A year or so ago I made a phone call to the local diocese office inquiring about becoming Catholic. She was a very nice lady and we had a good talk but I was very scared of the actual next step. So, I never made that next call. I was scared of so many things. Could I do it? Could I truly make that commitment? What is my family going to think? Will they be happy? Proud? Mad? Disappointed? Who am I truly doing this for? Who am I not doing this for? I was still standing in that doorway now scared to step inside or outside.
I decided I needed to spend a lot of time in prayer but I needed some direction. My prayer muscles were weak and they needed a good workout (Mentally insert “Eye of the Tiger” song here) Asking people for help does not come easily to me, especially for (gasp!) how to pray. Since I am a lover of books, I went in search for a book to help me. I found a daily devotional book by Joyce Meyer. I have watched her on TV and I always liked the way she approached the quest of faith in a positive manner. I began to read the devotional every morning and I would meditate on that days’ lesson throughout my day. I enjoyed starting my day in the peace and quiet of the morning in prayer. It set the tone for the rest of my day. I felt more at peace and “settled” as I was gaining a closer walk with God. Inevitably, there were mornings where I woke up late and would rush, rush, rush and miss out on my quiet morning in prayer. My whole day never seemed to be balanced right after mornings like those. Over time as I improved, I began to add the “Our Father” as part of my prayer life. Sadly, my first few attempts led me to the internet to refresh my memory of it. I could not believe I had forgotten some lines. (No wonder I was starving spiritually). As my morning prayer time became a daily habit and I was getting better, the devotional book became less of focus and I spent more time in silent prayer centered on the “Our Father”. The devotional book had strengthened my spiritual muscles which is what I needed so badly and I was ready to venture out on my own.
It was during this time of personal prayer that I came to the full realization that I needed to be in the church. I thought and prayed about this for a long time. I knew what I needed to do, I just needed the fortitude to “git’er done”. In the end it sure is funny how the Holy Spirit works…
So, back to the internet I went and looked up Sunday services for my neighborhood Catholic church. I had the best intentions and laid out plans. And a Sunday went by, and another, and then another. My laziness for my Sunday-Funday was deeper rooted than I had realized. For some reason I just couldn’t get myself up to go. I felt like I was hitting a wall of invisible fear. I would wake up at 10am and Mass was at 10:30, “Oh well, guess I can’t make it today! No time to get ready. Aww shucks…” Soon I had this little routine down pat. My husband and I even talked about attending church and we both would be resolved to go but Sunday mornings would continue to pass us by.
During my internet musings of when church started, I saw that the school which is part of my neighborhood Catholic church was having an open house. We were looking for schools to enroll our son in next year and since the school is close by and one of the best in our area we decided to attend. My husband and I both knew the value of a private Christian education and we were determined to provide that for our son. I have especially wanted him to be in Catholic schools since I had such a positive experience in Catholic schooling. So the Sunday arrives and “Yeah!” we made it to the church property! I had wanted to attend Mass that day but at least we made it for the open house. We all loved the school and it was a no brainer to decide to sign him up for school there next year. I walked away from the school open house very excited for my son and a little something extra I did not expect. I don’t know how to accurately express it into words except for, elation. It wasn’t just because my son was getting a solid quality education, it was the ignition of a fire deep within me and it was beginning to grow.