Religion never came peacefully to my family. I was raised Catholic and my wife, Kathleen, was raised non-denominational Christian. Every big decision we made in our lives together, no matter how happy the occasion was meant to be, resulted in a fight because of our differences of religious opinion.
Kathleen asked me for years to attend church with her, but I stubbornly refused because I was convinced my church was the one true church. I believed if I convinced her to come to church with me enough, eventually she would convert and join. Out of respect for me, my wife attended my church, but she did not convert to Catholicism.
However, this all changed in 2012 with the birth of our oldest son. My family began inquiring about our son’s baptism into the Catholic Church. My wife and I agreed that baptizing our son into a church where his parents were not wholeheartedly involved was not the best option for him.
We were tired of fighting, so we both stopped attending church altogether. But in early 2018, my wife’s friend invited her to a church seminar in Cleveland, North Dakota.
After attending several meetings, my wife invited me to go as well. Through these meetings, I fell in love with the Adventist Church. As a family, we attended Sabbath services off and on over the next year, and I came to love the Adventist church more and more. For the first time in my life my questions about the Bible were being answered with truth, and for the first time our home was undeniably filled with God’s peace.
In February 2019, my wife called me in tears saying she was going all in and was planning to be baptized. The excitement I had for her, and the peace I had in my heart, told me I was ready to join her in that decision. On March 2, 2019, I laid a sinful man to rest and was born again a child of God, ready to do whatever my Heavenly Father calls me to do.
Jose Aguilar is a member of the Cleveland Adventist Church in Cleveland, North Dakota.