying. I asked the Lord to forgive me of all that I had done to offend Him, for I knew that every little sin I had committed had hurt my Lord. I thanked the Lord for dying for all of us, for giving his life so that we may live eternally. I asked the Lord to come into my heart and to recreate me, to make me his own.
That night changed my life forever. It was the first time that I had ever asked the Lord to have my life. Since then, everything has changed. I try to keep my actions consistent with what I know the Lord would want. Every day, I try to rededicate my life to the Lord, reminding myself of that night so that I will live in a way that others will see Christ through me. This has been my goal since that night. I may not always carry out the Lord's will and I am by no means a perfect Christian, but whenever I feel my faith beginning to waver, I think to that moment when I first felt the Lord's touch on my soul.