Um, hello everyone!
This is my 1st post, and I've been 'lurking' for the last 2 weeks or so, ever since I discovered this forum. I have loved reading all the interesting posts and it has helped me along my own journey (which has been interesting to say the least!). This is me 'coming out of my shell' so to speak.
A little about me: Born-n-raised RC (rec'd Baptism, Communion, & Confirmation there), fell away from that before taking up pagan practices up until late last year, and only of recently have been inquiring into Orthodoxy since April/May this year. I attended my 1st Liturgy in August, and have been making it a point to attend as often as I can (where I work, there are 3 of us Part-Timers, and we rotate Sundays (there is only one of us there on a Sunday)).
Also, there have been some strange yet interesting events (small but definite) that have happened over the course of this time that, at least it feels that way to me, that have either been directly or indirectly related to Orthodoxy, almost as if I was being gently nudged and directed towards Orthodoxy. I've felt that perhaps this is where God wants me to be, therefore I decided to explore it deeper and I do not think I have been happier since: I actually -want- to go to Church, -want- to dress nice for it, and actually get kinda unhappy when I can't (due to our rotating Sundays). My mom, when I told her about all this was like 'what did you do with my daughter?!?!' I told my Dad and stepmom about it last night (to which I wasn't sure about, was afraid my Dad would flip, but it came up and I am so happy about it that I wanted to share it with him, my priest advised me to keep off the 'hot-button' issue, which I did but as it turns out, by the grace of God, he was quite happy for me and told me that it is 'what I need'). I started it like this: "Dad, the reason I have been buying new clothes is because..." LOL. I am just absolutely overjoyed that he is good with it (I know it's my life and that it shouldn't matter but I love my dad too much to -not- tell him), and that has only inspired me to go further.
My 1st Liturgy was at a Greek Orthodox church (beautiful church!), and the laity was huge! Everyone was, however, very nice and helpful, and it was through a couple there that I met two of the members of the church I now go to (who own an awesome Orthodox bookstore/gift shop btw!). This Russian Orthodox church is MUCH smaller (about 100 people, not families I understand) and is nice and intimate, which I like because it'll make it easier for me to get to know everyone and it feels like a closer-knit family). The priest and his wife are wonderful people and I feel I have been richly blessed. God indeed works in mysterious ways (when I first started attending, I prayed that He'd send me some caring, kind and patient people to meet--first Liturgy I met EIGHT lol).
Well, as time has gone by and I felt more comfortable there, I was a bit hesitant talking to my priest (never did feel comfortable talking to them growing up). He remembered my name even though it'd been 3 weeks since I saw him last! lol. In any case, after asking him the one pressing question on my mind, I decided to *learn how to swim" since I've already "dived in".
I begin my classes this Thursday (he tailors them based on the individual and their specific needs) and I am so very excited and anxious. It's a beautiful and indescribable feeling, and in a way, I already feel slightly changed. I also feel that perhaps going to my class every week will also kind of provide me with a bit of 'soul food' on those weeks that I have to work. I am really looking forward to this.
It truly amazes me that no matter how far a person strays, that God never gives up on them, and will slowly but surely use whatever means (direct or indirect) to draw you back to Him. It has made me feel that no matter how bad I've messed up, that He wants me home in the worst way and it sometimes makes me want to cry a bit. Also, I think it is amazing when you realize just how precious and valuable you as a person and your soul is when you can actively 'feel' the battle for it going on inside, which has been happening a lot with me lately and have only gotten stronger (I hope that made sense! lol).
I also wish to say that I do have a tendency to ramble (which I really do try to watch), so I apologize for that now lol. Thank you very much for reading/listening and I look forward to meeting everyone.