I was raised as a Methodist, but we weren’t religious nor did we attend church at all. My parents believe in God, but they don’t believe that you have to go to a certain building at a certain time of the week in order to believe in him. Growing up my mom had two Go-To sayings: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and <singing> “Buckle up for safety, always buckle up!” They weren’t related, but hearing either of those will quickly transport me back to my childhood.
I specifically remember when I stopped believing in God. I was in high school and my grandmother had just started a fight in the family that would end up causing a huge division that has never healed. In fact, my grandmother told my mom (her daughter) that all of us were dead to her. It was then that I felt that there couldn’t be a God. If there was, why would he allow my grandma to treat us like this? Nope. He didn’t exist.
Something was missing, though. I dabbled in Wicca. I enjoyed going to tarot readings. In the summer I would attend circle readings put on by Mediums at a local spiritual community. And yet, something was still calling me. I didn’t know what, but I wanted to find it.
It was 2008 and I started listening to Glenn Beck. Politics aside (that’s not what this blog is about), he talked about God and faith. He had struggled with the existence of God so I learned about his process and his journey. I started thinking that perhaps there could be a God. I wanted to learn more, but I didn’t want to go to a particular organization because I didn’t want to be swayed by their beliefs. I wanted to find the organic God. Where could I do that? I figured the best place to start was by reading THE book about him: The Bible.
I purchased a NIV study bible and began to read it. I discovered that I had more questions than answers, though. And I needed a translator because a lot of what I was reading didn’t really make sense. I figured I needed to find the experts and that meant I would have to find a church. I went back to my roots and tried a Methodist church. It was okay, but just didn’t seem to feel right for me. Somebody suggested that I try a Catholic church. I laughed and dismissed the suggestion.
Then I met my husband, and by extension his mother. They are Catholic and his mom is very involved in her church. I had a lot of conversations with her about faith and God. I took the plunge and attended Easter Sunday mass with her. Everything was strange and the only familiar part to me was when we said the Our Father. The people at mass were very friendly and welcoming.
After my husband and I got engaged we decided that we should probably get married in his mom’s church. It was kind of his church, too, but he hadn’t attended in many years. We met with the pastor, set up the plans for the wedding and then decided that we should probably start attending church regularly.
I never intended to convert. Six months after we were married I found that I had completely immersed myself in our parish. I had joined the choir, I was participating in the casserole club and helping wherever I had time and talent to do so. I loved the people in our church and really enjoyed our pastor. I decided to go all in and signed up for RCIA (Roman Catholic Initiation for Adults). The process takes a while to go through so that you can make sure this is the right decision for you and you’re allowed to withdraw at any time.
On April 19, 2014 I received the sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist and Confirmation at our Easter Vigil. It was one of the most amazing experiences. It was not the end of my faith journey, though. Please join me as I continue my walk in faith…