"He's a HUMAN... You're a MERMAID!" Yea that pretty much sums up our dating relationship.
I asked him, "What kind of girl are you looking to marry, Nathan?"
He said, "Someone like you."
It was a good thing this conversation happened while slowly cruising down a country road on a motorcycle
because I blushed so badly! Talk about flattery. I was a little shocked though. He was a die hard Protestant...
and I thought for sure that Catholic girls and their Hail Marys were out of the question!
It wasn't too many weeks later that he sat out in my driveway with me,
holding my hand, brushing strands of my hair away from face - asking me if he could pursue me
with the intention of marriage. Despite our differences that EVERYONE liked to point out...
He felt like home from day #1.
This was the guy I had met at a dealership - when I was a receptionist and he was a salesman.
This was the guy who was 7 years older than me and seemed so far beyond my little world.
This was the guy I looked up to when I was 16 years old; in a big brother sort of way.
This was the guy who wanted to know why I confessed to a priest, why I believed in the Eucharist,
why I prayed for dead people, and if I worshiped Mary... long story long...
We broke up 3 times. Both the oldest children in our family with dominating temperments -
we fight hard, love fiercely, share the same love language, and like to run the show with our
"type A" personalities. Two peas in a pod. The only problem was... one of us was Catholic and
the other was Protestant. Both hardcore about it too.
We hashed it out - again and again.
Trying to make sense of where the other was coming from.
So much confusion. So much chaos. So must misunderstanding.
Nathan has heard the longest, most heart-felt explanation of my faith EVER.
The first two times we broke up for reasons other than our faith differences, but the last time...
I was kneeling in the back of a Catholic Church around 11PM at night when Nathan walked in and
knelt down beside me. Before I knew what was happening, I was pointing towards the altar, the tabernacle,
and delivering a speech that I had no intention of giving that night.
God moved me... and I said, "I will always love God and ALL of this more than I will ever love you.
You don't understand... this is never going to work." Tears and good-byes. That was it.
We thought we were done - the curtains closed and we walked away.
I cried myself to sleep for 3 months straight.
We both told my parents, at separate moments, that we felt like we had lost our spouse.
What we thought was the end turned into an 8 month break... month after month God broke us down,
healed wounds, and put us back together...
"When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.'
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." - Psalm 126:1-3
God used that time to work out HIS WILL in both of our lives.
I think the biggest thing that I realized was that NATHAN WAS THE MAN CREATED FOR ME...
He was the gift that I needed to receive. He ended up becoming Catholic (that's another story).
But the main reason was to restore unity - to come back to Mother Church and be under
the Apostolic succession.
We still don't see eye to eye on everything in regards to the faith. I think most relationships in
general experience this to one degree or another. The biggest lesson we have learned along the way is to
RESPECT the way that each of us approaches God. And love - LOVING each other straight into the arms of
Christ has been such a gift too. We move each other forward in our faith by not focusing on the differences
that lay between us, but embracing all the similarities and sharing those with our children and community.
We look back and laugh now. But it was NOT funny then.
Our dating relationship was a rose... it came with some thorns too.
I'm glad we are married now and can move towards heaven together -
encouraging and loving each other for where we are at TODAY.
We make it work - as the Christian and the Catholic...
who is Christian too by the way!