Skip to Content

Relationship Not Religion: My Testimony of Faith in God

This page/post may contain affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, as well as an affiliate of other programs, this means if you purchase something using these links, I will receive a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you! For more detailed information, please visit our Affiliate Disclaimer page

My Testimony: Relationship Not Religion

Over the course of this blog’s life, I have shared everything from my adoption story to how to organize your closets. I’ve even gone verse by verse through Proverbs 31 and addressed our biblical duty for intimacy with our husbands. What I haven’t done, though, is share my own faith story with you. My testimony. I have dozens, maybe hundreds of stories that point to answers to prayer and even miracles, and maybe, at some point, I’ll share some of those, but for today, I am going to share with you how I came to Christ.

(Please note that this is my testimony, which included my experience with Catholicism and may be very different from yours if you were raised in a Catholic home. I am not bashing Catholics or the Catholic faith. I am simply sharing my experiences with the particular church I was raised in and experienced later as an adult. The problem, from what I have heard/seen, is more about the teachings at those churches than the Catholic religion).

woman in field reading Bible with the text: relationship not religion. my testimony of faith

A Precocious Child

I was raised in a Catholic home; in fact, I was born at a Catholic home for unwed mothers, fostered by a couple from Catholic Family Charities, and baptized while there as an infant, then adopted by Catholic parents.

As a child, I went to church on and off, with my mother only. My father did not attend. I went to catechism (Sunday School, but on another day of the week) and made the Holy Communion and Confirmation sacraments. I went to pre-Cana (marriage preparation course) with my first husband (now passed) and we were married in a Catholic church. I even went to confession fairly regularly.

We had a Bible in the house, but it was kept in a box in a cabinet as it was a “family heirloom.” Although I was allowed to look at it, it wasn’t read in the home.

I was one of those kids who questioned everything about God and religion. I remember my seventh-grade science teacher being exasperated with my barrage of questions about how the earth began and, if God created the earth, how He got there first. Of course, I didn’t realize it then, but he had good reason not to answer.  Religion could not be “taught” in the public schools, nor could belief systems.

In catechism, I dutifully memorized the required prayers but questioned the teacher as to why I had to confess my sins to a priest and not God Himself. Why couldn’t we eat meat on Fridays during Lent? Why did we have to have ashes on our forehead on Ash Wednesday? Why couldn’t priests marry? How could they give marriage advice if they’d never been married? Yep, I was one of those kids.


Still, I attended church, baptized my sons, and even became a catechism teacher when my oldest prepared for his first Holy Communion. All the while, I struggled with the questions that had plagued me since childhood.

When my mother was terminally ill, she moved in with me. As a lifelong Catholic, she longed for a priest to visit her and pray for her and, at the appropriate time, give her last rites. The church my mother had attended since birth was quite a distance away, and the priest could not travel that far. So, we called the church that I attended, at the time. They said, “No.”  We called the church I had previously attended. They said, “No.” We asked a neighbor who was heavily involved in our previous church to intervene and ask on our behalf. They said “No” again. Why? My mother was not a member of that parish.

As a woman who had been a lifelong skeptic of the Catholic church, I was hopping mad. How could the church teach love and compassion and the importance of the sacraments, including last rites, but deny a lifelong Catholic that privilege simply because she was terminally ill and didn’t have the ability to become a parishioner at a new church?

My mother had a long-time friend, Barbara, who was a “born again” Christian, you know, one of those “Jesus freaks” 🙂  She would visit my mother about once a week and share the gospel with her. She even arranged for a pastor to visit with my mother and pray with her. It was during one of these visits that my mother was saved. When I heard it, I rolled my eyes. On one hand, I was glad that she finally got her wish, a clergy member to pray with her. And I was glad that she had peace, finally. On the other hand, “saved”? I mean, really. (Bear with me here, readers!)

When my mother went home to the Lord, my questions increased. I was mad at the Catholic church and, honestly, at God and began to question everything all over again.

I thought, perhaps, it was the Catholic church that I had an issue with, so I began to research other denominations. I even met with a Jewish friend to learn more about Judaism—all the while teaching my son’s class to prepare for his first Holy Communion!

After my son’s sacrament of communion, I stopped going to church. I continued to “seek” and learn more about different denominations.

Relationship not religion Bible with coffee and earphones

Meeting Jesus Christ

About that time, through a direct sales company, I met Elaine. Elaine was also one of those “Jesus freaks.” She had more than her fair share of trials and tribulations in life, but she never wavered in her faith. She was continually joyful. That was the only word to describe her. Elaine suggested that my kids might enjoy the Vacation Bible School at her church and that I should sign them up. VBS sounded great, but I wasn’t so sure about sending them to learn about God at a non-denominational church. I had been taught that “those” types of churches were cults. My aunt continued to tell me that if it wasn’t a “named religion,” then it must be a false religion. Elaine assured me that not only were they not cults, but that they lived and taught the Bible, not “religion.

