My Faith/Teen Faith Only the Beginning: Why Your Conversion Never Ends by Noah Salas Sharing your testimony can be pretty scary at times — especially when you’re a 17-year-old kid talking about Jesus, with sincerity, to friends and family. Talk about scary am I right?! This is a true story. I remember feeling pretty surprised whenever my buddies from school asked me about how my experience was at my first Steubenville conference. It quickly turned into an opportunity for growth in our friendship. Whether it be discussing about my first Steubenville experience with a friend, or even sharing about it in front of peers during my school’s chapel for the first time, I remember talking about it all: the worship, the talks, falling on my knees during adoration in front of the Lord on the first night. Overall, my first Steubenville conference played out as a major conversion point for me in my life. But… That was it. That was all I discussed about when it came to my faith life at the time. My life turned around at the conference and that was it. After placing my life wholeheartedly in God’s hands that night, I was ready for the rest of my life to be smooth sailing to heaven. God’s going to be there with me all the way. Fast forward a year later to Saturday night of my second Steubenville conference. I remember finding myself staring up at Jesus during adoration in disappointment, wandering why I wasn’t feeling the same way I felt the last time. I found myself growing in disappointment, longing for that freeing sense of joy I experienced previously. I was desiring that so much, I even tried making myself cry while Jesus was being processed around the room, feeling jealous of my buddy who was crying next to me (not really my best moment, I’ll admit that). I remember thinking to myself, “ok, I gave God my everything the last time. Why am I not feeling the same way unlike last time? Is He finished with me?” Big Moments are Few. Little Moments Happen Often When it comes to our faith journey in the Lord, it gets easy to center our entire story around one pivotal conversion moment. It gets easy to compare our experience from our first conversion moment to other events in life, whether big or small. We tend to find ourselves questioning where God is at in our lives the next time we enter into Mass or adoration, or even the next time we go to a retreat or conference. As life went on for me, post-conversion, I came to realize that there’s a lot more that God has for us after the “big encounter.” I had the blessing to serve as a summer missionary at Camp Golden State. One of the fondest memories of my first summer on staff would be the nightly sharing of glory stories. At the end of the day, the missionaries would come together to share where they saw the glory of God throughout the day. This small simple act of sharing where God was within my life throughout the day made me come to the realization that I encounter Him, not just in the big moments, but in the little things that take place in my daily life. God reveals Himself to us in simplicity. One of my favorite passages of Scripture that illustrates this is when Jesus sits down and has breakfast with his disciples at the end of the book of John. Just like how the disciples encountered our Savior in a moment as ordinary as having breakfast together, God desires to draw us closer to Him in the ordinary moments of our lives as well. He does not just leave us to be after our initial conversion. Our conversions stretch out throughout our entire lives. God out of His infinite love for us desires to meet us right where we are at within our daily lives. And if you’re thinking to yourself, “how can I find him in my daily life?”… Remain Open God will draw us closer to Him as long as we remain open to him. Sometimes God will reveal Himself, and His glory in big ways. However, more often than not, He does this in the little moments of life. Take a moment to consider the ways God has revealed Himself to you within your daily life. It could be through time enjoyed with friends and family, an encounter with a stranger, or even just an afternoon in the chapel. Having such a grand conversion moment at my first Steubenville conference made me long for an intimate relationship with God and led me to seek after Him within the daily encounters I face in life. God as a loving Father doesn’t leave us after a big conversion moment. He continues to pursue after us in the little moments of life as well. If you’re coming home from a retreat or conference this summer, praise God! Seek him out in your day to day routine. This is only just the beginning.