My Catholic Journey

This is my story to the Roman Catholic Church. I have always been Protestant. I was raised Baptist as a child. As a teenager I attended a Assembly of God church. And since 2005 I have been in a Non-Denominational Church. I really knew nothing of the Roman Catholic Church. I never had any family or friends that were Catholic. I really knew nothing about it. Then one day my friend told me about a bible study at the Catholic Church. She thought we should go. I went to the bible study. But my friend was unable to go at the last minute. So I went by myself. I really thought nothing of going to the Catholic Church for a women's bible study. I love bible studies. So I did not hesitate to go even though I did not know anyone. I loved the bible study. God spoke to me all through the bible study. The very first scripture in the book was Isaiah 52:1-2. And it said:

"1Awake, awake,
Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion;
Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city;
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
Will no longer come into you.
2Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
O captive Jerusalem;
Loose yourself from the chains around your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion."

That scripture spoke to me. I felt God speaking. Directly to me. I just had a sense that God was doing something with me. I enjoyed in so much I decided to do another bible study there. But I thought that was it. Just a bible study. Nothing more nothing less. I did not think that God was using this bible study to lead me in the door of the Catholic church. A few months later my same friend told me that I should go to this course called the Encounter at the same Catholic church. I said that I would go. She really did not tell anymore than that about the course. But I was seeking God and I wanted to go. The course was ten weeks. In the middle of the course there is a retreat. I went to the retreat and it was such an awesome experience with the Holy Spirit. I had not experienced the Holy Spirit like this since I was teenager in the Assembly of God church. I had received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit when I was fourteen at the Assembly of God church. What I had experienced a teenager in the Assembly of God church was here at the Catholic church. So I thought that if this is the Holy Spirit working here this must be God working in the Catholic church. And one more thing struck me. At the Encounter retreat they celebrated mass but I could not receive communion because I was not Catholic. This made me sad. I remember tears welling up inside me. Tears of deep sadness that I could not receive.  And I really did not understand this emotion I was starting to feel. It was almost like the Lord was sad. It overwhelmed me.  So it got me thinking but I was still clueless as to what God was doing with me here in the Catholic Church. And I did not feel at this point that this is where God was going to lead me. And during this time I was also still attending my church. A couple of months later I felt God telling me to go through this course again. So went went through the entire course again. And I experienced God in a powerful again there. But still did not think God was going to lead me here. So I continued to attend my Church. And continued to do the things I felt God leading me to do. I was also going on medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic during this time also. I was just going wherever I felt God leading me. I was seeking Him and and wanted to know His will for my life. At this point I had been wondering why God had me at the Catholic Church. And at the last encounter someone asked me "You may want to ask God why He has you here at the Catholic Church" So that really made me think. And I started to ask God questions. I never got hit over the head with an answer from God about it. It was just a gut feeling in me that this is what God was wanting me to do.  On July 14 TH 2009 God had given me a devotional that had really spoke to me. It was about going forward unafraid. So I felt God was telling me to go forward and not be afraid of what lies ahead. I also received a devotional about making a decision about something. It was on how God builds your Faith by making a decision. And I felt God was telling me to make a decision about the Catholic church. So I made the decision that day to convert to the Catholic Church in my heart. Now this was not an easy decision for me because my husband is still Protestant. And this meant me going in a different direction in a sense. But I felt that if this was God then He would work things out for us. A month after my decision I was told that RCIA classes were starting up in August. I did not realize that these classes were starting after I made my decision. So I started the classes. And I have not regretted my decision about this one bit. Even through all the struggles I have had with converting. Yes, I have had some personal struggles with converting that I won't discuss here but the cost is worth it to me. And God has been with me every step of the way. He has never left me alone.

Also during this time I was reading a lot books on the Catholic Faith. I read the Surprised by Truth series by Patrick Madrid. And Rome Sweet Rome by Scott Hahn. These two books really helped me. God was opening my eyes to the truth of the Catholic Faith. I just knew in my heart that this was where I was suppose to be. And I knew in my heart that what I was reading was true about the Catholic Church.

There is so much history with the Catholic Church. History that I never knew about before. And I just love it. My heart is rejoicing that God has lead me this way. I have learned so much about the Catholic Church and the history. And as I look back on my life I can see where maybe God was trying to lead me. In July 2004 my husband and I had a chance to go to Rome for nine days with his brother. So we did. We spent three days in Rome. We went to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel and all the other sites in Rome. When we were there I just thought of the Vatican as an really old church. I just knew it was old. I knew nothing about the history of the Church at all at that point in my life. Then in October 2006 we had another chance to go to Germany with my husband's brother again. During the trip my husband and I wanted to go on a overnight trip by ourselves. So we asked our Sister-in-Law where would be a good place to go. She suggested Koln to us. She said there is a huge Cathedral there. But that was all that was really there. So we booked a train to Koln. One of the most beautiful train rides I have ever experienced along the Rhine River. And when you pull into the train station you can see the Cathedral though the glass in the the train station. It was beautiful. The most beautiful Church I have ever seen in my life. We went inside. And I remember my husband and lighting one of the candles and saying a prayer together. Now I do not know what compelled us to do this. And I am not even sure of the prayer we prayed. But maybe it was God. I am not sure. God works in mysterious ways. But maybe He answering the prayer I prayed that day. I am also very grateful for the way God lead me to the Roman Catholic Church. I am grateful for my protestant upbringing. I would not be who I am without it. And I am very glad to be coming home to the Catholic Church.