My parents did not share the same faith. My mom received the sacraments in the Catholic church and my Dad was a son of a Free Methodist Pastor. My mom wanted me to have the sacraments too and my Dad supported it.
My Godparents as I grew up were not faith nurturing but despite that I had an abundance of love from them. Our family was not "church going". I can't recall us going to Mass as a family unless it was for a reason like someone getting married. In fact, I don't remember ever praying with my parents or spending time learning what faith was about.
During my time as a child, my maternal grandmother took care of me while my parents were at work. In her humble house she had an altar. It had a pastel painted Virgin Mary and other smaller sized saints made out of plaster which in my Mexican culture are called "Santitos". I remember when it was nap time, she would have me lay in the bed that was right near her altar of Saints. I would often play with them like they were barbie dolls. I wondered who they were and why she had them in a corner in her room that had candles and flowers. I can remember the smell of burning wax from her prayer candles and the reflections of the Saint figures on the walls. I remember feeling all this but I can't recall why she had this in her home and why it was important to her. My grandmother passed away when I was eleven.
For my First Holy Communion, I remember loving the idea that I would be wearing a mini wedding dress including a veil. I remember the excitement about the party that was coming to celebrate it. Oh it was a big party too! Tons of family brought me gifts like rosaries and prayer books. I had a sugared cake with white frosting and a plastic communion girl on top. But soon after the party, all that I was taught in catechism was lost. I had no more nurturing from the teachers nor did what I learn come from my parents.
Around this same time, my Dad's drug addiction started. Our family life became more about drinking. There was no spiritual direction in our home. No compass.
When my only sister got married, I was in 6th grade, I would attend Church with her and her new little family. We went to the neighborhood Church. I remember feeling peace and happy she would always include me.
My high school years were not filled with guidance from my faith. In fact, all that a teenager can do without someone being there to protect or set straight, I did. Drugs, sex, suicidal tendencies, etc. I didn't know my value.
After high school and a bad breakup with a high school boyfriend, I started back up and attended Church with my sister and her family. And even though I had a foot in the door (so to speak) I still was living a sinful life. Doing what most young 20 year olds do – going to clubs, drinking, and being promiscuous. Not grasping what I was hearing in Church or realizing it was to be my life.
In fact outside of going to Church with my sister and her family, not much about Jesus was spoken of. Don't recall family talking much about Him either. If anyone was showing me any path it was my sister, who was receiving some guidance through her in-laws.
However, now looking back I know that those "seeds" that were planted by my mom and sister throughout my young life were there to help me where I am now. I can look back and see the Hand of God despite the child life I was given or the choices I made.
We all have journeys and not everyone takes the same path to finding a relationship to Jesus. This is why I find it important for me to share with others who might have a similar past or are living this now. To make aware how our Father God is truly real, is always by our side, and never gives up on us. Ask, seek, and knock! In the end it's about when you desire Jesus in your life! +++