I still remember when I first became a Christian, there were instants at which I sensed the existence (not presence) of God to keep me going in my journey of faith. As I persisted, my faith grew, but I was still amazed by others of stronger faith. When I asked the Holy Spirit to baptize me during my involvement in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement, things started to happen. I actually experienced the presence of God and his power of transforming us. When you let the Holy Spirit take over, your spiritual growth soars without effort on your part. Those were the memorable four and a half years of my life. Finally, the Lord withdrew and the time had arrived for me to surrender to him so that his graces might pour freely into me. Now I do not have to make myself believe anymore ~ the faith is automatically in place as I enjoy his presence within me and about me. Throughout the entire process, God remained gentle, patient, and loving. He truly respected my free will in order to make my faith meaningful to me. What a great Lord!