There are also 3 women who give their "testimony" and talk about their life journey, share their faith story, whatever. I was one of those women this year. I was kind of nervous to find the right words (how do you summarize your life in an insightful, funny, meaningful, relate-able way?) but when you have something to say, the words just find their way out.
The teacher/student in me just couldn't resist using visual aids. Universal learning design is the bomb!
Here's a small excerpt from my speech:
"I've gone to church my whole life – this part of my life [the "backstory"] being no exception. Not regularly, but it always helped. It was nice to think that no matter where I was in life or in the world, I was always “Catholic”. I was aware that God provided that security for me, but it wasn't until after college, marriage, children, therapy, etc. that I was able to look at my life and myself and say: this would be so much better if God were involved. Not as a life-raft. Not just in a crisis. Not as a convenient definition. But really involved. If I got to know God, and let Him teach me about myself. And not just about who I am now- but who I have the potential to be. Now that would be cool...
I didn't turn to God overnight. I didn't stop what I was doing one day and have an epiphany. It was a slow process. It was the Bible my teammates family got me as a graduation present, marriage prep with Father Bob, working at Catholic summer camp, sitting at MOPS meetings. All these things have made faith a real, relevant part of how I define my life. The Lord isn't some spying policeman, He is someone, probably the only one, that truly understands me. He can appreciate the complexity and the conflict because He created me this way. He is the only one who can fulfill my deepest need [,the need to be understood].