July 13, 2019
Tire angrily crunched gravel, but the pounding heartbeat in my ears was louder as my boyfriend swerved into the dark and empty desert. He'd been driving aimlessly all evening, spouting insults and accusations. It wasn't until the truck came to an abrupt stop that I noticed the sun was long gone, and with it my hope for our future. He flicked on the interior light, shifted his weight my way, no longer resembling the boy I loved, and demanded, "TELL ME WHAT YOU BELIEVE! WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE DAMMIT?!"
He was a non-denominational Protestant and my boyfriend of nearly two years, and I was a devout Catholic, though I'd not yet been catechized. Terrified, I stuttered; fumbling, struggling and failing to remember and recite the Creed I professed every Mass on Sunday. He looked on with disgust, slammed his fists on the steering wheel and said, "You're no Christian. We're NOTHING alike." I was unprepared and embarrassed, tail tucked I pleaded he just take me home.That entire car ride he gloated in arrogance and I prayed to God that I be free of his judgement and rage.
When this "good Christian boy" first asked me to be his girlfriend I was convinced he'd be a complement to my faithful soul, but I was unprepared for the reality of his disdain for my kind, Catholics. As our relationship progressed in seriousness, and our intentions were made clear, he began to voice his opposition to my Church and our beliefs. He decried my family's Marian grotto as a demonic apparition, threw a Mass intention card I dedicated for his deceased Grandfather in my face, and had just that evening declared that he would "Step foot in ANY OTHER house of worship before a Catholic Church!" when I expressed my desire to marry in Her. We'd been heading to destruction for a while, and I'd tried to smooth it over with attempts at ecumenism and concession, but that night it was clear as the starlit sky to me. He needed to go, and so did I...to school!
My inability to express the fundamental beliefs I had about my own Faith was a wake up call. I'd been baptized, prayed and gone to Mass all my life, but because of circumstances out of our control, my siblings and I were never given proper catechism and I'd been deprived of the Sacraments. And it showed.
Immediately after terminating that toxic relationship I desperately searched for answers and education, requesting information and material from every mission, organization and Catholic news source I could come by. Then it happened. I learned of an organization called America Needs Fatima. I loaded up on all of their free resources and literature, drawn like a moth to a flame to the incredible story of Our Lady and her messages to the three children of Fatima. Not only that, but the organization had a touring pilgrim statue accompanied by a custodian that visited the faithful in their very own homes! I prayed it may be possible and was blessed to receive word that she would be taken under our roof.
Ecstatic, my family welcomed her into our home May 4, 2012. What was supposed to be a two hour visit became an entire evening of prayer, education and conversation with the fine custodian and Our Lady. I plead in prayer, "Mother Lead me to your Son!" She did. By the Holy Spirit I was led to my Parish's RCIA program. My sisters by my side, exactly ONE YEAR after my petition to Our Lady, on May 4th, 2013, we were fully received into the Holy Catholic Church.
God absolutely demolished my counterfeit idea of "love" when my ex pulled over that night, and He replaced it with the authentic fullness of Himself that I will never quite comprehend. There is truth to the saying, "Sometimes God breaks our hearts so that He may enter." And so He has continued to do, using the pains of all my subsequent heartbreaks to allow me to encounter Him further and more fully. He has taught me to cling to no love other than Him. For He will never fail or abandon us, though we do to Him many many times. And after all of this, and because of all of this, more than a declaration of recited words, I do know exactly what it is I believe, in Him.
July 22, 2019
Beautifully written ❤️ So profound ❤️
This article… resonated SO MUCH with me. I was in a 4 year relationship with a man who came from a devout protestant family. I heard God calling me to end that relationship so clearly, but out of fear of being alone I didn’t listen. Our biggest fights were always about religion, and I didn’t have the concrete words to defend my faith. Sure I’d have soundbites since my dad entered the diaconate just before this relationship started, but I didn’t know why I believed what I did. I still had a hard time letting go almost 5 years after the relationship had finally ended. By the grace of God, He peeled that layer of attachment off my heart, but it still gets sore from time to time. Thank you for sharing your story.
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November 16, 2019
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