A Brief History of the Jigsaw Puzzle…

“Let’s Start at the very beginning, a very good place to start”

OK So that’s from the Sound of Music but I find it fitting since I am at the very beginning…and Maria was Catholic after all…

Now that I am thinking about it, I am not quite sure which beginning to start with so I will start with a brief chronological history of my life and then work into how I started on my meandering path towards Catholicism.

I was raised in Tennessee in a good Christian (Episcopalian) home.  I had two older siblings and a zoo of pets and my parents have been married for like a million years or something.  We attended church sporadically but always on Easter and Christmas Eve (Midnight Church, yeah!).  Prayer was always said over the evening meal.  I knew who God and Jesus were, right from wrong, and that Heaven was north and Hell was south.  My parents did not pressure religion on us but belief and respect of the Almighty was required but it came easily.  In a nutshell, it was a good way to grow up and in the end you could pin all this becoming a Catholic on my parents. 🙂

I was enrolled in Catholic school from first grade all the way to high school, where I graduated from the local Catholic high school.  So, I attended Episcopal church on the occasional Sunday, and Catholic school and Mass during the week.  I kind of liked being on both sides of the fence. 🙂  I never confirmed into either faith but for some reason I resisted it greatly and I have never truly understood why.  Anywho…

Off to college I went.  I attended a Jesuit university but very sadly and regrettably I did not finish.  My only reason is that I was a complete idiot and I greatly disappointed my parents.  That is one of my biggest regrets in life.  Once I left the Jesuit University that was my last direct contact with the Catholic Church.  That was in 1998.  Fast forward 13 years, and I am married, to a wonderful man who is thankfully my best friend, and we have a beautiful son.  The light of my life.

Through this time a lot has been wonderful, terrible, and kooky but I always felt there was a piece of my life that was missing, even though outwardly it looked like I had everything.  Like a jigsaw puzzle with the center piece missing, your eye is instantly drawn to the hole in the puzzle and you can’t help but notice it and it ruins the whole picture.  I came to know that the missing piece was God.  I was married in the Baptist church and I gave a good hard look at converting to the Baptist faith at the time.  Until, I was told I had to be baptized again.  (Insert brakes squealing here)  “What?  You want me to do what?”  Plus, the whole idea of being saved I could never wrap my mind around.  I was already a child of God by my baptism, so was I to over-ride God the first time and have a do-over?  I don’t think so…So adding that with the lack of sacraments and the lack of historical church authority, I could not in good conscience become Baptist.  The puzzle piece is still missing.

So off to door number 2, the Episcopal church.  Ok, good, I thought, back to my roots.  Being an Episcopalian is like being a diet Catholic, same great salvation with half of the guilt.  So I am doing my research and learning about my childhood Church, and lo and behold I learn Mary, my Beloved and Blessed Mother, is not esteemed in the Episcopal church in the way Jesus intended. Obviously, I had missed that day in Sunday school. I learned in life the best way to get to someone is either their stomach or their mother (In my husbands case, both).  Again, I could not wrap my mind around this, it is plain as day, how could she not be given her rightful place?  In addition to women priests (Yes, women have many places in the church just not that one) and acceptable homosexuality, I knew the Episcopal church had allowed the present day peer pressure to influence its’ theology.  Plus, they did not have a “Pope-Mobile”, any church who has the “Pope-Mobile” has to be the one true church, right?  OK that’s another topic…

Back to square one…hmmm..where do I go?  Seeking, thinking, wandering, should I?  How do I?  Pecking at the back of my brain was, Catholicism, Catholicism, there goes the Pope-Mobile, Catholicism, Catholicism.  Goodness, you have to go to church every Sunday-Funday.  They have confession, incense, genuflecting, kneel, stand-up, kneel, kneel, kneel, stand back up, and they don’t even say the last few lines of the Our Father.  How in the world would I do all of that?  I just can’t give up my Sunday-Funday in necessary sleeping in time.  UGH…I am just too busy being lazy to do all of that.  But every time I drove past my present-day church, or any Catholic church for that matter, those same thoughts kept pecking at my head…Catholicism.  I felt what was the right choice but I was scared to make it.  I was standing on the fine edge of a precipice into a doorway where I did not know would lead.  But isn’t that the very definition of faith?

About Wandering the Path Home

This is the story of my return to the Catholic Church. I also have a blog, Back to First Position, documenting my journey as an adult beginner in ballet.
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