Saturday, November 19, 2016

Catholic convert: my Journey of Faith

Why I am Catholic(Protestant's Journey of Faith)

be

Before I met my husband ( a cradle Catholic), I was a devoted, lifelong follower of Christ and gradually grew into an Evangelical Christian. I didn't convert to Catholicism when Tom and I decided to marry-that came several years later. I always attended Mass with Tom, and also was active in my own Protestant church. After we had our son, Logan was baptized Catholic. Logan and I went  to two different churches every Sunday(the Protestant and to mass with Tom as a family)   When confirmation time rolled around. I dragged my feet to the church with my family. I chose to sit in on the first class and was surprised I was the only parent to do so. When a child asked if they could just ask God to forgive their sins, rather than go to confession, I was dismayed when the teacher very adamantly replied no, they  had to go to confession for forgiveness. As soon as we were in the car. I made it very clear to Logan, that I didn't believe the teacher intended to mislead, but she was wrong. Tom told me then, if I wasn't confortable with continuing the process, it was fine with him. So we stopped. It was very important to me, that our family attend church together. Going to two churches each Sunday was becoming a bit much for this full time working mom. One week, I realized I was getting more out of the Mass then I was from my own church, I then decided to take the RCIA classes to learn more. A couple months later, I was officially Catholic. But, there was still something missing for me. I longed for "community" in fellowship of like believers. I have  always had a passion for Bible study. I love digging deep into scripture and finding those golden nuggets. I asked our parish if I could facilitate a ladies bible study after getting the green light I selected the Esther study by Beth Moore. We promoted the study and 40 women signed up. It was so thrilling watching the small groups within our large group come alive week after week. After the study they asked me to find a "Catholic" study for our next session. I scoured the internet and couldn't find anything that beckoned. I just love being a part of a group study and was not willing to forego a study, so I joined a study with a different (Protestant) church. I eventually began attending that church and became involved in their kids program. However, I found I missed the reverence of the CatholicChurch. After I had a stroke in2013(at the tender age of 45) ,I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to embrace the Catholic Church-for my family's sake. I try not to argue too much with the Holy Spirit, because I always lose. He's the boss of me. so I made the
decision to commit. We have since taken Logan through the confirmation process and I asked if I could create a small group for women that involves being active(hiking, kayaking, biking, etc) while enjoying God's creation together.  It has not yet officially launched as I'm still paralyzed on one side from my stroke.   I am working to create our own "community" at our parish. And am active in the CHRP(Christ renews his parish)community 
I am beyond delighted at the Evangelical direction that Catholic Church is taking under Pope Francis' leadership and am eager to be a part of that. I love the rich tradition and reverence you find in the Catholic faith. I am always hurt and startled when I hear people say Catholics are not Christian (i intend to help erase the stigma attached to our faith.). Catholics are followers of Christ. 
prior to my confirmation, I did go to confession and  loved it.   The sacrament of reconciliation is a gift.  Every week, when we sit as a family at mass, I feel such profound gratitude it makes me weepy.