I had prayed for something for a long time and God had apparently ignored this request-but all of a sudden he sent me someone and she has been with me ever since.
I wont use her real name. I'll call her Sister Mary Kate.
She taught me two things that I have kept throughout my life.
"DO NOT BE AFRAID" and her own personal motto "I HAVE CARVED YOU IN THE PALM OF MY HAND." That's Jeremiah again.
Her gentleness and love stopped my prayer not to wake up in the morning. I began to move forward in my search for God. I knew He was real and my understanding of the Real Presence was in tact despite my confusion about everything else.
God in His mercy granted me the sense of His Presence so that I always felt a kind of warmth whenever I was in a church with Him truly there. It meant that protestant churches always seemed 'empty'. It is something I have never lost.
I think I was granted this grace because He was holding on to me as I struggled. I am so grateful for this.
I ditched transcendental meditation and actually picked up a rosary-but I was useless at it and it didn't last long.
At this point I was offered the chance to study Islam.
I jumped at the chance. This could be the answer I was looking for. It could be that the reason my Catholic Faith had never been right for me was because it wasn't true. So I began to study Islam for A'level but more importantly I was ready to become a Muslim if this proved to be true after all.
I had given Buddhism a look over as well during my meditation days-but only a cursory one. It did not appeal to me on so many levels, mainly that I could not respect Buddha for walking past all those people in need and going to just sit under a tree and THINK about it! He was a prince-why didn't he use his position to DO something?
That was my reaction and I never looked back.
Islam was much more attractive and I began to read far more than I needed for just the A'level.
I got hold of an English copy of the Qu'ran and began to read, alongside studying the life of the prophet Mohammad and some work of the Hadiths and Islamic history (yep, the pc version. I did not find out the other bits 'till many years later).