Seeking Truth, Love and Surviving College: My Story Part 1

My Christian testimony is a long, yet, colorful story. I wasn’t one of those who had a “come-to-Jesus” moment, though, looking back, I can definitely see the hand of God steering me to where I am today — even though I didn’t know it.

I’ve decided to record my testimony. It seems more personal than just writing. However, the transcript is below.

Here is part 1 of my testimony…

Listen to it on Spotify…

My Faith Journey

I was born into a Catholic family on a Catholic island, Puerto Rico. When I was 2 1/2 my dad decided that he could make more money living in New York, so he went there first & got a job in sales and then he sent for me and my mom.

I remember growing up and going to church with my mom every Sunday —never failed rain, snow, sleet, we went to church on Sunday. My dad never went to church—he had an excuse that he had a knee injury and that didn’t allow him to kneel in church. God forbid he couldn’t kneel in church. Missing church was a mortal sin. Maybe my dad had a special pass from the priest.

Once I did my first communion, we had to go to church on Saturday for confession to confess our sins that we committed that week, to be able to receive communion on Sunday during mass. I remember sometimes making up sins. So, yes, I lied during confession.

Our house in Chester, NY
My mom & dad behind our house in Chester, NY.

In the early ‘70s we moved up upstate New York to a small town called Chester. The Catholic Church there, wanting to be hip, started doing folk masses. I joined the choir and I played guitar with them. We sang songs like “They’ll know we are Christians by our love”. I actually enjoyed going to church.

When I went to college in ’73, I went to a small town in Vermont and I went to the Catholic Church there. It was old-fashioned and boring. I decided I’d rather go out and party on Saturday nights and sleep in on Sunday mornings. That started my life as a wild child. I was a party girl. I’m really surprised I survived college.

First let me mention that my dad was a recovered alcoholic. He had stopped drinking, then met my mom and got married and had me. I have a very high tolerance for alcohol. Now, at that time, the drinking age in Vermont was 21 but in New York it was 18. My school was a half a mile from the New York border. Two very smart entrepreneurs opened bars just over the New York border on either side of my school. I could drink anybody under the table.

Me and the Duster, summer of 1974

My college was an all-girls school and to go find guys we had to drive anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half to another school. One of my favorite schools was RPI, in Troy, NY. It was an hour and a half drive. In my sophomore year, my dad gave me a car. Because I had a car, I was very popular and I would chauffeur many gals to the various frat parties at the other schools.

Back then we usually passed around a bottle of wine on the way down, partied hardy, drank a lot of beer at the frat parties and then I drove back from Troy — an hour and a half. And it wasn’t a straight-line highway. The roads were country roads and we had to take this road and then take that road and then take that road, before I got to school. Miraculously, I would wake up safe and sound in my dorm room, on my bed, not remembering the drive —but we made it back! I was there for four years, so imagine how many frat parties we attended.

After college, my mom inherited the house she grew up in in Puerto Rico and we move back there.

Living in Puerto Rico, I continued my wild-child lifestyle. I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I was searching for something — trying to fill a hole in my heart and as it turned out I was looking for Jesus. However, I didn’t know it yet.

When I was 28, I had the opportunity to work on a cruise ship. It was cool. I got to travel and got paid for it. However, the first job was as assistant manager of the boutique on board the ship. We sailed all over the Caribbean, in the winter season, then we were going to Miami, then through the Panama Canal, and then to spend the summer in Alaska.

My boss was Italian and he didn’t know a thing about retailing. That’s what I studied in college. We argued all the time. It got so bad and so stressful — I hated that job! I was stuck. I couldn’t quit my job because I would have had to find my way back home to Puerto Rico and I’d be breaking a contract.

One day, I was walking on the promenade deck and I walked by the chapel. The door was slightly open and with the movement of the ship it was swinging back-and-forth, beckoning me inside. I was alone in there, it was quiet, and I figured I had nothing to lose but pray to God.

I felt better but I still needed to deal with the boss I couldn’t stand.

When we docked in Miami I found out that my Italian boss was being sent back to Italy! And the new manager of the store was a gal who’s father was a Baptist minister. She became my roommate and best friend. Life was good again.

It still took me a while to give my life totally to Jesus — I’ll save that for another video. But, that prayer in the chapel started me thinking that God was the answer to filling the hole in my heart. It was unfortunate that all those years spent going to “Catechism” classes at the Catholic churches, did nothing to lead me to the answer.

Looking back, I know that God had a plan for me, simply because I survived college.

Not long ago, while reading a devotional, I read this:

“But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”

Exodus 9:16

That’s why I’m doing this. This is God’s plan for me. I survived college to be able to use today’s Internet, video and social media to spread His fame and His Truth throughout the earth.

Here’s Part 2….

If you enjoyed my writing, you’ll love my first novel, Deo Volente (God Willing)! Get it on Amazon!

15 comments

  1. […] In part 1 of my testimony, I had survived college and was living the good life working on a cruise ship and God had answered my prayer in finding a new boss. Here’s the next major stage of my life as God continues to guide me in the right direction, but I stubbornly try to do things my way and listen to “false prophets.” (The song I mention is on a video at the bottom…) […]

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