Growing up in a Buddhist family, I always felt a bit of an outcast with my friends. Most were Protestant Christians and came from families who use to utter such words as “OMG, you’re family will burn in hell if you aren’t Christian.” Yikes. That in itself was a major turnoff for my parents to ever turn to Christianity. But for me, I knew it felt right. I wanted to be Christian. Maybe to follow to flow of what others were doing, but in my gut, that’s where I wanted to be and belong. As early as third grade, I knew. And it never turned off. Only to know that by sixth and seventh grade, I wanted to be Catholic. Strange right? Knowing almost nothing about Catholicism, I still blindly felt that everything that was Catholic was so cool and so beautiful. Many of my friends were Catholic. I would follow them to CCD classes; only to be told to wait outside. I would go to their mass and feel out of place. But to me, I wanted in. I wanted to know more. It’s strange how the world hears your innermost thoughts.
Just like that, my Prince Charming turned out to be Catholic. It was such a pleasant surprise as most Koreans are Protestant Christians. I knew the day I met him, I would marry him one day. Somehow, the stars aligned for us in terms of both our parents accepting each given families faith practices. It was beautiful. (Our road to a fruitful and communicative relationship took a long ass time… but nonetheless… I couldn’t be more grateful how our families are with one another).
But still, in my heart and soul, I knew I was missing a fundamental component of being a Christian. I didn’t feel God loved me. I searched high and low. I had faith in my faith, but I still didn’t feel complete. As an avid reader of self-help and spirituality books, I tried to learn how to foster this relationship. I spoke deeply and openly about my desires and my doubts with my BFF, JK. And she helped me the best way she could by providing tools in the form of books, talks, CDs, words, and tears. (Seriously, I do have the best best friend… ever).
Then one morning just about two months ago, I was gently putting O into her carseat, just like any other morning, and it happened. Simple. Pleasant. And so honest. He showed me in that moment how much He loved me. I cry as I write this remembering that feeling of utter contentment, bliss, and freedom. That transcending feeling didn’t last long, but the memory of it is what fills me til this day. My mind was clearer than it had ever been before. And He told me,” you love that little girl so much that you take such diligence to put her in that car ever-so-gently with love and kindness. That’s how much I love you but so much more and so much better.” I was the best moment of my life. Better than the day I got married. Better than the day I gave birth. Everything looked better and felt better.
Don’t get me wrong people, I still have my struggles especially when I have a nagging 3 year old testing every cell in my body. But it’s still good.
I remember when I would read books and they would say things in the same way I just did. That the moment was so simple. Like a lightbulb just went off… blah blah. I doubted. I doubted a great deal that it really happened to them. That it could happen to me. But it did. I know some people might read this and think it’s a crock of shit… and that is ok, because I used to think the same thing. But it did.
I shared my experience with my best friend first, because I know my journey was just as important to her as it was for me. And when we finally were face-to-face to talk about it, she cried. Uh… that girl. So thankful for her. Then, I shared with my sister… who maybe still doesn’t understand the years of earnest wanting I went through to get this reassurance, but I shared so maybe one day she can say, “Hey C… I felt it too. I felt it. God loves me.” Then, I shared with my husband during dinner because I couldn’t share with him during the day… and he was happy because he knew I was happy.