VBS sounded fun, and I was intrigued. However, before considering allowing my kids to attend, I decided to check out this church, just to be sure. I took my boys to church at Princeton Alliance in Plainsboro, NJ, that Sunday. Neither of my boys complained about church for the first time in their lives. In fact, they asked if we could go back. Wait. What?

We started attending the church to learn more about God and the Bible. I was lost the first time we attended, and they asked us to open our Bibles to a certain chapter. They might as well have been talking Mandarin to me. I had never been taught how to read from the Bible, much less know where to find a chapter or verse. Growing up in a Catholic church, we had missalettes. You opened up to the date, and the passages, prayers, and songs were laid out for you.

I purchased my Bible and began drinking in His Word that next week. All of the questions that had bothered me for years were bubbling back to the surface. I wanted to know where in the Bible it says that we have to confess our sins to a priest, where it says that we can’t eat meat on Friday in Lent, etc.

Picture of Jesus using his Finger to write in the Sand for post Relationship not religion my testimony of faith in Christ

Relationship Not Religion

During this new, exciting season of my life, I was watching television in bed and saw a commercial; I can’t even remember who sponsored the commercial, but about having a personal relationship with God. A relationship? How is that possible? I jotted down the phone number, called for the free brochure, and went to bed. The next day, I called Elaine and asked her about it. She eloquently shared the gospel with me. She explained that God doesn’t want religion. He wants a relationship with us. This was a new concept to me, but I spent daily reading His Word, and things started to make sense to me over the next few weeks. Relationship not religion.  It’s all there from the Old Testament through the New Testament.

One night, as I was talking to God while trying to fall asleep. I felt a presence in my room. I felt Christ Jesus sitting in the rocking chair near my bed and laying His hands on me. He was telling me that He was there for me and not to be afraid. If I gave my life to Him and believed in Him, He would never leave my side, and I would be with Him in heaven. I wasn’t afraid at all. In fact, I felt incredible peace.

At that moment, I kneeled next to my bed and prayed for Jesus to come into my heart. I asked for forgiveness for all of my sins and acknowledged that I needed Him. I felt the Holy Spirit envelope and enter me. I was changed forever.

My children were raised as Christians, and I worked hard to be the wife and mother that the Heavenly Father created me to be. My husband, also raised Catholic, thought I was crazy, and my passion for Christ became an issue of contention in our marriage. (You can read more about that in this post about being unequally yoked). A few years later, my husband left the boys and me for another woman, and a few years later, before our divorce was final, passed away, but that is a story for a different day.

The form you have selected does not exist.

Reflections on My Journey

When I look back at my journey to Christ, I know that my story unfolded exactly as God intended. I’m still a questioner, but now, I have the Bible to find the answers and God to ask.

I feel that the Catholic church failed me, my mother, and countless others if it did not teach about living by the Bible and having a relationship with Christ. If you are in a Catholic church, I pray that your experience is different from mine. (Remember, this is MY journey and experience. Hopefully, yours is very different from mine.)  Many other organized religion have man-made rules and customs that are not in the Bible.  This could be a sign that it is a man-made religion.  Question if something doesn’t sit right with you.

I’m so thankful that I was raised the way I was and that the One True God designed me to question what didn’t seem right to me. I’m thankful for friends like Barbara and Elaine, who love sharing the good news. When I was baptized as an adult, Elaine stood on my behalf. I’m so thankful for the grace of God, for His steadfast love, and for forgiving me over and over again. I am so thankful that I have a relationship, not religion.

The ultimate reality is that there is only one “religion” that is a true religion and not a religion at all. The Christian faith is based on relationship, not religion. It is based on the love of God and His Word, believing in the unseen, and continual spiritual growth through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is a true gift of God.

Don’t be afraid to question things. If you are Catholic and don’t understand why you perform a certain practice – ask. (I later learned that some of the Catholic practices that I questioned WERE in the Bible, but I had never been taught to read it, and they were never explained to me).

Thank you for sticking with me if you’ve made it this far. If you haven’t given your life to Christ and have questions, I encourage you to seek out pastoral counseling or email me. I’m happy to chat with you. My story is winding, but my destination is heaven!

