Things I thought would happen after I told people I was becoming Catholic:
People would ask “why,” then sit, leaning forward, eyes wide as I told the whole story. The story of all my misconceptions, and all the truth and beauty I’d found. They’d ask questions to better understand, and they’d start seeking answers for themselves.
Lines would form outside RCIA.
Things would be said. Things like: “Wait, that’s actually what the Catholic Church believes? That’s nothing like I thought. That sounds awesome. How can I learn more?”
Well… as excited as I was… things didn’t happen like I dreamed. I laugh about it now. Things didn’t even come close.
Things were said. Words were used like ‘concern,’ ‘different gospel,’ and ‘not Christian.’ The occasional, and very welcome ‘I’m happy for you” was said as well.
But few people asked ‘why.’ Very few people were curious to hear the story of how I’d come to this place. It was a story I wanted so badly to tell.
I wanted to share with everyone all the answers I had found to questions that had burned inside me for years.
I was so excited. But how would I tell my story? And to whom? I would be lying if I said I wasn’t discouraged at that time. I finally had something I wanted to shout from the rooftops. But at times it felt like there was no one around for miles and miles.
So, I changed my proverbial tune.
I started the Protestant Interrupted blog to document the process, and to process the process as I went through it. I had JP’s family, and some of my own, as a sounding board. But a lot of the journey was walked through relatively alone, for both JP and I.
I love writing. And I found I loved writing about my faith. So, after Confirmation, I continued to write. We transitioned to this blog and I shared my story in snippets over the course of several months. At first to a couple of dozen people, give or take. Then, to a few more.
I tried to find local avenues to share my story. But the doors there didn’t open like I had hoped. So I continued to write about my faith.
And I stopped worrying about it. I developed something akin to patience (at least in this area), and I just wrote what was on my heart, when my heart needed to share. There was a lot of peace in that as I began to trust God to use my words in whatever way he chose.
An Unexpected Roof
But then, I received an unexpected email. It was The Coming Home Network gauging my interest in being a guest on the EWTN program The Journey Home. I sent back an email, and waited a couple of months. The CHN was publishing my written conversion story in their newsletter at the end of the year. That was cool in and of itself. It was a way for me to share my story with others who were following or had followed a similar road.
I felt so thankful for that. Those stories were huge for me on my own journey, and I hoped my path would be an encouragement to others as well.
But then I got another email. The Coming Home Network wanted to set up a date for me to fly out and film the show. We filmed in December and the episode aired December 18, 2017.
How This Happened
Let me be very clear. None of this is because of me.
It’s because I trusted God and didn’t push things when the timing wasn’t right. I wasn’t scrambling, I wasn’t stressed, I wasn’t pushing any doors open that weren’t meant for me.
It’s because God’s timing is better than my own. He had something in mind for my story, that I couldn’t have even imagined.
It’s because God knew it would be wise to let me settle into the faith a bit, as the distance and time helped give me perspective on all that happened, and to be better able to reflect. To see that I wasn’t actually ever alone. God was in it every step of the way, from my infancy and on into forever.
And so here I sit, in awe and in gratitude that He chose to use my story in any way at all.
Better This Way
And it was better this way.
I received the opportunity to tell my story to those to whom God desired for me to tell it, in His timing.
To a number of people I still can hardly wrap my head around.
Many people have reached out and responded in ways and in numbers I never thought I would hear.
It’s helped solidify a person’s decision to be confirmed this Easter.
It’s laid lingering questions to rest.
It’s encouraged lifelong Catholics who love learning more about their faith.
It’s brought hope to those who have family separated from the Church.
I take this as a lesson to be frustrated less and trust more (and faster) in the future. With, like, everything.
For me this was a lesson in patience, and in getting over myself as quickly as possible so God can do his thing. Even if The Journey Home had never happened, I know God would have used my story any way he saw fit, and that it would have been good. It would have been good if the only people to hear it were my kids, and it built up their faith as they grew. It would have been good if it encouraged one person in RCIA at some point in the future through the blog. It would have been good if the blog was just a gift from God to me, a way to thank Him for all He’s done.
With God, nothing is wasted.
This whole process has helped me continue onward with open hands. Open to however God wants to use me, in whatever way He sees fit. Maybe I’ll teach CCD next year. Maybe I’ll be a guest from time to time at our parish RCIA. Maybe I’ll get a few more emails from people who have a question about the faith. I will for certain continue to write.
And I’ll do it all in peace because I will continue to trust in God to lead the way. For His timing is perfect, and His blessings abound.
5 thoughts on “The Hidden Blessing in Waiting to Tell My Story”
Wow. I became Catholic last Easter, and what you described in: “The Dream” is EXACTLY what I thought would happen. I was SO wrong. I wanted to share my story so badly with my close friends and family, and I wanted to discuss all their questions and concerns, yet the majority of them acted like nothing happened! They didn’t want to talk about it at all, or at least that’s how it felt to my husband and myself. I feel like I’m going to explode sometimes with what I want to share! Anyway, I’m glad I stumbled onto your blog (although I’m sure it wasn’t coincidence–God knew it would be helpful for me), I feel like I almost everything you write resonates with me. You are such a blessing!
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I’m so happy to hear this resonates with you! It definitely took me a while to come to terms with the fact that things went down wayyyy different than I thought they would, and my guess was I wasn’t the only one who had that sort of experience. I’m happy you found us too 🙂 -Lorelei
A cradle Catholic myself..I am so happy to hear of these stories of coming home or joining our Holy Catholic Church..
You have all been blessed!!!
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Watched your Journey Home episode tonight for the first time. Simply beautiful! I also have a profound personal conversation story from agnosticism to Catholicism. Similarly to you I was baptized catholic as a baby, but my parents did not go to church. So by the grace of God I was given “infused knowledge” of what I lacked in my 30ties. I struggle sharing my story and often wonder if it’s meant for sharing, because there are also mystical experiences which many people feel uncomfortable hearing. I am in love with my faith. God bless you!
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Hi Violata! Thank you so much. You sound like you’ve had a beautiful journey as well. Blessings to you, too!