by Blaise Jirak, Truth for Youth Team Leader
Why be "good" and avoid sin and unhealthy habits now when I can do that when you're older?
This is a question that I really struggled with before my conversion, and if you have this struggle, you're not alone. I want to tell the story of my conversion, and I hope it can help you find an answer to this question so you can truly live the joy of the joyful life and not the life of despair, depression, and anxiety that is so common these days.
I was born and raised a Christian in a great family. I had a lot of things going for me. I was smart, had friends, and a loving family. But in the 8th-grade year, I started to feel restlessness, anxiety and despair. It kept growing, and it never really stopped. I looked for solutions to this problem, some of them were not the best for me. I found myself giving into harmful behaviors much more often and started to isolate myself. At this point, I had no prayer life. I still would go to Mass with my family on the weekends, but I was going through the motions, and my heart wasn't in it at all. But little did I know everything was going to change.
My mom signed me up for a weekend retreat over the summer. I honestly didn't want to go, but some of my friends were going, so I agreed. On the retreat I met a lot of joyful people and if I am being honest they annoyed me. Looking into this now, I was just envious of their joy and couldn't stand it because I didn't have it. Little did I know they were opening me up to the truth, and since my restlessness was growing, they helped me ponder the possibility of something more.
On the last night, the leaders of the retreat invited us to do a holy hour of prayer. I pretty much gave in and decided to open up and just pray. In prayer I said "I am sorry I haven't been living the life I could be. I am just so sorry, can you forgive me God?"
After a while, I started to feel peace, calm, and joy. It was extraordinary after living in restlessness so long. This peace changed me so much. I began to get very emotional. I realized that this was one of the only times in my life I had really prayed. The restlessness in my heart was gone, and it never came back.
This was only the beginning. After this, I devoted myself to daily prayer, and I am glad to say my life has never been the same. I can testify that the joy of the Christian life has been so intense I haven't gone back to the way things were before. So here is the answer to the big question I began with: it's joy. A life without the Christian joy isn't worth it. I hope my story can shed a little light in the culture of darkness we live in. I will end with my favorite quote,
Join us for a virtual race to support our mission of whole-person identity, healthy relationships, and sexual integrity, starting Friday, June 5th - Sunday, June 7th. Register here, then pick your own route, set your watch and enjoy your fun walk or run! Record your time using our online form you'll receive after registering anytime during the qualifying weekend until 11 p.m. Sunday, June 7th.
Gift card prizes will be awarded to the top 3 finishers in each division!
Tell your friends and family to join you in the Race for Truth!
Pure & Simple Truth for Youth is excited to announce a New Classroom Video and Curriculum Series!
Many are familiar with our Pure & Simple Choice Curriculum which has served schools, youth groups, and homes for over fifteen years as an award-winning Abstinence and Sexual Risk Avoidance curriculum.
In fifteen years, trends have evolved and a new approach is needed to continue educating our youth about the benefits of sexual risk avoidance beyond a "just don't do it" or "just say no" approach.
Young people today are hungry for more than that. They yearn for answers to deeper questions beyond a legalistic approach to sexuality. For many youth identity, relationships, and sexuality are intertwined in a way that makes understanding sexual behavior choices confusing and challenging.
Together with Finding the Flame media the new Pure & Simple T4Y Video Classroom Curriculum is an invitation to young people to go deeper into these burning questions:
Who am I?
What does a healthy relationship look like?
What is the real meaning of sexuality and how does that affect my identity and relationships?
The new T4Y videos and accompanying lesson plans delve into those questions by focusing on these main topics:
We are currently in the production stage and can't wait to finish so we can start sharing this dynamic resource with schools, youth groups, and youth and families!
Watch the Pure and Simple T4Y Video Series trailer here.
Click the button below if you're interested in seeing an exclusive preview of Episode One: "Who am I?"