You may enjoy this video by Joyce Meyers on the topic of relationship not religion:

If you are seeking answers, I recommend the following books to help you in your journey:

The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel

More Jesus, Less Religion: Moving from Rules to Relationship by Stephen Arterburn, Jack Felton

Saved: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics by Fr. Mitch Pacwa S.J.

Because of Him,


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Deborah Nay

Monday 3rd of June 2024

I need Christ in my life. I did not go to church growing up. I have had a hard life. I to am adopted. I read the Bible but don’t understand it. At 70 years old I need to learn the Bible and have it explained to me. I have mild dementia and I have trouble understanding things. Can you help me understand the Bible this late in life. I am also blind in my left eye. Thank you and God Bless on what your doing to help people.

Susan Nelson

Sunday 9th of June 2024

Oh Deborah - my heart hurts for you. Have you tried a Bible app that will read the Bible to you and have an explantion with it? Do you have a study Bible? That will help too as you can read the passage then read the accompanying notes. There are some in large print, as well. I have tons of post on this website which also help to explain various topics in the Bible and if you are reading them on a computer, you can enlarge the print to read better. I will be praying for you, sister!


Thursday 11th of July 2019

Dear Susan

Dear Susan i praise God i happened to see this Woman of Noble Character in my inbox today and jumped into your Testimony and all was so much attracted me . i am from India and 80 years old now with mascular degeneratin and left eye central vision ruputured but by the Grace of God right eye working but when fluid seen under Retina injection needed and one of our son meet the expense by the grace of God. ipraise the love of God at all times . Now coming to the point i was praising God for the beautiful testimony of your life with a sincere heart and purity of God ! May God Bless you and family and your children . sharing my testiomony i have a similar one like you as raised from a catholic family and touched through God through a catholic charismatic Retreat in 1978 Nov and surrendered my life completely to HIM through my personal prayer and readingbooks trough inspiration getting at the right timing of God slowly drifted from catholic church and fellowship with people who surrendered their life to Jesus,it was firrst with my younger brother who was led by the Holy Spirit gradually God spoke to me in prayer and one night at 12 i had an encounter with God no words to explain but led to the word in Isaiah 60;19,20, and got the revelation from 1 corthins 2;9 -13 shall continue if you are interested to be in touch with me In HIS LOVE molly please send me your personal email id


Thursday 11th of July 2019

Molly thank you for sharing your story and for stopping by. May God continue to bless you and your family as you live for Him.

Amy Gentry

Wednesday 29th of May 2019

My story is a long one about being raised Catholic. I am so thankful to be away from it as it and my family members have failed me because of it. I am now the black sheep because I’m the only one who left the Catholic Church. When I was getting married 22 years ago I had tons of questions and so did my fiancé. The priests got mad at us for questioning the church and that was the beginning of the end. I am sad for my family who will never really understand and see what they are missing in having a relationship with Jesus. I totally understand all you said❤️


Wednesday 29th of May 2019

Thank you so much for sharing, Amy! I'm still the black sheep of my family since I chose to leave the Catholic church. Oh well. God knows our hearts, right? Thanks so much for stopping by!

Stella Maris

Wednesday 1st of August 2018

Thank you for sharing your story, its painfully indeed to read, see or feel fellow catholic live the church because of such behavior from our church leaders be it priests, nuns or lay people. Am happy that you found peace in your heart and also learnt that the rituals we practice are from the bible it self. May the good Lord give you the grace to forgive all the wrongs the catholic church has done against you and your mother(may she rest in peace).

My experience as a Catholic is the total opposite for its through the sacraments my life was changed for the best if not i would be a prostitute, lesbian etc, thanks to the sacrament of first Holy Communion for my catechist answered all my questions. To any catholic reading this, it is not only the responsibility of priests but equally your responsibility to teach your children to know, love and trust God; teach them to read their bible and pray and visit our brothers and sisters during their most difficult moments of their lives irrespective of their religion. The sacraments are real its Jesus we receive in all of the seven sacraments. If you read the bible well you will find all the teachings and practices in the church there in the bible. Am grateful to God for being born into a catholic family and will die a contented catholic.

To the writer, thanks for sharing for that helps us as Catholics correct our mistakes.

Be blessed.


Wednesday 1st of August 2018

Thank you for sharing your experience and insight. I praise God daily that He drew me to Him regardless of the name on the church. Thank you for stopping by.


Monday 30th of April 2018

Other than being raised in the home for unwed mothers and having my husband leave me, this could be my story—in a way it is! I had the same questions and similar experience caring for an aging mother who was also born and raise Catholic and who thought the christian church I joined was a cult! Thankfully, my church family and pastors visited often and prayer for and with her. I believe she finally understood relationship not religion before she passed. Thank you for sharing your story!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.