Girls, Alexandra wrote me this wonderful letter and I just had to share it with you!
How PI Has Inspired Me
By PI Girl Alexandra
If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe).
At some point in our lives, may we question not only our existence, but why God chose us to live the lives that we live. For many years, I questioned everything. Fortunately, I decided to follow the path of Christ and eventually I found Project Inspired. I have to say, Project Inspired helps me continue to live a Christian lifestyle. But, before I jump into that, I need to backtrack a bit…
When I was 5 years old, my parents divorced. Yes, I was young, but I figured out what was happening. My mom raised me all of my life with some help from my grandparents. I must say, I am still (and always will be) thankful for all of their help. Anyway, raising two children by herself and coming from a Christian family herself (specifically Catholic), she raised my brother and I as Christians. Of course, she took us to Mass as many Sundays as she could; at the time, church was the last place I wanted to be. I just sat in the pews. I did try to pay attention, but when I did, I felt bored. None of the readings meant anything to me, the songs I just did not understand, and when we received Eucharist, I thought of it as a snack.
As the years passed, I did receive my first communion. For anyone who is not Catholic and does not practice receiving Eucharist–it is receiving the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time (age 7 or 8). I also attended CCD and did service projects with my CCD class. I always grew up in a modest lifestyle, but it was mostly because it was what my mom wanted from me and not because it is what GOD wanted from me!
When I hit high school, things took a turn. Although the bullying I had experienced died down immensely, I was getting tied up into boys, finding the right group of friends for me, and most of all, finding myself and who I am meant to be. I was in a few groups of friends, and as nice as the girls were, Christ was absent. None of my friends were very Christian, so in school I learned not to think about Him or worship Him because the influence was not around me. The worst was when I got involved with a group of girls who, for three years, made me feel like I needed to change who I was to be accepted.
Just as I was about to hit rock bottom in the spring of 2011, I found myself during my junior year with my friend in CCD. A few girls from the class next to mine walked in with a brochure for a church retreat. My friend who was in my CCD class and I decided to attend, and my whole life changed. On the retreat, I found God and was SWAG (Saved With Amazing Grace). I was lifted up by the Lord, the One who had SAVED me by dying for me on the cross. It was that retreat weekend that I decided to live as a Christian.
After the retreat, I found myself understanding the readings in church A LOT more. Over time, I learned the true meaning of the Eucharist and appreciated it for what it truly is. With my Catholic faith, I made the promise to become more like Christ. For me, not only does this entail attending Mass every Sunday, but I also got myself involved in missionary projects, made a purity promise (I have a ring, too!) and promote modest living. I even have this new and insanely LARGE love for Christian music.
Of course, with these major changes in my lifestyle, I needed help and Project Inspired entered my life at the right time! Because of PI, I have the guidance to not only dress modestly and make the best Christian decisions, but following Nicole’s advice given to her through the Lord helps me to stay strong when people make fun of me for my lifestyle. PI has helped me strengthen my bond with my new and close Christian friends, the ones who remind me that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phillipians 4:13).
PI has answered my questions before I even ask them, and the articles open up my eyes to ways I can live as a Christian. Through PI, not only have I learned how to dress in cute but modest outfits, but also I have learned how to spread the love of God and have Christian friendships and relationships. I have learned from PI that the best man for me is one who loves God more than anyone! Also, Project Inspired helps me understand the word of God–I don’t find the Bible always easy to understand (willingly admitting it here)! Project Inspired has INSPIRED me to bring more people into the light of the Lord, because HE will be their saving grace.