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  My Witness

Vol. 5, No. 2, April, 2000

My Story of Christ in Me
By Shelly Holt

My Story of Christ in Me When I was growing up, the words "Jesus," "Father," and "Holy Spirit," were part of my everyday vocabulary, and I remember, as a family, saying grace before meals and prayers before bedtime; praying the rosary with my brothers and sisters with my Mom leading us. I attended parochial school in the second grade, and throughout my school years until I was confirmed in the ninth grade, I went to catechism. Mass on Sundays and holy days was a family affair. We had a feeling of real family togetherness.

There was always love and gentleness in our family; even difficult situations were handled with tenderness. When I was five years old, my four-year-old brother died the day after Christmas and I asked my Mom, "Where is Bobby?" She knelt down by all of us and said, "He is up in heaven with Jesus and Jesus is taking very good care of him. Some day we will see him again." Being as young as I was, I thought it was just temporary and he would soon be back, but as the days passed, I missed him so. My Mom was able to give me strength because the Lord was her strength!

Through junior high and high school, although the seed was planted in me as a child, I began to drift away from the Lord, going only to Mass on Sundays and receiving Communion then, but that was it. I had fulfilled my duty for the week. Routinely, I prayed before meals and at bedtime. Growing up, working, going out, and dating was all I had time for. In 1978, I finally married and now have two girls.

In April, 1983, I began going to prayer meetings and learned there that I could actually have a personal relationship with the Lord, that I could have Him as Leader through all my daily activities, "a Friend." Jesus was way up there, so I thought before, but never right next to me.

A Life in the Spirit Seminar came in September, 1983. I went to it and boy, let me tell you, no one, I mean no one can ever tell me that there isn't a God. My experience was such that I was able to say, "Father, take me, in the name of Jesus, and through your Holy Spirit, mold me to your will." I felt ready to take on life, my life. I now understood why I was here on earth. So often before I had wondered what my true purpose in life was.

Since the Life in the Spirit Seminar my eyes are opened and for the first time I can see and hear. I can sit down with my children and teach them, with meaning and much love, that Jesus loves them and that He is their best Friend. My heart pounds when I go to Mass as if I were on my first date; I cry when I receive the Holy Eucharist; the Bible is a guide to my every day life instead of a pretty wedding gift that sits on my coffee table for everyone to see.

My personal relationship with Jesus is developing and growing though I realize I have a long way to go yet. This is something that is never discouraging because Jesus is so patient. I wake up with Jesus, clean house with Jesus, cook with Jesus, cry and laugh with Jesus. To live my life for Jesus is my desire and the neat thing is, He will show me how. I am so excited and honored to be a servant and soldier of Christ. "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth . . . thou art God" (Psalm 90:1-2).

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