I was just wondering who on this forum is a cradle Catholic and who converted. What are your stories? If a cradle, do you still love the Church? Has it become stagnant or boring to you? If you converted, from what denomination and why?
Here is my story-and I am a convert.
I came into the Church during Easter of '04. I was raised in various denominations in the Protestant world-Methodist, Presby, Pentecostal, Christian Missionary Alliance, Baptist. At 15 I had the typical born again experience. I was always feeling like I was missing something. I was told over and over, I was not doing enough, praying enough, sacrificing enough. The problem was always me. I married young to an abusive man and we had 3 kids. I did not believe in divorce but when the minister that baptized me, married me, and sprinkled my kids told me that God did not want me in such a horrible situation, I divorced my first husband. I was shunned by those I spent most of my teen life with for being divorced. I was told I must have done something wrong.
About 6 years after my divorce, I met my DH. My mom introduced us. We married about 1 year after we met. He is so family oriented and from day one took the father figure role on with gusto for my 3 kids. His only downfall is he is a Yankee. He is full Sicilian, which as one would imagine, comes with a large Italian Catholic family, who also accepted my kids with open arms. We had another child in our first year of marriage. We never discussed church or anything. I had never intended to convert. I was always taught that the Catholics were crazy :whacky: because they prayed to statues, they did not believe in salvation, idolized Mary. You get the gist.
On Memorial Day of '03 my dear MIL suffered her 3rd major heart attack. She spent the whole summer in hospital. They moved her to UNC, nearer to me and her son. Since I used to be a nurse, I would spend a lot of time with her at the hospital performing all those comfort skills busy nurses rarely get to use due to their busy schedules. I would massage her with lotion, wash her hair, help her eat. She prayed the rosary almost non-stop. :gopray2: I prayed it with her. We became very close. One evening she asked me and my DH to have our youngest, Zack, baptized in the Church. I did not understand at first that she meant the Catholic Church. I was hesitant at first but eventually agreed. We planned it for 4 weeks later, but sadly, the Monday(Labor Day) before the baptism, she passed away. Oh, how we still mourn for her today. Then 9 days later, her father, whom my DH was named for passed away as well.
I had made a promise so I saw it through. In doing so, I came to understand the richness and fullness of the Church and the part I felt was missing in my Protestant faith became fulfilled in such a way, despite my not being able to receive the Eucharist, that my 3 older kids and I all converted. :getholy: My DH and I had our prev marriages anulled and had our marriage validated by our priest. The most significant day in my life was the day of my First Communion. I felt so full of grace and love. It is a feeling I live everytime I take the Blessed Sacrament. :amen:
So that’s my story! What’s yours!!