I’m in a period of waiting. Does anyone like waiting? Transitions? I would honestly like to know. I much prefer to have decisions made, plans in effect, routines functioning, etc.
Primarily, I am waiting to enter the Catholic Church. Did you see that coming? Maybe, if you get my newsletter or follow me on Instagram. But the Catholic Church surprised me. After almost a decade watching one of my best friends live out her authentic relationship with Jesus as a Catholic, I finally started asking more questions about it over a year ago. I realized that I had a multitude of misconceptions about it, and discovered a fullness of faith that I hadn’t dreamed possible.
I had a really hard year, from mid-2016 to mid-2017, from which I am finally coming out of. My husband had a relapse with substance abuse, which made me in effect a single parent for awhile. Then there was an extended rehab stay and finding a new normal. You can read more about that journey here; it’s sure to come up again so you might want to. But this was probably the hardest year of my life, and I found myself searching for a way to survive it. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was digging in deep and trying to fully experience God because I didn’t know how else to get through.
And so I am becoming Catholic. Only not yet! You might not know this, but entering the Catholic Church is a long, ancient process. In September I will begin RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). It includes about six months of weekly meetings and masses and Bible study and involvement with the local parish, and then on the Easter Vigil of 2018 I will finally be able to receive the sacrament of communion.
I’ve been attending weekly mass for a few months now, and it is much harder than I expected to cross my arms for a blessing when I could have Jesus’ Presence in my body. (Sorry, some of this is Catholic-speak.) It doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, but somehow it really is. I know this period of waiting will make it all the more meaningful, and I don’t want to wish away time. But it’s hard.
(I’m have been trying really hard not to make this post too serious! But it’s kind of hard when you are talking about spirituality and addiction.)
I’m also feeling uncertainty because of work. Due to various circumstances, my hours are currently significantly reduced. That’s great for having free time, but not so great on our budget. And I’m discovering that I don’t even know how to use this newfound free time! It comes in random spurts that I can’t predict, so I can’t plan for it or around it. It’s making me feel a bit unmoored.
This period of slowness at work is temporary (hopefully, probably), but indeterminate. I’m hanging in there, not looking for another job, but making budget cuts and putting myself on a spending freeze. Doing what I can, and trying to accept what I can’t. And in the meantime, I’d like to figure out how to use this period of time.
I have gone back and forth about whether or not to revive this blog of mine. It was the right thing to do to step away from it, since I was most definitely in survival mode. But now that I have some time, and my husband is doing great, I keep thinking that maybe I have some things to share – so hi! Here I am!
My plan is to share, at some point, my full story of conversion. I’d also love to talk about some of the specific aspects of the Catholic church that drew me in, and even some of those that are hard for me to accept. I want to share some resources with anyone who is interested, and talk about living liturgically.
This will also be a journal of my waiting process, and what it’s like for my family (it’s complicated!). And I’m sure you’ll hear about living in recovery from substance abuse, because I have found that so many of those principles are spiritual.
I’m not going to be promoting my posts on social media, there won’t be any kind of schedule, I may go weeks between posts, and I don’t expect to have many readers. I’m doing this for me, but I truly do hope I find some kindred spirits along the way.