It's hard to believe it's been 2 years already since I confirmed in the Catholic Church, and I have to say it was one of the best nights in my life.
Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to become Catholic like my Nana. I was baptized as a infant in the Catholic church because my Nana wouldn't have it any other way, but my parents never followed through with the faith.
I bounced around as a child from church to church, religion to religion and never stuck to the roots of the faith I was born into.
My Nana was a Catholic Nun before she stepped down from the convent and married. I looked up to my Nana because of her faith, and secretly behind my parents back, my Nana would teach me the rosary, and the novena's. She taught me how to pray and learn the Catholic prayers.
I saw my Nana go to Mass on Sunday mornings and I would watch her out the window leaving in her pretty clothes, and I remember feeling so sad that I wanted to go with her to this "Mass" she talked about.
I asked many times when I was a child if I could go with my Nana, but the answer was always no "you are not catholic" - but yet I was, I just wasn't brought up Catholic like I should have.
The moment my Nana came home from Mass I would ask her all kinds of questions. "What does the church look like?" "tell me about what the priest talked about today" "what did you learn today?". She would tell me all about it, and I remember being in awe of her stories.
I would asked "what does the church look like? do you really see God there? tell me all about the beautiful windows and the nuns and the priests who wear the beautiful robes".. She would sit and talk to me about it at the kitchen table, and I was in awe! I could only imagine what it looked like - felt like.
I would walk into the room and see my Nana praying with the rosary the same time every day, and I wanted one of those rosaries.
Time went by and my Nana passed away when I was 28 years old, and I never got to attend a Catholic Mass with my Nana, it was one of my dreams.
I got married and had kids and even though my husband is Catholic and was brought up Catholic, because he didn't follow the church I never went forward to pursue it. I didn't go to church, and I felt that emptiness inside of me.
3 years ago at 10:00pm I was out driving around. It was one of those nights where I just wanted to take a drive and find something to fill my soul. I pulled into the Catholic Church near my house and It was open!It was dark, but it was open.
I walked into the sanctuary and I sat in the 2nd pew from the very front on the right side and PRAYED for an hour! All I could see was this little red light flickering. That light is called the perpetual sanctuary light. It stays lit 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The only time that light goes out is on Good Friday when everything is removed from the tabernacle during the death of Jesus. This light means Jesus is in the tabernacle.
I could see shadows of things in the church, but I didn't see details of the inside of the church because it was dark.
I cried and cried and prayed to my nana that I missed her and wished I could see her again.
I left the church that night, and the next morning I went back to the church and wanted to see where I was sitting the night before, and it was BEAUTIFUL inside all lit up!
There was the crucifix that I saw shadowed on the wall that night before. I could see what the inside of the church looked like, and all the shadows were filled in and I was in awe! complete AWE!
I then walked into the church office and said "how do I become Catholic? I was baptized Catholic as an infant, but I want to become a part of this church" and from there on that is when I found my faith - the faith I was born into, but the faith I never had the choice to make - until now.
I went to RCIA and it took a year to really grasp what the church was about, and I learned so much about he faith and God! IT was the best year of my life.
My therapist and I talk about religion A lot and it was him who also helped me to go forward in the faith that I always wanted to be a part of.
2 years ago, 2011, I was getting ready to confirm in the Catholic Church, and I was so proud of the step I was ready to take. I wished my nana could see me doing this, she would be so proud. I wished a lot of the people who thought I couldn't do it, or should do it could see me take that step.
2 weeks before my confirmation was to happen, I said to my therapist "I wish you could come see me confirm, it's because of you as well that i stepped back into the life of God".. and the next day he came to me and said he talked to his family about it, and he would be honored to come to my confirmation and see me confirm.
He came to my conformation and watched me confirm in the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil - a 3 HOUR Mass! He loved every hour of it, was in awe of the way the mass was done.
He sat with my husband and oldest son, while me, and my 2 younger sons confirmed in the Catholic Church.
It was a night I will never forget for many reasons! I think back on it and I have tears everytime, that is how special that night was for me.
I will never forget it because it was my choice to become what I wanted and that was to become Catholic like I wanted as a child. It was finally my choice to do something I felt strongly about. No one was going to stop me, this wasn't anything that was going to be taken away from me, this was my moment!
I will never forget it because - I had all of my support sitting out there in the pews that night watching me take a huge step into a huge part of my faith. My therapist being there meant the world to me, and standing up there seeing him out there with all the people who meant a lot to me, just made so much sense! He knew what this meant to me.
I will never forget it because - My Nana would have been so proud! I remember standing up there in front of everyone taking my first communion bread and having tears well up in my eyes thinking "I wish she was here to see this".
I will never forget it because - When it was over, everyone came up to me and hugged me and said "your Nana was right there with you through the whole thing and she would be so proud of you".
I love my Faith. I love the sentiment behind it. I love how I had the choice to be a part of this and not have it taken away from me, or my right and decision being taken away from me.
It will be a moment I will never forget.
The hardness of this past year has taken me away from the church at times - reasons I can't even write about, and I am finding my way back, because that is where I belong - not in this stuck place!
2 years ago today I made a choice ... and tonight I am making that choice to continue down the road I was meant to take - towards God on this wonderful path of healing towards me - no longer being stuck in the unknown; but walking towards the known.
My one wish would be to st in the pew with my Nana and hold her soft hand and be in prayer and mass with her.. I wish I had that chance today, but I know deep inside of me that she is here in my heart, and everytime I go to Mass, she is right in that pew with me - proud of me for my choice.
Thank you for letting me share my story ...
(click on photo above) - The photo above is me walking down the isle of the church with my sponsor Gail as we were all walking into the church in the dark, waiting for the light to come on for the resurrection!