This month I will be sharing my testimony about how I became to know God and believe in Him. I grew up in a relaxed Catholic family and rarely attended church unless it was on Christmas or Easter. I was what people refer to as a “Christer”, a Christmas and Easter church attender. I did not have a relationship with God as a Catholic because I was often confused and disengaged by the Catholic practices.
I was never taught that I needed to develop a unique relationship with God or that He wanted to know me on a more personal level. I understood and believed there was a God and that Jesus was His son, but, in all reality, that is where my faith stopped. Deep down inside, I always longed for something more. I wanted a connection with someone that was bigger than myself, and that would love me for all my faults and mishaps. I could not figure out what it was I needed in my life to make me feel complete.
Prior to knowing God and having a relationship with Him, I was lost, empty and in a constant battle with myself. I had a hard time forgiving others, loving others, and letting others love me back. I would wonder why I was never at peace with myself even though all the good times in life. I did not have a foundation of Faith to fall back on in times of need, I was on my own and only counted on myself when times were rocky. I rarely prayed and believed if I did pray that none of my prayers would come true.
It was not until 2014 when my husband Mike and I moved to Frisco, Texas that I realized it was God and Faith that I needed in my life. Mike and I joined a Christian church close to home that was recommended by a friend as a place we needed to explore. We were instantly welcomed into the church with open arms. The people were friendly, the message from the Pastor was heartfelt and really hit home on multiple levels. I felt like God was leading us to this church because he knew we desperately needed Him and He graciously wanted us in return.
My path to form a relationship with God was bumpy and rocky and it took a while before I began to grasp the concept of Grace and Faith. In the beginning, when I began to learn about God, I had a lot of skepticism and questions about the Bible. I grew up believing that if I did good deeds, and treated others well, that I was without a doubt going to Heaven someday. I was uneducated and my belief that being a good person was all you needed to get into Heaven was completely false. Getting into Heaven was much more than good works or being good person. Going to Heaven was through believing that Jesus was the son of God and that he died for our sins, and rose again on the third day. I learned you must repent and ask for forgiveness of your sins and you must be baptized or born again. All of this was a foreign concept for me to wrap my head around as I was taught something different my entire life.
Through time, my Faith and relationship with God grew. I knew I was ready for the next step in my life and in my relationship with God last year. I remember saying the salvation prayer one morning that I heard on one of my Christian radio stations and giving my life back to God. There was a feeling of relief and calm that immediately overcame me. I felt the freest I had felt in years. Free from myself and free from the sins that I never forgave myself for. God graciously forgave me, without question or judgment for what I repented for. It was very humbling and one experience I will never forget.
My relationship with God since being born again has grown and each day I learn something new about my faith. I am now eager to learn about the Bible and what it means to be a Christian. I am excited to share my story with others and hope to help others in their journey. My life has changed since I welcomed God into my life. I have learned to more openly love others and receive love in return without cause. Prayer has become a central part of my life. I still have faults and still struggle with patience, waiting and listening for God’s response. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be, but my faith helps me to grow and become a better person.
Fun Facts about Jaclyn:
Occupation: Owner of Precious Little Tot
Marital Status: Wife to Michael Kostrzewa
Family: Mother to Dominik, Oliver & Levi
Church Affiliation: Gateway Church, Frisco, TX
Hobbies: Sewing, writing, volunteering, and Interior Design
Favorite Scripture: Isaiah 41:10, “Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”