|| Albert Patrizi
I started my faith journey as a Roman Catholic as both my parents were Italian migrants. My mother was brought up with a strong faith. Due to the devastation surrounding her during the Second World War, she was placed in a convent where she heard the Gospel stories, giving her a future comforted by prayer through the faith and hope that the Nuns had shared with her.
From a young age I was in awe of this person Jesus Christ. My mother would speak of him with such reverence that there was no greater honour than to be an obedient child of God, and to have Him look down upon you with approval.
Looking back I think I have always had this inner calling to serve Our God, but never saw myself worthy. I remember as a child thinking, to be like Jesus would be the ultimate gift of life, an honour that would only be given to the special gifted people chosen by God, not ordinary people such as myself.
Even though I was in awe of this God, I found myself turning my back on Him in my teenage years and beyond. I grew up insecure looking for the approval of others, and being a Christian wasn't cool. Christians were the target of ridicule and I wasn't up for that.
That decision took me through life on the edge of society, into dark places filled with loss and despair. I watched many people, turn from something beautiful, to something unrecognisable. Until one day I could not take the despair any longer and I called out to this God that I had ignored for so long.
I wasn't even sure if He was real any more. But He answered my call and restored my life. I was actually blown away, who was I that He should even take notice of me, yet He did, and I was in awe all over again.
I'd seen so many people throw their lives away, and here I was saved. I learnt that we are all special people and God loves us all. Unfortunately there are so many people who don't know that, so now I understand that I am called to let people know that God has chosen them because they are special and I have my life to share as an example to them of the Hope we have in Him.