My 1st Persecution

My family was Roman Catholic. I was very proud of the structure and the tradition of the religion I grew up in. So when I left my first husband, I was very upset because I knew I would not be able to participate in the services as I once had. Still, my ex husband insisted I include in our parenting plan that I would raise our daughter Catholic. I agreed since I was proud to be Catholic, and didn’t forsee leaving the religion. Until God spoke to me, and began teaching me HIS way of following him. You can read about it in my post Numbness=Mercy.

Every other Sunday, my daughter would go to the Catholic church with her dad. On her weekends with me, we would attend the church the Lord led me to at the time, which was first the Assembly of God, then the Evangelical Free Church. When CCD started for her, my daughter attended every Wednesday. According to three different attorneys, I was fulfilling my duty to let my daughter be raised Catholic. However, my ex husband was not satisfied and wanted her to attend EVERY Sunday.

I put the whole ordeal into God’s hands. I prayed for wisdom and guidance for all who were involved. I prayed for deliverance from my ex husband’s constant harassment, and I prayed for God to keep me from going back to the Catholic church. When I started having trouble with my marriage I went to counseling for help. I should have been able to turn to the church, but instead of showing me the love of Christ, they began to isolate me and reject me. The church is supposed to be a place for help and healing, but when I really needed it, the religion I loved became the one that pointed a judgmental finger at me. That is not how God designed his Church to be, as evidenced in 1 Thessalonians 5:10-12.

In the only approved autobiography of the woman, author, Kathryn Spink, records that Mother Theresa had experienced Jesus’ presence once. She went through a severe depression when she no longer felt his presence, and spent the rest of her life looking for it again. God wants a personal relationship with us, not a religion.

My ex husband sued me over his belief I was not raising our daughter Catholic. Our court date came, and I noticed there were three chairs at the table where my attorney and I sat. I was made to know that last chair was NOT empty. The Holy Spirit gave me such an obvious feeling of God’s presence, I could almost see him! I also had an overwhelming feeling of peace. For almost an hour I sat on the witness stand, answering questions like:

  • Do you believe you are in the presence of God during the holy Catholic mass?
  • Do you believe your sins are forgiven by going to confession?
  • What, in your opinion, is required to be truly right as far as being forgiven and being “saved”?
  • Do you believe the bread and wine served at a holy mass become Jesus’ body and blood?

I shared my testimony, to unbelievers in the court of law, that Jesus’ blood sacrifice at the cross cleanses us from all unrighteousness. I testified that if we believe Jesus IS the Son of God (John 1:1-5), and trust that his death DOES, in fact, cleanse us from our sins (1 John 1:7), we ARE forgiven and made adopted children of God (1 John 3:1). This means we are in God’s presence ALL THE TIME, not just at Mass (Romans 8:9).  Jesus was sacrificed ONCE FOR ALL (Hebrews 7:27); not every Sunday just for members of the Roman Catholic Church.

Well, needless to say the judge presiding, who happened to be Catholic, didn’t agree with my beliefs. He did not feel I was allowing my daughter to be raised Catholic because the priest was also on the witness stand. According to him, a Catholic is obligated to attend mass every Sunday, and it is a grave sin if they miss. The judge found me in contempt of our original parenting plan. So, when my daughter is with me, she cannot miss a Roman Catholic mass, between now and 18 years of age.  If I am found in disobedience of the parenting plan a second time, I go to jail for 30 days.

WHAT GOD SHOWED ME THROUGH THIS: Missionaries are needed even at home. He will be with me always, and give me peace, even when peace seems so illogical in a situation. He has a greater and bigger purpose for all things that happen, and someone in that court room needed to hear the true testimony of Jesus Christ. In addition, Jesus warned us in this world we will have trouble, but we ought not be afraid because he already overcame the world (John 16:33).

Since that event, God has made this case the “talk of the town”, causing several people to think about what they really believe. God has opened doors for me to talk about Jesus to people I’ve hardly talked to before, especially about spiritual topics. Our great and loving Father showed me that Peter, Paul, Stephen, and several others of His chosen messengers were persecuted for believing in the truth rather than in men’s religious traditions, in the book of Acts. So if my trials bring you closer to the truth and a personal relationship to Jesus, then it is my pleasure to serve you my friends!

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