I was raised Catholic, parochial school, (5 brothers- 1 sister), had a good education, taught by nuns as you may have heard, quite strict, but learned a lot. Priest came in once a week to teach Catechism, but never did I hear about salvation all those yrs. Then I knew about Jesus, but didn't know Him as my Savior until 1971, by then I was an adult. Nothing seemed to change in the church, same things were said which was nothing to do with the Bible, of which we were told not to read, nor listen to anyone on the radio (then) or the TV, had to listen and believe what they told us and of course, the Pope. This went on for a lot of yrs; the not knowing, I was married in the Church, had three children. We did attend church, but again, nothing. They went to CCD classes when asked what they learned about Jesus; not much, either colored or played games. So I stopped taking them and taught them myself. We were going to a church but again, not getting anything new.
My blessed day was when I started to go to my friend, she had a hair salon in her basement. Several ladies would come with their Bibles. After a while, she invited me to a Bible Study and I said "no." I thought I knew a lot, as any Catholic would think, but found out I knew nothing. The saying is that "Catholics are the hardest nuts to crack," I was one of them. I did start going once a week, learning every time, and enjoyed them so much. I looked forward to them each week. I was not reading the Word exactly as we were told not to, instead I would stay up until the early am hours reading starting with the Old Testament. Then I was invited to her church, Assembly of God. What a difference! The people were so friendly, shook hands and even hugs, you didn't see that in the other Church and the singing was something else. I had never heard those songs and took it all in - the praise and worship as never before. So my children and I looked fwd to going, they got involved with the classes, were so happy too for the change, it changed our living.
After a while, the minister asked me to teach Sunday school, told him I didn't know enough of God's Word, said I would learn from teaching the children. I did and taught there for 5 years, but then due to the business we moved to a different state. Of course by then I had gone to a Bible study previous to all that accepted the Lord as my Savior and felt so clean, as though I had gone through a wringer washing machine and from then on it was wonderful to know more about who Jesus was, and He is more than we think He is! The children had also accepted the Lord, my husband too, but he fell away after a few years and started living a not so good life. He died in the early 1980's and was only in his late 40's. So after that my two children were married, one girl at home. But I was not provided for so I went back to work where the Lord blessed me. I will not share much about that it wasn't easy, but can I say that the Lord brought me through it all. I did struggle but knew He was there for me all the way.
I had left the Catholic church in 1972 and had a whole new life and am still going. When we moved to a different state we attended another Assembly of God church, again taught Sunday School for another 5 years. Myself and my older girl attended Bible School for 2 years and loved it. I learned more and was quite happy. She graduated in 1981, I did in 1982, and the blessing there too was the pastor took a group of church people, plus I was as happy to go too, we went to Israel. What a glorious trip, from Dan to Beersheba, went everywhere the Lord was. It is a place you never ever forget where you had been and what you saw. It has been a while, but seems like only yesterday.
Now I am attending a wonderful church and it is great, the praise and worship is wonderful. So that is my testimony, but a lot more "in-between" things; as I said shared all this with a certain Catholic friend, praying that he will think about how he can serve the the Lord. I pray for him daily, to open his heart and mind and come to the Lord, give up that way of life, which is not God's way as we know. He is the only way...so I know that God has heard our prayers, is in control, up to him to follow through and serve the Lord in a better way instead. Of all that church stuff which doesn't mean a thing.
I realize my testimony is long, but could not share only a little.Thanks again, Lord Bless.