AN INVITATION TO LIFE
"God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life." 1 Jn. 5:12
Through this verse, I can't help but reflect upon my own personal struggle with religion throughout the years. Though I was raised Catholic and I felt the Lord in my heart as a young girl, there was a period between high school and my mid-20s when I had abandoned faith. Not only did I abandon my faith, I outright denied the truth of Jesus Christ. It is no surprise to me then that this period in my life came with great struggles. I began to hate myself, I doubted my self-worth, I struggled to maintain positive relationships, I relied on negative influences and I focused on my own self rather than looking outside to others. Rather than living, I was drowning in the secular world, treading water with weights on my ankles and barely staying afloat.
Three years ago, however, when I had nothing left and believed I was truly nothing, God gave me the opportunity...invitations...to say "yes" to life with Him. God's invitations were subtle at first. It started when I received an invitation from my now husband to join him at mass each Sunday. Some Sundays I said "yes" and other Sundays I declined. After we were engaged, I received an invitation at our Engaged Encounter weekend to join a Catholic Women's Group here in Boise. Though I was skeptical, I went because I yearned for friendship. Then one Sunday at St. John's, I received an invitation to attend an Alpha course, which I attended and where I was then invited to go on Caritas retreat. Though these invitations happened sporadically throughout a period of 2.5 years, they helped me begin to evaluate my forgotten relationship with Jesus Christ. Many times, these invitations were initially met with hesitation on my end and had to be extended several times before I said "yes", but what I have come to realize is that my life started anew three years ago when I said "yes" to God. When I allowed Jesus to enter my life, I found that I was no longer drowning – He is my raft.
How can we help others discover their invitation from God?