Today we continue a series of Guest Posts about Conversion and Reversion to the Catholic Faith. Today’s story comes to you from Lexie who writes over at Sunshine Daisies Butter Mellow. *Bonus Points for naming the movie reference!* She an adorable 23 year-old, just starting out in this journey called life. And this is her story, in her words:
I grew up in a family that was not “religious” in the sense of going to church every Sunday or declaring affiliation to one particular church or denomination. I was baptized as Lutheran around three or four years old (I can’t exactly remember since it was so long ago) and after being baptized my family and I attended church a handful of times. Over time our church attendance shrunk and eventually stopped when we moved from one area of town to another. After me I was the last child in my family to be baptized and over the years we church hopped. My siblings and I attended a Baptist church for a few years and we went through their vacation bible school and awana programs. We stopped going to the Baptist church around the time that I was in middle school. By the time I started high school it had been a few years since I had set foot in a church not counting the few times I had went with a friend.
In my junior year of high school me and my siblings started attending an Assemblies of God youth group on Wednesday day nights. I was in love with the fast upbeat Contemporary Christian music and the fire and passion the other kids had during service. My church attendance there to fell to a halt when I started my senior year and I ended up having to work most Wednesday nights and on weekends.
Fast forward to my college years. As a freshman in college my “faith” or lack of I should say was not even on my radar. I attended a local campus house church was non-denominational but after attending twice I was unimpressed and my faith took a back seat. After that over the next three years I flitted from one local church to the next and attended almost every church the town had to offer from Lutheran to Methodist. Despite visiting all of these churches and attending for awhile nothing ever seemed to stick. So I took a “break” from anything I deemed “religious” and related to church in any way shape or form, I wanted nothing to do with it. In 2009 I attended an Ash Wednesday service with my friend who was a practicing Catholic and I was nervous since it was my first time in a Catholic church. Going into that Ash Wednesday service I honestly didn’t know what to expect and I’m glad I didn’t since it allowed me to keep an open mind and be receptive to the Priest’s message that day. During the service I remember being absolutely awestruck at the beautiful ritualistic aspect of Mass. After erroneously receiving the Holy Eucharist I knew right then there that the Catholic church was where God intended for me to be, and I wanted in!
The following fall semester of 2009 I finally got up the courage and contacted my Newman Center’s spiritual director to inquire about joining the Catholic church as a convert. I then began attending weekly RCIA classes along with a few others wishing to convert. Every Wednesday night we would all meet in the fireside room and sit and discuss basic Catholic church teachings and theology. Some nights, the information was so exciting and enlightening that I couldn’t wait to be confirmed, and others I was bored and would be mentally checked out thinking about other things. After going through a nasty and heart wrenching break up I turned what little strength and focus I had left onto Church and getting as much as I could out of my RCIA classes. Pretty soon the months flew by and before I knew it our RCIA classes were coming to an end and we were making final preparations to receive holy communion.
On Easter Sunday of April 2010 I, Alexis Maria (my patron Saint St. Maria Goretti,) received the Holy Eucharist in front of the town’s church and was officially received and welcome into the Catholic Church at St. Charles Borremo in Charleston, IL. I was finally home and after finally being welcomed into the church I knew that in my heart my life and relationship with God would never be the same as it was before. Receiving the Holy Eucharist was in a way the transformation/crossing over from my previous life of Godlessness and mayhem to being reborn in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and being welcomed into the Father’s arms spiritually.
My family was surprisingly very supportive of my conversion process, especially my mom who was the kind of mom who wanted to see her kids happy, even if it wasn’t a religious choice she herself would personally choose. After Easter I cycled through being an active participant in church and attending Mass to not bothering to show up or take it seriously. I guess I was sort of testing the waters and boundaries of my church to see if it was truly what I wanted to do. After putting my faith on the back burner after that and just pouring ever fiber of my being into school, I finally would receive a much needed break through.
That break through would come during the summer of June 2011 after being home from college. After doing some soul searching and looking at the person I had become and the potential of the person I could be I knew I had to change. I started with small changes and slowly worked my way on up. I started reading the bible again on a regular basis as much as I could and then began praying the rosary daily when I remembered to. After that I began attending Mass again as much as I could and I began to pray to God to turn my heart back to him. Little by little it kept turning and one day it hit me that I was beginning to a live a life where my focus was on God and finding my strength through him and within him. I went from being a pro contraceptive user who was bored by Mass to a NFP guru who loved traditional Latin Mass. God truly does work miracles and while I am still learning and growing in my faith I know God is leading and is with me every step of the way. I just have to learn to practice and work up the courage to follow.
This is my story and journey to what I call “Home” and I now walk in truth and hold my high head high and proclaim joy and living in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy spirit.
Thank you to Lexie, for sharing! It’s funny… she sounds like a version of me at 23!! Especially the NFP/ Latin Mass loving part!
If you have words for Lexie, you can share here or over on her blog. And please do share!
If you have a conversion/ reversion/ thinking about converting story you’d like to share with the Caffeinated Catholic Mama family, please send me an email at: caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com. Please put “Coming Home” in the subject line.