My story is fairly simple, and it spans 72 years. I was born into a Catholic environment. I attended a Catholic school and church through eighth grade. I went to church on Sunday and was taught about God, the Trinity, heaven, hell, and sin. I continued to attend Catholic church on Sundays as I grew into an adult. I grew up with only a mother and lacked the guidance of a father. Mom and dad split up while I was in kindergarten. He had a drinking problem and died at a young age. With a good mother and religious upbringing, I managed to grow up right. At age 22, I married the woman that would continue to steer me in a Christian direction. We both continued our Catholic way of life, but we always seemed to be looking for something else. We had our share of difficulties, especially sickness. My wife developed cancer, went through chemo, and it reoccurred later. She went through treatment again and did a stem cell treatment. She had come as close to death as humanly possible but survived. While my wife was sick, I prayed to God to save her and never believed He wouldn't. I felt so blessed that God saved her, because both of my brothers lost their wives to cancer at an early age. We had other major challenges but overcame them together.

Looking back, I see that God has always blessed me and watched over me. He has helped me achieve things I never dreamed possible. I thought it was because I was a widower's son, but now realize it was His love for me. The problem was, I was not as committed to Him as He was to me. Something was missing in my faith. Both my wife and I felt that our faith was just a routine and not satisfying.

We went out of our comfort zone and tried a new church. We liked what we experienced there, became members, and accepted Christ as our personal savior through baptism. I know I'm where I belong. I have an inner peace, I enjoy going to church, and the caring people I'm exposed to too. I have a greater appreciation for all my heavenly Father has done for me. I feel total peace about myself. I know I need to commit more to Jesus, and I will. What a difference there is when you fully accept Jesus into your life. Things change and you change. You no longer need things of the world that you felt were so important. You are happy and fulfilled. I have a much greater Father to guide me than the one I lost.

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