Continued from Planting…
A classmate once asked me if I was a Christian. Though I thought this was a question, it was more like a hypothesis. He was convinced that he already knew the answer. Nevertheless, I objectionably replied “No, I’m not!” I didn’t want to be a part of that! Despite my emphatic “No!” he refused to believe me.
What was it that made him think I was a Christian? I’m hoping that it was something good. Hopefully he had a very good impression of what it is to be one. I sure didn’t.
After my parents abandoned their family beliefs, religion left an undesirable taste in their mouths. I was young. I didn’t really understand what had happened, but if my parents weren’t going to have anything to do with God, then neither was I, or so I thought.
I’m going to leave this part of the story a bit vague for now. It’s enough to say that I ended up on a different path than the rest of my family tree. However, I believe that my grandparents knew God, but I still have some unanswerd questions.
In the Summer of 1994 my own avoidance plan was cut off at the pass when bachelor #1 entered the picture. That August my eldest brother tied the knot with his beautiful bride. Dressed to the nines, I caught the eye of a friend of the bride who asked me for a dance. By the end of the evening he’d asked for my phone number as well.
It was revealed that he was a Catholic shortly after we started dating. I was so disappointed. I wasn’t interested in religion! As I debated whether to proceed, a family member persuaded me–through the power of guilt–to give him a fighting chance. They felt it was too harsh to immediately dismiss someone because of their beliefs. Fair enough.
Deciding to keep an open mind about Catholicism, I did continue to date this Christian. I even attended some church services with him. This was a whole new world for me. (Not in the Aladdin sort of way.) Because it was so out of my comfort zone it didn’t improve my impression of religion one bit.
On one of our dates I was surprised with a lace veil, which I was informed I was to wear to church services. I don’t recall this being explained to me, but I’m sure that it would have felt just as awkward either way.
The church itself–from my point of view–was eerie. It didn’t help that the service wasn’t entirely in English. If that wasn’t enough to make this experience less than enjoyable, the church goers were quite animated. They stood, then sat, then stood again as they verbalized things in this strange new dialect. I had no clue what was happening, but it was clear that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.
Some people may enjoy surprises and trying new things, but I was a very shy and easily intimidated version of myself back then. Consequently, I never did feel comfortable in the Catholic Church. However, it did engage us in some talk about God.
One night, before I drifted off to sleep–believe it or not–I said a prayer, asking a God that I wasn’t even sure existed if He would make Himself real to me. Hey, why not? If you want to know if something is true go straight to the source. What’s the worst that could happen? If God weren’t real I’d go on my merry way without Him, right?
Meanwhile, this lopsided relationship had hit a snag–in that, I really didn’t want to become a part of his church! As a result, I found myself on the fence once again.
It wasn’t long before he informed me that he wouldn’t marry a woman who wasn’t a Catholic. God may have cut me off at the pass, but whether or not a-courtin we’d continue to go, was up for debate. It appeared we had reached an impasse.
Though I was near certain this wasn’t the path I wanted to take, I was also hesitant to abandon it just yet. I was socially awkward and I didn’t exactly have guys lined up at my door. It wasn’t long, however, before my conflict was resolved when a God I didn’t know provided the path of least resistance: bachelor number two. (Big smiles.)
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”Proverbs 16:9
Stay tuned for “The Path.” Available Wednesday.