by Dani Catherine
I was raised Catholic, and Catholicism was always a big part of my life when I was young. Attending Catholic school, Sunday mass, saying my prayers before meals and bed, attending religion class, and receiving my First Holy Communion was what I thought I “needed” to do in order to fulfill the portrait of a “good Catholic girl.” And, I did consider myself a “good Catholic girl.” I attended Catholic school until 8th grade and then continued my education in the public school system. Attending public school started a whole new ball game. I instantly rebelled to seek the approval of my peers and wanted to become “the popular girl.” So, I found myself giving into peer pressure, partaking in things that I knew I shouldn’t be doing, and losing my soul.
After high school, while in undergrad, I was still living the same life of seeking approval from society, except my need for approval increased. I was then partying, hanging out with the wrong types of men, and I forgot everything I was taught in Catholic School and the morals and values that were instilled in me as a young child. At this point, I didn’t even think there was a God. But, did I even truly KNOW The Lord when I was young? Or did I just memorize all the prayers and hymns that were on my Religion tests? I started to realize that I didn’t truly know The Lord, and because I didn’t know Him, I didn’t believe in Him anymore.
Rock bottom was where I found The Lord. I can remember every detail, every smell and every sound that was made the moment I found Him. I woke up from a night of wanting to die-I didn’t think I was going to make it out alive-but I did, and I am blessed that the Lords hand of protection was on me. Because I was breathing, I knew that there was a God. His hand of protection, love and forgiveness was on me. I smelt fresh air, I heard myself breathing; I could hear the sound of my heartbeat beating so loudly. And when I looked in the mirror, I saw a new me. It was the first time in years that I kneeled on the floor and prayed. But it wasn’t a prayer I had ever prayed before. I recognized that I was living in sin and by that sin, I was broken. I asked Jesus to forgive me and to be the Lord and Savior of my life.
I was rescued. I was saved. I was made new.
I will forever be grateful for where I used to be, to where I am now. Looking back, God was there all along…I just had to seek and find Him.
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
Dani Catherine is the Communications Coordinator for the Beautiful Ministry, as well as a full time Substance Abuse Therapist. Dani loves to bake, eat ice cream, paint, snap photos and spend time with her loved ones.