“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope…” – 1 Peter 3:15
“Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask.” – Pope Francis
I’ve thought for a bit that I would like to put down in writing what my “conversion”, or, “re-version” experience has been. I’m under no illusion that this little corner of the internet has any impact. I do read the statistics in the control panel, after all! Maybe it’s that I need to do it for myself, to remember and reflect on exactly how I got to be where I am now. Twenty years ago in May of 1993, I set out to make a pilgrimage to the place that was the impetus for the change in my life. Remembering that anniversary has probably added to the feeling of wanting to write it all down and share it with whoever stumbles upon this place.
I don’t know why God acts the way He does in one life or another. I know what happened to me and that is all I know and what I trust in to be true. It’s a matter of fact that I’m Catholic and that is how my experience took…and takes…place.
As a child, my family went to Mass on Sunday. I received all the sacraments and went to CCD (the equivalent of Sunday school) right through high school. Other than that, a crucifix here and there throughout the house and the occasional statue, we really didn’t talk much about the faith. It just “was.” Thinking about that now, it’s probably a whole lot more than most people get…especially in this day and age.
I was not the type of teen to rebel. I pretty much toed the line and kept my nose clean. I cultivated my relationship with God, by reading the Bible, going to Church and prayer. I passed those years pretty uneventfully.
Something stupid happens to people when they go away to college. It seems like the new found freedom makes you forget some of the things you were taught and you go a little crazy. Now for some of us “a little crazy” is a lot less crazy than others, but it was enough for me to slowly but surely lose touch with that life of faith I had cultivated. After I graduated and moved out on my own, Mass attendance pretty much dwindled down to Christmas and Easter. The old Bible was on a shelf somewhere collecting dust. Work, socializing and shopping kept me busy.
The work and socializing did lead to one good thing. That is where I met my husband. Even though I wasn’t going to church much at the time, when he proposed, there was never any doubt that I would have a Catholic wedding. He was marginally Catholic too, not having received Communion or Confirmation. And in a couple of years when our first child was born, there was never any question that the baby would be taken to church and baptized, as was his brother who came along shortly thereafter.
I was going through a few of the motions, but I wasn’t exactly living it.
I had two happy, healthy little boys and a wonderful husband, however, the feeling that something was missing kept nagging at me. I knew in a sketchy sort of way that it had to have something to do spiritually. I felt kind of adrift and I would guess that deep down I felt that if I didn’t get a hold of what it was, that feeling could harm my happy little life.
One day I made a trip to the library and brought home a stack of books all of which had to do with some aspect of what I can only describe as the occult. Numerology, astrology…what made me gravitate to that aisle in the library I can only guess. Maybe I don’t want to guess…
I think I picked up one of those books just once. There was absolutely no “draw” for me to delve into that stack and the books went back to the library pretty quickly. Then one afternoon while the boys were napping, I did something that I should have done a long time before.
I got down on my knees and prayed.
To be continued…