I hope this is the right forum… I tried to find the answers by searching to what I’m looking for, but I just ended up confusing myself. I’m hoping someone can help me understand a little more. Thanks to any who respond. And sorry this is so long.
First of all I am currently a protestant attending Calvary. I was an atheist for most of my life until in my late twenties I had quite an experience that made me a believer in God and His Son Jesus as the only way to be saved from hell. So for several years I went to church with my husband and kids and all was fine.
Now however I feel really drawn to the Catholic Church. So I spoke to my pastor and friends and family about it and that opened up a huge can of worms.
This is what I have basically been told. I was told that the Catholic Church is wrong mostly because they believe that salvation is accomplished through Grace AND my own works. I was told that if I rely at all on my own works to be saved then I am basically telling Jesus that His sacrifice was not enough and therefore am not putting 100% of my trust in His work. My good works must be totally done out of a desire to please God and not as a condition of my salvation. I was told that the devil is tempting me with the idea that Jesus is not the whole thing. I do believe He is the only way, but at the same time I KNOW the Bible says that faith without works is dead. What is wrong with me that I can’t make sense of this?
I feel so incredibly drawn to the Catholic Church because I am beginning to believe that the sacraments are pleasing to God and were comanded by Him. I am also beginning to believe that Jesus really IS present in the bread and wine and if I am not partaking then somehow I am missing a huge part of what He told us to do. I also feel drawn by the history of the Church and the fact that it has stood through everything thrown at it. Also, something feels wrong about the whole “I said one prayer and now I’m saved” idea.
I feel like God is telling me to convert, but at the same time I’m being told by friends and family that it is actually the devil telling me to do this. I have never been so confused in my life and I wish God would tell me what to do without this confusion. I have tried to not listen to people and just keep it between me and God, but now that I have told others no one will leave me alone about it. So, I came here hoping someone had a similar experience and could tell me how they got through it.
Did anyone else here convert from being a protestant and go through something similar? How did you get past the confusion? Or was it very clear all at once? I feel like a freak now not fitting in anywhere.
I’m afraid that I’m not doing what God wants me to by not joining the original church (Catholic Church), but then I worry that if I do convert I will not be trusting in Jesus 100% (others keep telling me that over and over and over). Oh, and I have read many things regarding doing good works and the Catholic Church, but for some reason I am having an almost impossible time really and truly understanding what it means. I feel like such an idiot.
I apologize for rambling on, but it is hard for me to express what I’m going through. I hope some of this made some sense to someone and they can help me. Oh, and I keep picking up the phone to call my local parish, but I keep chickening out. I don’t know what to say to them. Do I say “I’m confused and hurt and I want to come Home, but I don’t know what to do”? I feel like they will tell me that dummies like me aren’t welcome.
Thank you all for any advice, and any prayers sent my way are most welcome.
Oh and I should probably mention that my husband is going through the exact same thing as I am. So I’m not having any trouble with him at all. We are both so confused together.