My name is Lidya Sheena Rampersad and I am from the Gran Couva/Tabaquite parish. For many days, I desired to write to the Catholic News but I felt as though no-one would be interested in my story.
I recently went to a retreat in Gran Couva with my daughter and her First Communion class in June and while there, a parent asked about RCIA. He wanted to know more as he had attended the class once before but never completed it. At once it struck me: if I share my story, it can help to encourage persons to join and make a change in their lives.
My life before was one that was spiritually dead. Hurt and anger were pulling me down into a dark hole. Each time that I tried to come out, I ended up back at the bottom. My life was at a standstill, my mind blank, a simple prayer was something I couldn’t do.
I am a mother of two and at times, I couldn’t open up completely because of this heavy burden of hurt from my childhood. I never got the opportunity to let go of the intense hurt. Something was missing. I needed healing in order to progress with my life.
I used to smile with everyone but deep down I was severely hurt. This had me so engulfed that I did not attend Mass for years. The hurt caused me to create a protective barrier within myself. I never shared or opened up the depths of my life to anyone. I was totally enclosed.
In February this year, I went to a weekend retreat with my RCIA group to the Point Fortin Charismatic Centre. At first, while in the prayer room, I didn’t want to open up to receive the full blessing of God. then I said to myself, “I need change. I need healing. Help me, Father, help me”. With those words I began to open my heart to Jesus.
On the Sunday, the third day on retreat, something I never imagined happened. While praying and totally surrendering all to Jesus, I fell to the ground. While I lay there, I met my Saviour. He came to me all dressed in the purest white garment that I have ever seen. He stretched out His right palm to me and I went to Him. He smiled and His peace and calmness filled me.
I then saw a heart, just as the image of the Sacred Heart. Instead, it was my heart. It had wide cracks along in a zig-zag. It was my broken and hurt heart. I saw Him healing each crack, one by one, and as He healed each line along my heart, I saw blood dripping from my heart as if it was crying. When He had finished He said to me, “My child your heart is healed”.
I woke up. While sitting on the floor, I asked myself, “Why I was hurt so badly three times?” I could not remember a thing. A miracle occurred for me that day. Jesus removed my memories of hurt. My heart was healed.
To this day, I cannot remember why I was hurt and broken. Jesus totally removed the pain from my memory. I felt happiness; I felt as though a heavy burden was lifted from me. Jesus saved me and gave me His blessings of healing. This was the biggest obstacle in my life and NOW I was set free.
On Glorious Saturday, I was baptised and confirmed as well. As I made my first step into the water, I felt as though the heavens were opened. The priest poured the water on my head and I felt truly cleansed. As I exited, I felt as light as a feather. It was truly a RENEWED feeling.
When I received His blessed body and blood for the first time, I felt so happy and accomplished. I felt complete a sweet feeling of peace deep within. I felt a joy that I never felt before because I had awaited my Father for many years. I felt like I was shining and a new person. I thirsted for Him and He filled me with His mercy and grace. I was blessed with a renewed life.
RCIA changed me forever and it has been the best decision I ever made. It helped me to overcome my obstacles. Today I am happy, free and thirst even more for Him. My heart is warm and healed. Now I can open up myself to others. My life has changed. The chains I carried are NO MORE.
I am asking anyone reading this to totally open your hearts to Jesus and receive Him. The peace He blessed me with is waiting for you. Your blessing awaits and I ask all persons interested in joining RCIA to join. It is truly a journey you won’t regret.