I remember that when I was little, I was not exactly excited about going to church each week. I sometimes even fell asleep during mass. However, as I have matured, I have been able to embrace my religion more than I ever thought I was capable of. I believe in my religion. I believe in God.
May 8, 2007 was one of the most defining days of my life. I remember clearly that I was sitting in front of the television, engrossed in an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. When I heard the door open and close in the kitchen, I knew that something was wrong immediately because my mother and father were both crying. I was scared. My father almost never cries, let alone in front of me. My parents sat both my brother and I down in the living room, on the comfortable brown leather chairs, and told us as gently as they could that my dog, Bailey, had to be put to sleep only four days later. I was beside myself. I may have experienced every emotion that day. Bailey was a gorgeous Shetland sheepdog. She was only seven years old. She had been sick for a while, but I had always thought she would get better, always. That fateful day I learned about the cancer.
“This is the best thing we can do. She won’t have to live in pain anymore.” My mother told me.
I did not know whom I could talk to. That night I found myself praying, as I do every night, and asking God for Bailey not to have to suffer any more pain. In return, I received strength and consolation from God. I felt him with me, telling me that as a family, we could get through this. We would be okay. I then realized that if I ever needed to talk to Bailey, I could pray to God. I can tell her, whenever I need to, that we miss her. I am able to do this because of God. He, like Bailey, is always with us, protecting, guiding, and loving my family.
This year, I am blessed to be confirmed into the Catholic Church, and I have chosen a saint’s name for myself in the process. I chose Saint Anastasia. I read her story online and was struck by not only the elegance of her name, but also by the strong Catholic woman that she was. She was married to a tyrant who treated her like a slave, yet Saint Anastasia rejoiced that she was able to suffer for the love of Jesus Christ. I can only hope that I can draw from her story and express my love for Jesus and be a courageous Catholic woman like her.
I remember the words that Gerry, our Catechetical Leader, said during one of my confirmation classes.
“If you do not believe in God, you should not be here. It is wrong for you to be experiencing this journey if you do not believe in God.”
This statement made me feel certain that I have made the right decision in being confirmed this year. I know that I am ready. My faith has become a significant part of my identity. It has caused me to become a more spiritual person. I am much more serious about my religion now than ever before. I always feel sad when I have to miss a mass because of homework or another obligation. I now take more time to say my prayers instead of rushing through them as I did when I was little. And when my family could not attend Church for several years, I did not realize how much I truly missed it until I began to attend mass again. I am ready to become Molly J. Anastasia J. This I believe.
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