“So, Mary, what kind of minister is your dad since you mentioned going to mass?”
And with that question I found myself sharing a part of my story I never intended to share on Thanksgiving day, around my dining room table with people I did not know well.
Let me start at the beginning…
I work at a Division 1 college and I happen to love college basketball. Over the last few years I have gotten acquainted with various members of the men’s team and some of their families. Because of the basketball schedule it can be hard for the players to go home for the Thanksgiving break. Last year, I opened my home to any team member that didn’t have a place to go and their families, if they were in town. I ended up with five players and two sets of parents. This year, two players came for dinner, both of whom have been to my house before. Each brought their parents and one also had a sister in town. So we had seven people in addition to my nephew and his wife, Andy, John and me.
We had ham and turkey. Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. We had stuffing and broccoli casserole. We sat around the table for a few hours after dinner. We had laughs and shared stories. And a one point, I was asked the question about my dad and going to mass.
I shared a part of my story…
“My dad is a Baptist minister. As are all my brothers, including Travis’ dad.” (Travis is my nephew who was at dinner.)
Once I shared that, I realized what she really wanted to know was how I ended up Catholic. How do you go from being raised a Baptist to joining the Catholic church?
I had reached a point in my life where I was living in an apartment away from all my family. I got on my knees in my apartment and asked the Lord not to have anyone else ask me out on a date unless he (the Lord) wanted me to go out with this person.
The next day, John asked for my phone number. He called me the next day and we went out that weekend.
I went on to explain that after a couple of months, I told the Lord I was sure he made a mistake because this guy, this nice guy, this REALLY nice guy was Catholic. And I just didn’t see how THAT was going to work.
Basically, the Lord replied, “I know what I’m doing. I’ve got it.”
And he did.
Sometime later, we got married. We attended mass at the Catholic church, then went on to the Baptist church for Sunday School and church. It made for a long morning, but it was working. John had a personal relationship with the Lord and I could see God’s hand in both services.
When Andy was born we continued down this path. When he was two, I realized that he was going to be one confused young man unless we made a change. I began to pray and ask what the Lord’s will was for my life in this regard.
After praying for a few months I began to feel that I was to follow the spiritual leader of my home. I was to join the Catholic church.
Part 2 tomorrow….