“You should pick up these books when you have a chance,” the priest said. “No rush,” he said.
I would like to thank God, the unquenchable thirst for knowledge that He provides, and my good friends at Thrift Books.
In other news, I’ve officially begun RCIA and I fear I’m the most vocal of my class. But that just means they’ll spend the next six months listening to me ramble about how awesome God is.
Six months? Indeed. My confirmation date is already on the calendar. Not that it has to be this coming year, but it’s most likely since I’m already a baptized Christian. It doesn’t seem possible. But when God says to get moving, you get moving. When He pushes you toward His intentions, you let yourself be pushed.
He’s provided glimpses of my role in the Church. He’s eager for me to get moving, to be a part of this, because He has so many plans for me. For years I’ve wondered what I’m supposed to be doing, and how I can help Him. But it wasn’t until I was in the right place—not even there yet, but still moving toward it—that His plans could be revealed. I don’t know details. I laugh when I consider the possibilities, because they’re nothing like what I’d planned for myself. But my plans are nothing. He laughs at my plans. His are so much grander, and they can only be fulfilled through His church.
When the priest learns you’re a reader (basically by trade), you’re in trouble. You can almost see the list of books scrolling through his mind at that moment, not wanting to bombard you with too much right away. Even though you would read that endless list of books. (Don’t tell him I said that. Not yet…)
After narrowing down the endless options—and after the Bible itself—he offered Scott & Kimberly Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home. A conversion story? Of course I’m going to be into this, doubly so because they were previously anti-Catholic, Bible-thumping Evangelicals.
We love telling our conversion stories. We love sharing how “stupid” we were, or the depths of our grief before coming to God. And we love hearing them, too, because it brings a sense of pride. Here are our friends, finally learning the truth. But I’m reading this book, and I’m also laughing. Because each conversion story is different, with the spectrum of human experience and emotion, but they’re also all the same.
future convert: Let me share this awesome discovery I made!
Catholic friend: …that is literally what the Church teaches.
future convert: NO IT’S NOT
I’m only halfway through this book. I haven’t even reached their conversion yet. But I’m already so into this. Because it’s their unique story, with all their unique doubts and struggles… but it’s also so, so familiar.
But when I looked for good, evil came; and when I waited for light, darkness came.
There are moments that the crystal clarity of God’s purpose knocks you in the head. When you’re driving home late at night, the radio off because there’s nothing good on anyway, and He drops everything on you at once: The seemingly random way you’ve come to this point. The reason for things that have happened. The revelation of why these things didn’t turn out the way you had planned (as if you really had any say).
He reveals a glimpse of the truth. It’s exciting and scary, and you don’t know how it’ll work, but you’re going to trust it.
And then, almost instantaneously, that clarity is clouded over.
It could be a lingering doubt that never quite went away. Or a completely unrelated thing a friend said to you. Or just a solitary sleepless night, wandering the house because it’s better than lying in bed wide awake.
It was a glorious time when the Israelites returned from Babylonian captivity. “Go build your temple!” the king had said, and they rushed into Jerusalem to glorify God. But, wait, this edict says you can’t build anything. And now foreigners want to help. We can’t let the impure into our holy temple. Hey, God, when in the world can we rebuild the temple? Isn’t this what You want?
We wait for the light, but darkness envelops. Yes, the darkness makes the forthcoming light so much brighter. But that doesn’t mean it’s any easier, when we’re literally crying to him in the dark. But that’s part of the process, too. The light will come, and in our continual worship and devotion He will continue to guide us toward it.