All those times I thought God had abandoned me, my back was turned to Him, and not the other way around. I turned around, and found Him waiting with His arms wide open. When I came home running, many cool experiences started happening, like chance encounters with customers with a word of advice and/or encouragement, and my mom showing up in the Salvation Army parking lot all excited to tell me that I was born on Mexican Independence Day.
It all started with that dream, my encounter with Jesus. He gazed down upon me with His compassion, and lifted me up out of my haze. All my life, He has been by my side, showing me His love in many ways, sometimes mysterious and mystical. I am His, and each time I wander away, He guides me back home.
One example: in 2007, I was biking with my boyfriend at the time, and I felt God telling me to head into a store, any store, and find shelter. I called out to my boyfriend, and told him. He thought we could keep going, but I refused. We needed shelter. He eventually followed me to a store, and as soon as we did, the rain poured. To make the urgency make sense, I was wearing glasses, and knew that if I kept going on my bike, my glasses would have fogged up, and I could have been hit by an oncoming car. God was there with me. He protected me. I thanked Him, and my faith became stronger.
It is normal to question beliefs, and to search for answers, and I have done so much of that. In all honesty, I’m probably still going to do that, as I am perpetually a student wanting to learn. One of the best learning tools is experience. I have been to a mosque where I learned what Muslims believe and practice, my husband is Jewish, so I embrace the Jewish religion and want to learn more, I have learned about earth-based religions and experimented with those.
Whenever I learn and seek out wisdom from other religions and practices, however, God guides me home where I return to my first love. My first love is God Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. I always come full circle, even when it isn’t my intention. It is God’s, however, because no matter what I do or think I believe, He has a way of making Himself known.
No matter what I do, I am His, as it isn’t what I have done, it is who He is. When I was 16, and declared my faith for the first time, He had a permanent imprint on my heart. It runs deeper than I could ever possibly imagine. All He has to do is whisper His love, and I come running. I can’t help it!