When I was 6 years old, my sweet mom would gather the four of us kids in our living room each Sunday night. She’d recite the Rosary prayer, otherwise known as 10 “Hail Marys,” preceded by the Lord’s Prayer, followed by one “Glory Be To God.” I remember walking away with wonder. I secretly went to my room each Sunday night, knelt by my bedside and recited the “Our Father” prayer — I wanted to understand God’s plan.
Fast-forward 24 years. On my son’s 6th birthday, my beautiful mom died of cancer. That day, a piece of me died with her. I stopped praying, and I felt my faith shatter to pieces.
As my world turned upside-down, I unknowingly began wrestling with God. I embarked on a journey to find myself. I had no anchor except books and personal thoughts as I sought to explain what seemed unexplainable.
In the midst of this, my marriage ended and my journey truly began. I found myself developing greater self-awareness and learning about the value of meditation. It was monumental, but I still felt a spiritual void. I sought refuge in the form of a relationship. That road led me to have a child with an abusive man, whom I left early in my pregnancy. Going through childbirth alone and feeling the shame that came with made me question myself and everything I thought I knew.
I decided to pick up everything and move to North Jersey — it was my way of starting over. The minute I settled in I found myself alone, trying to absorb the journey that had led me there. Every emotion I’d avoided over the last 10 years started pouring out of me — it was a surreal experience. Then, thoughts about God and His significance in all of this begged my attention.
I started talking with God — for the first time in a decade. In many ways, I felt like the prodigal son who made his way home again. I experienced an overwhelming reconnection with God. A realization came over me — He never left me. In fact, He was waiting for me, right here, right now.
My awareness of His presence was swift and clear. And just like that, His nudge, His whisper — whatever you want to call it — was guiding me. I truly let go of my pain and opened myself up to His mercy. Since then, I have felt overwhelmed with evidence of His love in my life.
Each day I still feel like a simple human striving to understand it all while living in His grace. The difference is I now appreciate the propensity of His love and His overwhelming willingness to show me grace at my most difficult moments.