HELLO, I’M ELISA
If you’re on this page, I know we’re a lot alike. Loving God and living my life for him is everything to me, and if you’re reading this, I know you are a dear sister.
In fact, you’re the reason I’m here. I want to take you on the the biggest journey of your life and introduce you to the people who helped me and brought me closer to God.
But let me back up a little before I get to that.
I wasn’t always a believer. I have known doubt and uncertainty, and I even found myself outside the Church for many years. It was a difficult journey, but I wouldn’t change it, for in the end, I found a deeper faith and peace than I’d ever known before.
I share my story to inspire you so you can deepen your faith, or (if you have found yourself away from the Church), so you also can come back home.
I promise—the journey is amazing!
Whatever your past has been or however many doubts you have, you can join me and know that you have a sister who understands where you are and who can walk beside you each step of the way.
Let me tell you a bit about my story…
JUST LIKE YOURS, MY HEART LONGED FOR MORE
I grew up in a Catholic home, and from the earliest time I can remember, I loved learning about God. I was just learning the faith, and I waited eagerly to hear stories of the saints and Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I also loved the Mass. Even as a little girl, I could not wait to go; and though I didn’t understand all that was happening there, I could sense the beauty; and it felt like home.
But by my junior year in high school, I started having questions. I was struggling to find answers, and I met a teacher who led me in a different direction.
He, too, had questions, and by the time the year ended, I had abandoned my faith and I doubted the existence of God. I embraced agnosticism, and I started studying Eastern religions, where I sought answers and the peace I longed for so desperately.
But the more I searched, the more I longed for more; and though there were beautiful stories and teachings in the other religions, my heart was still restless, and I felt so alone because no one understood my struggle.
I desperately wanted to find that place where I could stop and rest—a place where my search could finally be over.
And God watched his little wayward daughter, knowing I needed to find my way back to him and loving me the whole time…
SURRENDERING TO THE LOVE OF JESUS
It was in my freshman year of college that I found the beginnings of my true path.
I majored in religion (what else?) because I was consumed with my search. Everything I read and thought about was about that. I was on the search of my life. I didn’t know at that time, but I was being drawn by God himself who caused my heart to long for him.
It was then that I found a book called A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken, a love story and a story of conversion and faith that captured my imagination so much that I read it every year for many years after that.
And at the same time, I joined a private Bible study. I was an unbeliever at the time, but my questions were met with patience and sincerity as Laura, the leader of the study, guided me through Scripture and offered me her friendship and her time.
I spent endless hours studying and considering the things I was learning, and finally, confronted with the love of God that I could feel all around me, I surrendered to Christ.
I finished my degree in religion and went on to graduate school. My intent was to become a professor, but again my life changed course when I felt called to missionary work and not academia.
And as I was deciding, my dog got sick. He needed constant care, and I would sit up with him at night to make sure he was doing well and I was giving him all he needed to be comfortable.
WHAT MATTERS MOST
Caring for him allowed me to know that, at least for a time, I would leave school. And it was during that time that God allowed me to learn so much about simplicity, devotion, innocence, slowing down, and understanding the things that matter most. But most of all, I learned about love.
I wrote about it briefly, saying “this love” was what mattered. This love was what drew me and consumed me, and this love allowed me to show compassion and to be there for others. I didn’t know it, but this love was Jesus, who was beckoning me, and calling gently, as he allowed me to begin to know him more.
My dog got better, but I got better also.
God wanted to give me this knowledge as a foundation, so what came next would mean even more.
I told you it has been an interesting journey, but God is such a loving Father. He knows what we need before we ask him…
I would soon learn that God had already prepared my path, so I could come even closer to him. He put a longing for school back in my heart…
It was about three years before I finished my master’s degree in theology with a concentration in Sacred Scripture.
But every long night of study was worth it because everything came together—the simplicity, the love, the Scripture study, the devotion.
- I learned about inner peace.
- I learned to slow down and listen to God’s voice.
- I learned about finding beauty in simple living, simple things, and nature and animals (who teach us so much!).
- I learned we are living in a love story (I can’t wait to share this with you, sister!).
And with this foundation, I was finally ready for the last and most profound part of my journey, for it was then that I met Fr. Michael, the priest who would change my life forever because he taught me more about the love of God than anyone I had ever met, through his teaching and by his example. You will learn about him and what he taught me on my pages.
QUESTIONS DIE AWAY
My life has been completely transformed since the days when I found myself endlessly searching for answers.
It feels like a rebirth; and in fact, it is.
- I know there is a purpose to this life.
- I know we have a heavenly Father who created us, adores us, and loves us more than we can know.
- I know that loving him and glorifying him is why we are here.
And I have found the deepest and most profound peace in that deep faith.
My search is over, for I have found the One before whose face all questions die away.
I want you to know him also, sister—either, more deeply or for the first time.
So, you see, YOU are the reason I’m writing these words. If you are searching like I did, or if you just want to come closer to God, I want to be here for you–to help you find your own path and know the love of God who loves you more than you could ask or imagine.
Come join me for the greatest adventure of your life.
Ready? Come walk with me…