7”…I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ…”
I interjected here because the above is about me. These three versus could not fit me any better.
I have had the calling since I was about twelve-years-old. I know I have said this in the past but I will say it again.
I was raised Catholic and I knew I couldn’t become a Priest so I wanted to be a Nun in the worse way. I studied and was a good Catholic. I went to all my Catholic classes and would sit and talk with the Nuns. I would go to Church faithfully every Sunday and do whatever a little girl could do to work in the Church. I wasn’t allowed to be an altar girl because at that time there were only altar boys. I so wanted to be a boy so I could be that altar boy and then a Priest. My mother was encouraging too. She saw my calling. She saw the way I behaved and taught my siblings. My paternal grandmother comes from a strong religious background. My grandmother was faithful in her faith as well. She taught me about the rosaries and helped me learn how to say the cited prayers. It was so right for me. Then one day my world fell apart. During my confirmation classes we were told about a month or six weeks before our confirmation that the Bishop could not attend our church to confirm us. We all asked why and we were told that he had too many Parishes to attend to so he did not choose us. We asked how we would be confirmed. We were told we had to repeat our classes the following year. We were all devastated. I cried because I was an honor student and my reward was to meet personally with the Bishop and I was to receive special honors and recognition. I wanted to be a nun and I was going to tell him that. I was so upset so when I got home and told my mother through my tears she said she would see what she could do. She called every Catholic Church in our neighborhood and they all said the same thing to her: “We cannot allow her to be confirmed in our Parish because she did not attend the classes here.” My mother said she would get the records from our Parish and she explained to them that this was a future nun and she has high honors and was going to be recognized, etc. None of them cared. None of them gave my mother any tips on what to do. She began calling churches outside of our neighborhood and was told similar reasons why I could not be confirmed with them. Of course I was so heartbroken and was crying uncontrollably. “Why would they do this to us?” was all I kept saying. I went back to school that following Sunday and I let my teacher know how disappointed I was and that I was not coming back to this church ever again. I refused to take the classes over again. I was so angry that I left the church. I did not return again until I wanted to have my daughter baptized.
At this point I was away from church for about eight years. I decided to return to church for my daughter. When we went to our appointment with the Priest and we began talking about getting our daughter baptized we got a terrible reaction. He asked us where we were married and we told him the man who married us and where. We were married by the Justice of Peace. We could not afford a big wedding and my mother told me that the church was expensive so I found a JP. I was not pregnant but my husband was going into the military and he wanted us to be married before he went in. I had 6 weeks to plan a wedding that was in my mother’s budget because we didn’t have any money. So when the Priest learned about that he said we needed to be married in the church first. We denied that and told him that God knows we are married and we married for the right reasons not the wrong reasons. The Priest got so angry with us because we argued that he was denying an innocent child the right of baptism for the supposedly sins of her parents? He was denying her a future in their church because we didn’t want to spend money on a marriage that was not important because we were already married? He refused us and made us leave. He was screaming throughout the office so that everyone there heard him and us and we left so angry. I looked at my husband and said this church is hurting me again; first my confirmation and now our child? Yes, it was the same church. I too did what my mother did. I began to make phone calls to all the churches I knew. Most of them said no because I was not a parishioner there. I didn’t tell them I was married by a JP.
Then I called this church that was up the road from us. I was thinking of attending there because it was closer to my home but I had always felt drawn to the church I grew up in. The Priest said he would come to us and he did and we served coffee and pastries and we sat there talking and having a good time. I’ve never had a Priest do this we me, ever. He was a regular Joe, if you will. I felt comfortable enough to tell him what happened to us and why I was away from the church so long and the story I just told you. He said he would baptize our child. He did baptize our child and then we joined their church. I was spiritually satisfied for a while again. I was disappointed that I could not be a nun anymore because I got married and I wasn’t allowed to be a layperson that worked in the church because I was not a man but I worked the bingos and the fairs and any fundraisers I could. I did all I could for my new church. I enrolled our daughter in their school. When my son came along he was baptized there and involved in the church and I registered him in their school but we bought a house and were moving away. Just before we moved we received a bill from the church saying our portion was to pay for a new boiler they had to have installed in the church. It was a couple hundred dollars. I called and asked what this was about because nothing was ever said to me in any of the meetings and activities I did for the church. They said all the registered parishioners received a bill with their portion. I proceeded to tell them that I tithe and that I give all my time to them, our budget will not allow this to be paid. They were angry with us and said our children could no longer attend their school and I was not allowed to work the bingo’s anymore. SLAM!! It happened again; another church hurting me because I didn’t do what they wanted. They only care about themselves, not their parishioners. I moved away to my new home lost once again. It was a few years again before I would really find happiness in my spiritual life but not where you would expect it.
