Looking for Home: The Conclusion

                Chapter 29           

Ah, telling the family! This was going to be interesting.

My family really didn’t say to much. My brother and his wife took it as though we were changing “denominations”, no big deal to them. My father asked me what made us decide to do this, I told him I wanted to be part of the Church that Christ actually founded. I told him of my journey and my studies and he was understanding. He said that he was impressed that I had taken the time to study why I believed what I believed, and to make my faith my own. My mother, on the other hand, was more skeptical. Her first remark was “Haven’t you studied the Bible enough to know you shouldn’t be Catholic?” I told her, “Actually, I’ve studied it enough to know that I should!”

Of course, she had the “other” questions, Mary, purgatory, confession, but we had very good and open discussions.  Though she didn’t/doesn’t understand it, she trusts my relationship with Christ and my study of scripture enough to be open to our decision. That is all I could ask.

Well, that was my family’s reaction. Deanna’s family’s reaction was quite a bit different!

Since Deanna’s parents lived in Texas (at our time of conversion) we were going to wait and tell them face to face, when they came to Alabama for Christmas. So the first family member she decided to tell was [one] of her sisters-in-law. Besides being called an “intellectual idiot” Deanna was told,” I would have rather you called me and told me that Dylan (our 12 year old daughter) was pregnant.” Of course that upset Deanna greatly, but mostly I think she was in shock. She had always thought of her relationship with her sister-in-law as not just family, but as a friend. As I said, Deanna was upset. But it outright TICKED ME OFF!!

How could a family member say something so hateful and hurtful. Better yet, how could a Christian say something like that! What this taught me was that friends have more concern for your ideas, convictions and feelings than family does.

Needless to say, that changed their/our relationship. I expected this sort of reaction from others, not from family.

That placed even more concern on how Deanna’s parents would handle the news.

I had always had a great relationship with her parents and, even from the beginning, felt accepted as part of the family. I loved them as I loved my own family and felt that love grow through the years. I could only hope that they would know me well enough to trust my/our judgement for this decision. To trust our walk. But, it wasn’t to be.

When they arrived, Deanna and I looked for opportunities to sit down with them and tell them our news, but with the “hustle and bustle” of the Christmas season, it didn’t present itself until, you guessed it, Christmas morning.

After we read the Christmas story and exchanged gifts, Deanna’s father asked, “What time does your church start?” We invited them to sit at the table. I said,” Ya’ll may not want to go to church with us today.” Her father smiled and said,”Why not?” I said, “We’ve started going to the Catholic Church.” He said,”You’re right. We won’t be going to church with ya’ll.” I told them, this was where God had led us, we studied and prayed and were convinced this is what God had called us to. But, it fell on deaf ears. Her father kept saying that he didn’t believe that you should pray to the Pope, at least three times. I kept saying that we didn’t pray to him, but we did pray for him. Then he said something that would change our relationship entirely. He said, “I know you and Deanna have a strong faith (that was a good start) but I’m worried about the kids.” I said, “They’ll be fine.” It’s one thing to have your judgement questioned, but it really hurt to have my competency as a father questioned. Hopefully, he didn’t mean it that way, but that’s the way it came across.

                Chapter 30   

Her parents got dressed and went to [one] of their sons church services. Meanwhile, our family got ready and we went to Mass, still convinced (though hurt) that we were doing the right thing, for it was indeed what God had called us to. This was driven home profoundly when we arrived at Mass. We call it our “Christmas miracle.”

We had hardly walked in the door that Christmas morning, when we were asked, “Would you and your family present the gifts this morning?” You could call it a coincidence if you would like, but Deanna and I knew, it was confirmation from God. We humbly accepted the offer. When our family had turned us away God, in His grace, allowed us to present the gifts of worship to His family the Church. This had been the way God had worked this whole journey. Any doubts that occured, were quickly earased by confirmation.

As we celebrated that Christmas Day, it was different from any one before. It was the culmination of the Advent season. We had prepared for a month, for the coming of Christ. We lit candles at dinner every night, had scripture readings and prayed prayers . Prayers of preparation for our hearts to be ready for the Coming of Christ, that He would be born anew in our hearts. Usually, the Christmas season was so stressful, but this year we had prepared for His coming. He was the center, He was the focus. There was no stress, just The Prince of Peace!

Well, here we were. All obstacles had been overcome. All the doubts I/we had had from the beginning, were a distant memory. The fact the Holy Spirit had brought unity to our family in the way He had, was a miracle we will never forget. The Christmas Day miracle was the coronation of this part of our journey.

Now with all this behind us, we only had to look forward. Continuing to learn more about our faith, the Church, ourselves and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

April 2006, Easter Vigil, we were brought into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. This story is only a snap-shot of things I learned, remembered and experienced. There are details I didn’t share for length’s sake, but my journey is far from over.

As I continue to follow Christ and discern His call for my life, I hope to keep sharing my story with you. Maybe my next story will be called; Now That I’m Home: God’s Call On My Life.  

                           The End 

7 Responses

  1. Woah. The statements from family members were quite upsetting. I really never knew how people felt about the Catholic faith. Most of my friends are either Agnostic or Southern Baptist and we agree not to really talk about issues.

    Love the part about praying to the Pope. It’s shocking how judgmental all Christian religions are of each other. As if we didn’t all believe in the same underlying rules.

  2. Yes, it is shocking. And it’s even worse in the South. When this happened, we were living in Alabama. We have since moved to Iowa, where there seems to be more ecumenism. You would think that Jesus, being our Savior would be the thing we could use to bring us together, maybe one day!

  3. I live in Texas, so yeah the South…

  4. God bless your family, Tim.

    Welcome home. 🙂

  5. Thank you,Charles07. Welcome home to you and your family! You have a nice site and an amazing story too.
    Thanks for sharing it, and thanks for the visits and the comment.
    Tim

  6. Tim – thanks for stopping by my blog. I just got done reading your “life” story – and WOW. I’m amazed at how much we have in common! I loved reading this story – you’re so honest about yourself, not flinching from things that may not put you in a good light, I admire that so much. Actually,I think I’m just going to copy and paste whole paragraphs out of your blog and post it on mine – changing the names of course (If I remember!) since you’ve said so many things so much better than I could say! Thanks for sharing this – it makes me strangely happy to recognize such a similar story to my own! God is so cool! 🙂

    I also wanted to say one of my favorite parts was “I honestly believe that, the more you study scripture, the deeper you go into it, not just surface stuff, the more you seek to know, love and serve Jesus…….. you will become Catholic! You may deny it, you may think that Satan himself is trying to trick you. Go on, test the spirit. Don’t be afraid of the truth.”You CAN handle the truth!!”(picture Jack Nicholson here!)”

    – that made me laugh! I’m really glad to meet you!

  7. Thank you, livinginthelight. It was hard to write at times but much harder to live! I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through such similar things but God uses all things to bring glory to Himself. Yes, indeed God is so cool! 🙂

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog too. You’ve written some great stuff; inspiring and thought provoking. I look forward to reading more in the future.

    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement and I’m really glad to meet you, too!

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