I have started to have the conversations with friends to tell them about this journey I’ve been on. A few things have happened of note, throughout the talks I’ve had so far.
Big Feelings. I knew some friends, or maybe even most, wouldn’t be super on board with my conversion to Catholicism. But I don’t think I anticipated all the Big Feelings that would be there. A dear and precious friend telling me, close to tears, that the concepts of things like confession are ones she just completely doesn’t understand. In that moment I wanted to tell her that I totally get it. I didn’t understand it for my entire life up until about a month ago. But it has been such a delicate dance to share this with people I love and to know when to explain how my views have changed and when it is better to just listen. I know I haven’t handled that perfectly. I’m so excited about all this Truth that I didn’t know before, and how it’s changing everything, and yet it took me years of disagreement before things changed. How to speak truth and be sensitive and loving and patient at the same time…. and to know when to do what…. of that I have failed and will fail again.
I, too, have had Big Feelings. I’ve cried all the way home from conversations with people so important to me. Knowing that I’m causing distress, on one hand. Feeling sad because those dear people are not going to be happy for me in what is a huge moment in my life on the other.
Surprising Objections. I anticipated some things, and felt at least decently prepared to talk about them. But I had a few friends uncomfortable with the idea of me referring to them as Protestants. I didn’t expect that. It was difficult to kind of have to reframe how any denomination or church formed post-reformation would fall under that umbrella, though you can’t lump all Protestants under any one umbrella in most areas. I also had friends who were adamantly un-unnerved by all the divisions in the church, and hadn’t given much consideration to the idea of the Holy Spirit preserving correct interpretation of the Bible on a large scale, and were much more comfortable with the idea that bits of truth scattered among the Christian churches of the world, and our interpretation of total truth is flawed due to sin. Though, I probably shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was. But also it was so very foreign to them, that it was almost a situation of it being incomprehensible because it had never entered their minds as a possibility. They have known nothing else. And I get that, because I’ve been there too.
Things that Surprisingly Went Well. There were a couple of occasions where I felt I did a solid and logical job of explaining something. One such item would be the whole “God has actually preserved true interpretation of Scripture through His Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church” thing. My basis was that, as Christians, we believe a whole bunch of sinful, flawed people, were used by God to create a book we believe to be infallible. Truth. Pure Truth. I said I believe God to be loving, and it doesn’t make sense to me that God would leave us with an infallible book and only flawed and broken means of interpreting it. That was one moment where I felt like I conveyed my thoughts clearly and accurately, and that at the very least people were following my logic to the conclusion.
There were also people I have talked to where I haven’t cried on the way home. People who reassured me of their love and friendship in such an encouraging way after a deep and intense conversation. A couple who even said they were happy for me. Ok- I’ll take it! It was relieving and refreshing after much intensity.
The Exhaustion. The past few days have been draining. I am so, so exhausted, mentally and emotionally.
None of my friends are going to be content with me saying that I just feel God’s presence in the Catholic Church and just being drawn to that. I do, and I am, but that isn’t everything. I’m being drawn by deeply theological reasons, and they are for the most part deep thinkers that are going to ask deep questions.
It’s interesting to me how over the past few months this blog, that began as an online journal of me beginning a line of inquiry into Catholicism has turned into a blog journaling my conversion. I didn’t say surprising, because I don’t think I’m really surprised. Converting is a logical next step after the research and soul-searching I’ve done. But it’s interesting… interesting because Lorelei from 10 Years Ago would have never imagined being here. Interesting because this started as a personal journey and has become a journey that others are joining me on through reading and conversation. And interesting because I still have questions, that I will continue to explore, but I’ve learned enough to understand that the Catholic church has thought about and discerned every belief they have on a much deeper level than I have ever seen anywhere. I don’t think I’m going to find something in my personal search that will stump Catholic theology or logic. Now… my personality type is such that I will continue to look into questions that arise, but I continue to do so boldly, and unafraid of the answers I will find.