Someone recently asked me if religion is a big part of my life. I tried to highlight all the ways I stay connected to my faith, but there are moments that are unexplainable even to me. I have trusted my life in God’s hands since the day I was born. My faith has faltered, and my journey has had many unexpected detours, but it’s in my adult years that I find myself learning more about my connection to God.

In the spring of 2019, I attended a three-day weekend on Christianity called Tres Dias. I had recently made some major changes in my life, and I was feeling disconnected, yet thirsty for knowledge. The weekend itself was emotionally draining, but as it came to a close, I knew I had found myself there for a reason.

Later that year, I received a call asking me to serve on a Vida Nueva weekend, which is the same weekend, but for teenagers. I said yes, hesitantly. In preparation for that weekend, I met one of my best friends, Amanda, who is truly a gift from God sent to me in my darkest days. After the Vida Nueva weekend, Amanda convinced me to serve on team for Kairos, a similar weekend for incarcerated women. At this point, I was all in on this team of incredible people.

In January, I gathered with a small group of women to serve as a support team. At one of our team meetings, I met Lori. She had a comforting voice and made me feel welcomed. She said I looked so familiar, and I chalked it up to being from Maine – everyone knows everyone somehow. In conversation, my heart surgery was brought up, and I spoke about my belief that I am living my second chance at life, as gifted by God. Later that night, Amanda mentioned my full name, Annunziata. Lori paused, and asked, “When were you born?” And before I could even finish saying my birthday, she cut me off and said, “I was there. I was your nurse when you were in recovery. I could never forget a name like that.”

I’ve always known that someone was watching over me during all of my years here on earth. It wasn’t until this moment that I truly understood. I knew this was a God moment. I had been reunited with my guardian angel on earth. There I was, 25 years old, able to embrace a woman who had played a part in saving my life at birth. Every detour, every changing season and every decision had led me to this moment – a God moment.

So, my words to the person who asked me if my religion is a big part of my life would have to be: Yes, it is the reason I lived, my purpose for living and the fuel for my heart and passions. I may not be at church every week, but these God moments are my Sunday sermons.

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