For the last few years I struggled with understanding what it meant to be saved. There was never a time in my life that I did not believe in God. I was raised in a Catholic family. We went to church every (most) Sundays. I went to Catholic school for twelve years, we prayed before meals, and had Bibles in our home. I was baptized, had my first communion, and was confirmed, but if you asked me if I was a Christian, I would have stared at you blankly and said not really.
I came to Liberty two months after moving to New York City. I had finally made the move I was dreaming of for as long as I can remember, but I felt lost and alone once I was here. A friend invited me to her church and after a few polite declines I woke up one Sunday, got dressed and headed to Soho to meet my friend for church. Something clicked pretty immediately that first service and I kept going back. Within two months I was on a team serving on Sundays. One Sunday during the pre- service team meeting the Pastors felt they needed to use that time to pray. So they put on worship music and the team lined up to get prayer from the Pastors and members of the prayer team.
I still remember the song that was playing. It was Everything to You by Bethel. I got in line not knowing what I was even doing. When it was my turn the community pastor said to me what can I pray for you for? “I don’t know, I said. I don’t know what I am doing.” He said how long have you been saved? And I started crying and said I don’t know what that means. So he started to pray for me. And I sat down in my seat and watched the rest of my fellow team members pray and get prayed for. Service came and went and I found myself in my apartment on the floor sobbing. I was crying so hard it felt the tears were coming from my stomach. I called my Mom and just sobbed on the phone and told her about what I just experienced.
It was then I realized that I could know Jesus. That I could have a relationship with the Holy Father. That Jesus did not just exist on an altar for us to bow to on Sundays and not look back. That Jesus is within us always. I realized that I was made whole in His name. That there was joy and peace, and love waiting for me. It was like Jesus had sat down on that floor with me and cried with me as we watched the pain and sin that I held onto wash away. I was His creation, I was free from the chains of loneliness and depression and sin, I was saved.
I realized that I knew religion. But I did not know Jesus. I did not know that there was a plan and purpose for me. Since I have come to know Him, I have learned about parts of myself that I never knew existed. I picked up a paintbrush for the first time and painted because He called me to. He showed me that I was worthy, I was creative, I was valued, and that I was loved!
For as long as I can remember I have been drawn to the arts and fashion. I am in awe of people that take a blank canvas, or pieces of fabric, or blank film and create art. The art of creating has always moved me. I believe that art is the medium I have to reach people. I have seen that art can give people purpose, it can heal the hurt and wounds people suffer from. It can give words to emotions that people can not express. Art can unify where there is division. Art can bring light to a room that is filled with darkness. When I create anything I know it is made with the same purpose I received that day on my bedroom floor. The day that I was saved. The day that I stopped being an acquaintance of the Father. and I became a daughter. The day I became a Christian.