The path that laid before me in my search for religious meaning and belief has been a very rocky one, to say the least. Growing up Catholic and Methodist, attending both services every Sunday, and making my way through all the Sacraments in the Catholic Church, made me more aware than most children of the hypocrisy of organized religion. I asked questions, but the answers never sat right with me.
As an adult, I came to the conclusion that religion was not for me. I wanted to believe, I knew there was something out there greater than all of us, but the definition that people kept trying to feed me felt wrong and hypocritical. Once again, I would ask a bunch of questions and try to have some light shed on this confusing, difficult, blind leap of faith I was expected to take. All to no avail. I always left feeling more confused and disenfranchised than before.
Then I met Tyler Norkus. He asked me what I believed and I told him “Not much”. He shared with me his moment when God spoke to him and how it changed his life. I was a little skeptical at first and wasn’t sure what to believe. As Tyler and I got closer, he shared more and more with me. We had conversations until 5 in the morning about religion and what it all means. I realized that this man believed what I believed and he showed it in everything he did. He proved to me that religion and a love for God and Christ was supposed to be enlightenment, and should be seen through the lens of love. I believed that! We started reading the Bible together and listening to podcasts. Eventually we went looking for a church.
The minute we walked into Highland I felt something different, something real. For the first time in my life religion made sense to me. Every Sunday we attended Highland, I was getting closer and closer to Jesus and God and was learning what it meant to live a life with the love of Jesus as my guide. This church answered all of my questions and didn’t look down on me for asking questions. Sitting in church, listening to the music, and listening to Pastor Joe, was now the highlight of my week and many Sundays I have been moved to tears for the beauty and power of love I feel here.
Tyler, this church, and Pastor Joe, have led me to Jesus. They opened my heart and mind to something great and wonderful. I am ready to leave my old way of thinking and start anew. I am ready to be reborn and start a life following Christ. Thank you to everyone for helping me reach this new place and I hope through Christ’s love I can be that for other people to come.