Friday, May 17, 2013

He's a Christian - You're a Catholic

Remember that dramatic scene from The Little Mermaid? The one where King Tritan is yelling at Ariel...
"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!

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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...

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"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.

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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!

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  1. It was so interesting to read your story! My husband and I were both "born and raised" Catholic. I love the beauty and discipline of the Catholic church. During college, I became a eucharistic minister and was very much involved in the university's catholic church. However, I felt empty. I felt I was praying "just to pray", without having an intimate relationship with my Savior. Long story short, I felt lead to a non-denominational church. I've been attending for three years now. My husband, his family, my family are "hard-core" Catholics, though. We have big decisions to make for our future family! It's good to know we are not the only ones that have been/are going through this. :-) I am sorry for the long post! ;-)

    1. Hi Gabriela! Just sent you an e-mail via YOUR blog! Would love to chat more about your faith journey :-) I guess my main thing here... why can't you be Catholic AND have a personal relationship with Jesus too?! We NEED that in the Catholic Church - that's what Christ would want anyway!!! Sadly I don't feel like it is very encouraged - but it is sooooo necessary!!! Have a blessed weekend, friend! Let's chat! XO

  2. I love your description of dating as a rose with thorns. I've heard that expression so many times lately and it's really stuck with me. It's easy to focus on the "thorns" in experiences and relationships and miss the beauty of the rose as a whole. Great post!

    1. thank you, Julia! it IS easy to focus on the thorns - i know that i struggle with doing that in general throughout life. so much easier and rewarding to take the journey/relationship/world as a WHOLE! it really is a beautiful thing! XO

  3. Hi! This was really neat to read! My husband and I are in a similar situation, except I'm the one that was protestant and converted. It's encouraging to know that others from the Catholic faith are in a similar situation (I've never known of one before). Something that I heard when I was protestant was "Christian first, Baptist second." Now I say, "Christian first, Catholic second." Since my family is still devoutly baptist, this helps us all to remember that even though there are some differences, we are all one body in Christ!
    Thanks for sharing!
    PS-I heard about your blog from your sister, Nellie! My husband and Joe were friends in college!

    1. Hey! Totally recognize the name! I think my sister has mentioned you as well. Haha she is so good at promoting my little blog here. God bless her. Oh wow - yea, I think there are many people in a similar situation as ours :-) I love what you said though about being "Christian first"... that's the mutual respect I think we need. I think that is what is needed for the ecumenical movement to thrive! It's so funny - ecumenism always overwhelmed me. NEVER wanted to be part of ministry that had anything to do with it. RCIA even scared me. BUT NOW - it is MY LIFE! And it so cool to connect with other couples and share about how we make "loving Jesus" work in our marriages!!! Thank YOU for stopping by! Glad we could connect XO


Thanks for leaving some comment love! I enjoy hearing what you have to say... and others do too! XO