Everything has a Beginning
Updated: May 11
Sosie Matosian is an Enhearten writer and coach-in-training. Every leader goes through a journey of learning to share their gifts with others. Thank you, Sosie, for sharing part of your story with us!
“Every pain gives a lesson and every lesson changes a person.” ~Anonymous
When I was 12, I lost my grandfather unexpectedly. He wasn’t just my grandfather. He had raised me since I was a year old so I looked at him as more of a father. He was an amazing man who had overcome so many hardships. He lost his parents, community, and country in the Armenian genocide. He and his sister were sent to an orphanage in Cyprus where he resided until he joined the British Army. He went on to work for the American Embassy in a few different countries. At night he taught himself accounting (which was his retirement career in the states). He raised 3 children and then took in his daughter and 3 grandchildren in their time of need.
As I was growing up, we only went to church on Easter. I loved it because I got to dress up and be shown off to the people we only saw on that day every year. I still remember the smell of the incense, the soothing ambiance of the service, and being mesmerized by the intricate beauty of the chapel. I could tell that there was something important happening.
My mother has always been a believer even though we weren’t active in church. I loved the photo of Jesus on her nightstand and small green rosary beads she had on her lamp. She had taught me a simple prayer and we said it together every night. When I was old enough to say them on my own, I would talk to God about things as though He were sitting on the edge of my bed. I would ask Him to remind me of things I needed to remember, and never once thought He wouldn’t come through (and He always came through). So even though we didn’t attend services or actively study the Bible - I always ended my day with a short prayer and conversation with God. Until my grandfather passed...
Life was turned upside down after that day. Our family felt shattered - he was the glue that held us together. I told God that I will not be speaking with Him ever again. I kept my word for a long time.
My mother decided to send me to a Catholic high school in order to keep me from getting into trouble (even though she couldn’t afford it). She had recognized my detachment and how I was beginning to spend my time leaning towards the wrong things and the wrong people. I think that was an important choice because while I kept my word on not speaking to God, during that time He kept nudging me through the required scripture readings at school. He also sent me some very good and faithful friends. They loved and supported me through some difficult transitional times (and still love me today).
I kept on, however. I filled my life with things that didn’t complete me or bring me closer to home. It was a purposeful rebellion. One that landed me in situations that were precarious even under His protection. In retrospect, I feel that I was aware of that protection and that I probably used that security to continue fearlessly.
When I was 23 I met my husband. He gave me this unconditional love and support that reminded me so much of my grandfather. I made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t mess this up. I needed to actively be present and aware. I needed to make better decisions and work on things I so desperately needed to face and work through. In doing so, I could see the person that I was meant to be before my grandfather’s death hardened my spirit.
When we were engaged, I decided to go through the process of converting to Catholicism. I didn’t do it because my heart was outwardly longing (internally yes but I could just feed that with something unhealthy for now). I did it because I knew it would mean a lot to my future husband and in-laws.
I walked in with the good intentions but for the wrong reasons. I wanted to skate through the process (I know scripture. I went to Catholic school). Despite my apparent ego, my teachers were down to earth and patient with me. They made sure I understood what I was reading and that I felt open to ask questions. I actually studied the Bible for real. What happened then can only be called the beginning of a spiritual awakening. The Holy Spirit pressed upon me and was guiding me towards Him. I was hesitant but drawn. After I was married I decided to go back to school to get my degree in Biblical Studies. I wasn’t fully immersed yet but I was interested in our faith and something (!) told me that I needed to do this.
“That journey has brought me here doing something I never thought I’d have the courage to do - to write and share my life with others."
One day, after a class, I was writing a paper on the book of Daniel. I suddenly felt the need to pray. I felt the Holy Spirit that day for the first time. And it was amazing. I can’t accurately describe it except to say that I felt full of light and I felt complete. I was finally open and I saw the path clearly. It all began to made sense - the good and the bad.
Since then I’ve stumbled back and forth. The back isn’t in disbelief or out of rebellion but rather allowing current woes to consume me and wanting to be able to control the pieces of my life. Through each stumble I learn. I learn to lean on Him, to be humble, and to trust the journey that has (and will continue to) lead me directly to Him. That journey has brought me here doing something I never thought I’d have the courage to do - to write and share my life with others.
When I was about 7 or 8 years old I got lost in the middle of the grocery store. I had been looking at the toys in one section and couldn’t find my mother or my grandfather. I remember standing in the middle of the store crying and frantically looking around. I turned and saw my grandfather standing in the aisle taking this all in. He opened his arms and I ran, falling into them. I felt so safe, so relieved. My life has been like this too. I have been crying and frantically looking around for my Father. He was there the entire time, watching me, taking it all in, and waiting for me to run into His open arms for comfort. I’m here now and I know that no matter what happens that I’ll have His safe arms to fall into when I need His comfort.
Amen. God is with us.
About: Sosie Matosian resides in Virginia with her husband, three children and two dogs. She has her degree in Biblical Studies from University of Northwestern with additional emphasis and certificate in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She is passionate about sharing her faith with others and brings a personal perspective to the struggles one might face in their journey walking to and with Christ.