Connie’s Testimony

Posted on March 18, 2011

0


1962 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova Convertible

Image via Wikipedia

My story begins 30 years ago when I was a broken hearted divorced young mother of a 3 years old son named Joe. My husband came home from Vietnam with a commitment that did not involve his little family and through a lot of struggle I had to agree to let him go. This meant I had to find a job and become a single mother to our son. I was always hardworking as a teenager so I had confidence I’d find a way to make a living but I hated leaving my son during the day.

I moved in with my parents and found a day care down the block in a Nazarene Church. I registered Joe and every morning at 7:30am I left him there and everyday at 5:30pm I picked him up.  I really did not know anything about the Nazarene Church, except they were Christians and although I was Catholic I considered them to be on the same page as I was religiously. Everyday Joe would share with me what he learned and I was very impressed. One day I picked Joe up after work and he was very excited to tell me about his day. He had been attending this day care for about 5 months and learning his numbers and letters and all about the Bible. I was not in the best mood that day, dwelling on my broken heart so I hurried him into the car. We did not have car seat then or seat belts, (can you imagine) but I did put him in the back seat.  I was driving my 1969 Chevy Nova, smoking a cigarette with the windows closed and had the radio on. Joe wanted to talk so I turned the radio off and he said, Mom, Do you know Jesus? He’s 3 years old asking me such a question. I snapped back at him saying “of course I do we’re Catholic”! Then he said did you know He died for us? That just set me back! I had no answer and I was quiet….now I would call it humbled!

His question hung in my every thought and I wanted so much to understand what that meant! “He died for us!” But I did not know where I would find the answer. I did not have anyone to ask. My lifestyle consisted of going to the bars on weekends or whenever I had a baby-sitter for Joe. My mission was to dance and get picked up by some man who would no doubt become my future husband. In my family an unmarried woman was not a good thing. In fact, as a single woman I was doomed to a mental institute in no time.

A few weeks later the day care director asked me to bring Joe on Sunday so he could sing with the other children. They insisted he loved doing that and he could participate if I attended their service. This was an irresistible invitation and so we attended. In my heart I was also hoping I could better understand what my son was learning about Jesus and since I was really into new age discovery, I could add this onto my search for God.

It was quite enjoyable, the music, the sermon, the people were all positive and upbeat. I decided this would be a good place to come back to and so I did. My Catholic relatives thought I was going over the edge but I assured them it was a good thing. They would not join me but I went anyway. In fact, I planned to go on Easter and invited my best friend Donna to go with me. She was very much into new age also and saw it as an opportunity to learn.

The year was 1976 and it was the first Easter I spend outside the Catholic Church. I felt a little guilty but I was excited to go. At the end of the service, with a packed out church and Donna and I sitting slap dab in the middle of the pew, the pastor had an altar call. For me it was like 2 large angels with trumpets blowing their instruments calling me out of the middle of the pew. I hesitated but then I got up and somehow made it to the front. (I now believe the angels carried me.) I knelt down and my heavy heart unloaded right there, a river of tears, sobbing and confession and I asked Jesus to come into my heart! My friend Donna was in the pew shaking her head, like what are you doing Connie! But I was exhilarated! That was the beginning of a very long journey of which I am still on. I believe that it saved my life to accept Jesus because I was going down the wrong path and I would have brought my sons with me.

The story does not end here but how much can a person read at one sitting! As of today, Dec. 2005, I have become a teacher and leader to single people especially coaching people to be sexually abstinent until they marry. I also teach and write Bible studies and head up a single’s group at my church. I have two sons, since I did remarry but unfortunately got divorced again. However, my sons were always in the church, my church which has been Willow Creek Community Church for 29 years.  Joe went on to be in ministry for a while with his wife and 3 children. He now has a government career. And my younger son Jeremiah has exhibited his faith over and over especially when he was a victim of a brutal crime that almost ended his life at 20 years old.

I would like to say if you a teetering on investigating Christianity, don’t make it complicated! Jesus is the Living God and therefore you can pray and He will help you to understand. It is to Him that you confess and to Him that you commit and of Him that you become a part of forever more.

Heaven is a place, a home that we will ultimately be in when we die if we accept Jesus as our Savior.

Any questions, email me at cconga1950@yahoo.com, I will be delighted to listen to you no matter where you are in your life right now. Don’t feel like I did, that you have no one to turn to for questions. I can help you understand!

Have An Intentional Day!

Blessings,

Connie J. Catalano

**When I first shared the idea I had for Testimony & Tunes, the first person to jump in and offer to help me was a coworker named Connie Catalano. Connie had moved to the area from the south and was only with our group for a short while. I found her testimony on my computer today and wanted to share it again. It’s amazing what kids can teach us, isn’t it? Wherever you are, Connie – THANK YOU for your help and inspiration in starting Testimony & Tunes!!

Advertisements
Posted in: March 2011