When it comes to conversations about religion, my story is simple. I used to be religious about Jesus until I found a relationship with Him.
It sounds strange because it is strange, but it’s the truth.
I grew up going to Catholic school, wore the uniform, said the ‘Our Father’ prayer every morning, and had communion. But my heart wasn’t in it.
And I think most of us have been in that place before. You’re told to pray this kind of prayer, sing these songs, do xyz, and you’re alright with God. Pretty soon it gets boring and seems pointless. You wonder if God exists, if He actually hears you, if He actually cares.
I believed in Jesus but I only saw Him from a distance, I only saw Him as an idol to worship and nothing else because though I had religion, I didn’t have a connection to God.
I didn't know how much I needed that connection until I fell into depression. I struggled with wanting to die everyday and at the time, I didn't have anyone to talk to and counseling wasn't helping that much.
So I did the only thing I could do, I prayed. Though I did feel peace, still I struggled with the darkness in my heart. But I didn't give up, I kept searching for God's heart and mind you, it wasn't all peaches and cream. There were times where I doubted and was even angry with God.
But when I started going to a non-denominational church, I was surprised to know had gone through similar struggles and shared how coming to Christ helped them.
What I've learned in these encounters, through intimate prayer with God, and in taking time to read the Bible as well as books that explore the questions I have about Him, about the afterlife, and so on, is that God's purpose for us all is to have relationship with us.
That He's not so much interested in what I do and accomplish as much as getting to know me.
Of course, He already knows me but He wanted me to voluntarily get to know Him and share my life with Him. And when I did that, my life was changed and it continues to change.
You see finding God in what Christ did on the cross is what Christianity is all about. Though the Bible is my foundation, seeking God is what it's really about.
It's true that when you accept Jesus into your life, you do receive salvation but what I've learned from losing religion and gaining a relationship with Him is that heaven doesn't begin when I die but here and now on earth.
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