[quote="MaryEllen1951, post:39, topic:381176"]
Absolutely 2013 was a very good year!! Actually, there is a lot more to my story. My only sister (5 years older than me) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2010. She was my best friend and confidante.
It was one year and six months later, on March 16, 2013 when I experienced what I consider a miracle. All of a sudden, I felt this overwhelming desire to go to church. It came out of nowhere, as I hadn't had any thought of it prior to that day. It wasn't subtle - it was like a lightning bolt. I went to church the very next day, Sunday, March 17. I remember because it was St. Patrick's Day and that year was the week before Palm Sunday. I went to Reconciliation for the first time in 40 years the day before Holy Thursday. That was the beginning of my journey back. What I felt in my heart was that my beloved sister was with our Mom and Dad and the angels and saints, praying for me to return to Christ's Church. What she could not do here on earth, she was able to accomplish where she is now.
That's a big part of why I cry so hard every week in church. I know she's there, along with my Mom and Dad, and they are rejoicing with every other being in heaven.
Are you in RCIA? I have had to re-learn so many things after being away for so long.
What a joyous occasion it will be at your convalidation ceremony and your confirmations!! Patience definitely is a virtue, and it is so worth the pain of having to wait.
I am so sorry for the loss of your sister. I greatly admire people who are terminal and who stay strong in their faith when most would falter.
My mother was severely disabled. She passed away when I was 20, the day before my 21st birthday. She never told us she was ill, but I suspected when she started having a minister come to the house to speak with her alone regularly. She was also a woman of strong faith. At the time, I was not. Yet, when I was making her funeral arrangements I felt it was right to include a crucifix on her headstone. A friend of mine, who was catholic, brought a wooden crucifix with the Our Father handwritten on the back to put in her hands the day of her funeral. That gesture deeply touched me.
I do not know how Mom would feel about me joining the Church. She was Lutheran and had some issues with Confession and with Marian devotions. She believed we should just go directly to God with our sins. I'd like to think she would understand and support me and that if she were still here she'd see the beauty of the faith.
My FIL is 80 and never misses Mass no matter where he is in the country. When my FIL was visiting our state he was a bit busy and wouldn't be here long. We knew it would most likely be the in-laws last trip to MI since they were beginning to show signs of poor health. My DH wanted to spend time alone with his dad, so he came up with a plan to wake up early and attend Mass with him. It was the first time he'd gone to Mass in over 20 years. He came home and shortly announced he felt a need to return to the faith of his youth. I was a bit worried about how this would change our relationship as we'd met and married as Pagans, became Atheist and then Agnostic together. I had no idea what this strange faith would do to him and to us. But I was supportive because that's what wives do, right? That's when I began to research Catholicism and discovered the need for annulment and convalidation.
On Pentecost DH was singing with the choir and asked me to come to Mass with him. I agreed. I walked into the church and sat in a pew. I just knew I was home. When the children leave for their liturgy we sing Jesus Loves Me. My mother used to sing that to me when I was a child and I clearly heard her voice that day singing with us. I hadn't heard her voice in over 16 years, but it was unmistakable. A few tears fell, I must admit. I scheduled an appointment with our priest and turned in the annulment papers couple weeks later along with announcing my intention to become catholic myself.
DH was talking my daughters with him to Mass regularly by the time I began to attend. The girls are from my previous "marriage", but their father has no interest in them and never really has, not even when we were "married". So, since my DH has raised them since they were 6 and 1 year old I felt he had every right to bring them to worship with him. Once I decided to join the Church we began RCIA as a family. Us women to learn and my DH to get a refresher. We completed the classes before Easter 2014. My oldest daughter decided to move out of state and become a Baptist. My younger daughter was Baptized and Confirmed at Easter Vigil. I cried like a baby.
I have made sure she understands her obligations to the Church and that when it comes time to marry she must do so within the Church and will full understanding of what a marriage is! She'll make her own mistakes in life, but invalid marriage will hopefully not be one of them. I never want her to be cut off from the Sacraments and feel the pain we feel.