My name is Lorelei Savaryn. I am married, and my husband and I have 2 beautiful and spunky children. This is a bit of background to put this interrupted Protestant life of mine into context.
To begin, we must go back over a decade to when I started dating a very nice young man, named after a Pope, John Paul. Speaking about him to my mom one night, I was telling her how much I liked him but that “he was Catholic,” like that should have been reason to give pause.
I have been a Christian as early as I understood what it meant to follow Jesus. I’ve felt the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life, and have sought to live out my faith actively, amidst my many failings. I was a girl in the 90’s who had several WWJD bracelets, many Christian t-shirts, wouldn’t ever be caught listening to secular music… ok, I took it too far sometimes. As young and passionate, and maybe sometimes hyper-focused on the wrong things I was, my faith was sincere.
I have always been seeking to know my God and to have Him lead me in my life. Which brings me back to dating JP.
Based on my faith background, I had a lot of predispositions against Catholicism that weren’t super well-informed or educated, but I knew enough to trip JP up on some of the more contentious issues. I took RCIA about 9-10 years ago, and just couldn’t understand a lot of the differences. Literal interpretation vs. the Catholic interpretation (what do you mean the world might not have been created in 7 days? If you don’t believe that, it all falls apart!), the role of Mary in the Church (still am working through that one), the role of works in salvation, the authority of Tradition, and others. JP’s whole family is pretty much Catholic, so coming in from my perspective with a lot of issues and concerns and being told that my faith was not as good as it could be was really difficult and hurtful to hear at times.
I know full well that JP’s family members meant to be helpful to me, and believed that they were experiencing a truer and richer faith life than Protestants were, but, to me, it felt like they were undermining and questioning my own relationship with my Savior, and it made it hard for me to hear what they were saying. To be completely honest, I disregarded most of the Catholic literature they sent my way. I just wasn’t interested. I think looking back now, so many of the things Catholics take for granted were so foreign to me, that I really had no place of understanding to even grasp what they were saying about Catholicism being the truest version of the Church. It will be something interesting to consider even further if I do end up Catholic at the end of this all. How to have discussions with Christian Protestants about the divisors in Catholicism without isolating or undermining their own previous faith experience.
Anyway… fast forward through time and, for the most part, JP’s family starts giving me some space. We still end up in conversations from time to time, and, realistically, I am beginning to understand their passion and hopes for JP and I to live as full a life of faith as possible, but, I had some room to just be. And over the course of several years, I just got to observe the family, and their faith in God, and how they lived it out. We went to mass when we were visiting. And I became less “against” the Catholic church, and, instead, developed a respect for it. Though I still had no interested in being Catholic myself.
Then, a couple of years ago, I started having some serious questions about Christianity… even it’s veracity… partly due to how I saw the church being lived out in practicality in America. Concerns about apathy, and if what we are practicing really could apply to the global church, all the different denominations and beliefs, the casual attitude towards worship services, the seeking of an emotional high instead of a reverence for God in church, the question of why we don’t look more like the early church, the question of what did the early church believe in general, Calvinism, my desire to be free to appreciate what science has to teach us about the world that God created… these issues and many, many more.
Meanwhile, JP was on his own faith journey. He left Catholicism early in our marriage, much of which was due to his desire for family unity. Over the past several months, though, he has been wrestling through his own questions, and has made a couple of comments about how he has been feeling drawn back to the Catholic church.
I didn’t say anything, but started wondering where all my questions and evolving understanding of the Christian faith fit into where we are currently going. I then found myself looking up Catholic parishes in our community, seeing when mass was. Then JP and I were on a date night and I told him I wanted to go to mass that Sunday. I started looking at the Catholic theology and, though I am still wrestling through plenty, I am starting to think that my evolving understanding is leading me away from my Protestant brothers and sisters and into an area I never thought I would be: the Catholic Church.
There was a time last year when I thought my protestant faith might be turning into agnosticism due to all my frustrations and concerns. But, thankfully, by the grace of God, my belief in Him is stronger and is taking a turn into more rich and deep territory.
This website is more like a journal of my process of working through this significant potential change in my life.