My husband came home from work one day with a pamphlet for me. He said he felt that I might like it there and to check it out. It was for the Methodist church down the road from our home. I told him that it wasn’t a Catholic Church and I can’t go to another Church. I was a very good Catholic even when I wasn’t attending a Church. So I was prompted to call the Church by God. I spoke with the Minister there. He was young and an eager man. I told him that I was Catholic and asked him if I was allowed in his Church. He said I sure was. I explained that the Catholic Church said we are not to enter another denomination’s Church, ever. It was a sin if we did. I was scared but he made me comfortable to go and meet him there and talk with him and see if I like it. I did just that. He was wonderful. He gave me my first bible. I never had one before because we were taught that we could not read the bible without a Priest or a Nun to read it with us. I never got that opportunity so I never had a bible and my mother was a Catholic convert from being a Baptist and she was told the same thing so no bible was in our house. I was grateful and didn’t know what to do with the bible and this wonderful Minister told me to read it. Just read it. That is all I had to do. If I had any questions he would be available for answers. I joined the bible study classes to learn how to read the bible. I had joined the choir, I had joined the church and I wanted to become confirmed with the Methodist Church. Because I was not confirmed as a Catholic this was possible. Of course I had to attend their classes first and I understood this because this was not a Catholic Church. I learned the bible. I learned that we learn from God and not from a Priest or a Nun. They don’t have Nun’s in a Methodist Church. They actually have women Ministers. Oh my!! I’m so much in love spiritually and so complete and happy. There is hope for me to serve God the way He wants me to. I’m a confirmed Methodist and so very proud.
It’s been awhile, about eight years ago, that I had to leave this church that gave me a new life spiritually and taught me about the bible and more. We moved away. Since then I have attended theology school and will be continuing my studies. I am a Reverend/Minister now but not of any faith. Right now I am a Christian Minister and I am continuing my studies in all religions. I’m learning how they all believe, to make me a stronger person, to give me great detail in all Spirituality. I love the Methodist faith, I do and I still lean towards their belief system but to serve all that come to me and my blog visitors I owe them a more diverse spirituality. So I am still in studies and will continue forever in my studies. I hope to work in a Church again. I hope to be able to serve locally as well as on the Internet. I want to solemnize marriages. I’ve done so already and it feels good and the couple are so happy. It is what I am called to do. I baptize children or adults in the faith they choose or as a Christian only. I bless homes, vehicles, anything someone wants blessed. I have blessed crosses for people to wear or hang in their home. I am closer to what I have been called to do.
The reason for this history of my journey is brought about because of the verses above. I do this for you. I want you to have a relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I want you to be at rest and peace in life. I want you to learn how to let go of worry and stress. I want to help you in whatever area you need help in. I will be a Pastoral Counselor in October 2012. I counsel now but I have will have my degree then.
Now, below, is more versus and I will explain why I chose to post it here in this blog.
13 “Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”
This is what I stated above. This is what I am meant to do. I am called to help you. That is what verse 13 is, my heart to help you find your glory.
14 “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
God said do and I am doing. I love our heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
16”… that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love…
19 …to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us
21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
This is how I feel and this is how I want you to feel. It is a great feeling and life is so much better and less stressed. Life is good and I want that for you and your loved ones.
~ Ephesians 3:7-9, 13-14, 16, 19-21 NKJV
God Bless You and Yours,
Rev. Lizz ~<@