I knew I wasn’t going to be able to enter the Church that Easter, but I still wanted to participate in Lent. Being the OH so brilliant person that I am (sarcasm), I decided that giving up caffeine and coffee for Lent would be an adequate sacrifice.
Except I was working three jobs.
And recovering from a broken engagement.
And in the middle of mid-terms and then finals.
Not the most intelligent decision I’ve ever made in my life. By – and only by – the grace of God I survived. And vowed to never, EVER do that again, unless I heard it straight from the lips of the Almighty. (Or the Metatron).
Summer came and passed, school started back up, and I began RCIA in earnest – and started dating a wonderful man who was also in the process of converting to Catholicism. Before I knew it, Advent had arrived, and I celebrated my last Christmas outside of full communion with the Catholic church.
When Lent began I could feel God whispering in the back of my heart, and I tried to ignore it. They were whispers of change, and if it’s a change I don’t initiate, I am so not on board with it. I cried, and prayed, and talked to my mom, and a few special women in my life, and then cried and prayed some more, and realized that the plans God had for my life did not match up with my boyfriend’s. No fault on either side, just different paths. It was a painful decision, and, you know, ending the most stable relationship I’d ever had in my life, with an awesome man, wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for a Lenten sacrifice. My boyfriend was understanding, and supported my decision. My equilibrium was thrown off, though. As I knelt before the congregation during the Scrutinies, I fought back tears.
Am I doing the right thing?
I don’t want to do this alone.
I’M NOT READY.
But with my sweet, sweet godmother’s hand on my shoulder, and the prayers of the church rising around me, and far-flung friends I’ve never even met in person began to petition Heaven for me, I could feel peace that I’ve never felt in any hypercharismatic marathon revival service. Living out the rest of Lent hasn’t been easy. There have been temptations and trials and tests I should have passed and didn’t, and things I wish I could go back and do differently. But I’m 48-hours away from the Great Vigil as I type this. In less than two days this portion of the journey is going to come to an end. I wish I could say I felt like a Catholic Dalai Lama.
I feel more like a kid transferring middle schools in the throes of pre-pubescent awkwardness.
But I can truly sense the prayers of everyone lifting me and everyone else preparing to enter the Church right now.
I’m scared, but I’m excited.
I’m coming home, guys. Next time you hear from me it’ll be from the opposite bank of the Tiber.
And I’ll be eating donuts after Mass.