A Life Story from Spain
From the beginning, my parents have always always helped me to walk my first steps in the Roman Catholic faith, memorizing the prayers and having communication with God. Truthfully, I have always felt like a child of God, mostly because I was the daughter of two teachers of the Roman Catholic religion and the granddaughter of a Roman Catholic priest. For this reason, I always thought that I was sure I was going to heaven. However, the absolute truth is that when I would go to the church, I understood nothing, and my communication with God was like a routine, repeating the same thing over and over again.
Later on, going to the church became a chore that I had to complete. So it was that when I was 13 years old, I found myself in a huge spiritual vacuum. My mother encouraged me to attend the Catholic Youth group, and in doing that I felt closer to God and felt I was on the right track with my life. However, the end result of my experience during that time was really bad. During that time, I learned absolutely nothing, and the people were involved in doing things that I really would rather not remember. Although this overall experience was bad, I did not give up trying and asking for help, even though there were moments in which my interest in spiritual things died and I began to think that the whole thing was a waste of time and, like my mom says, all ways lead to God. It was then that I relaxed and thought "Well then, why should I even go to church? If you are a good person, you will go to heaven."
It was in this time of my life that I began to hang around Cody. He told me that I should read the Bible, but I did not understand why he would tell me to do that. I thought, "...the Bible? But...it is such an old book, and besides that, I don't understand anything it says." A little later, I began to attend the evangelical church, and at the beginning I thought "These people are too nice. This is weird!" But the truth is that I was learning a lot and I began to have a lot of questions. I would leave the church as if I had eaten something that I had craved and I would feel filled. I still have many great memories of that time, like the time I went to summer camp (the games and meals together). It made me so happy to know that I was taking little steps towards something I felt was right, but I knew that it was not enough. I needed more.
I began to study a book of Bible stories. This book, The Story of Hope, was a huge help and blessing, and I was finally learning how to begin to live a life of faith. I learned that the most important thing for me is that Jesus died to save us from our sins. We are not going to heaven only by being good people or by doing good works, because we are sinners and imperfect. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) It is a real joy to know that God has forgiven me. After following the steps in the book, I began to talk with God, more deeply, and I feel like I am finally doing the right thing. My parents have never opposed me. They want me to follow the path that leads me the closest to God. However, there is only one way, one correct path. I am the way, the truth, and the life; nobody comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6-9) This is directly from the Bible and there is no better proof. I still feel like a baby in all of this, but I know that I am doing that which I should do, and that this is important. I've learned so much from this study. After studying with The Story of Hope, I know I have a relationship with God and I don't feel alone. I continue to study and learn during my morning train ride, when I read the Bible verses of the day.
The above was written by Gloria and translated. Gloria is now studying The Way to Joy and is learning a lot as she continues to grow.