Let me go back...I am a cradle Catholic. After a brief (and necessary) lapse in my religious practice during and shortly after college I decided to begin practicing again. Especially as we prepared to bring a little one into the world, I began to realize that spirituality is a very important part of life on Earth. I wanted to be able to pass on my faith to my children and not feel like a hypocrite. My husband was an out of practice Methodist. He was baptized, but to my understanding, had given up practicing at a young age. He would attend church with me on occasion but not habitually. I didn't see a desire in him to convert and I never pushed the issue. One thing that I didn't do was roll over with him on Sunday morning. Instead, I made it a point to try to make it to church each week, with or without him, usually toting the kids along as well.
There may have come a time when my husband became angry at God. A normal response for many people when horrible things happen in our lives. His mother taken too soon to see all of her grandchildren. One of our children experiencing a long and unexpected NICU stay after birth. Another daughter born with the same problem (only a minor case). 2 miscarriages in the past 13 months. I hardly expected a change of heart to come from my husband after all of that.
My take on these hardships is a little different: one of Acceptance. Hardships come because we live in an imperfect world. Hardships teach us something and make us stronger. It isn't always fair. It isn't always right. And it isn't God's fault.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I never pushed Jim to change his mind/heart. I simply prayed and I try to live the life of a faithful Christian, hoping that he'd hop on board in his and God's own time.
I was super surprised this last fall when Jim expressed an interest in joining the Church. As our kids get bigger, he was starting to see that questions might begin to rise up in our children as to why he doesn't do what the rest of the family is doing.
Thank goodness for Sister Valerie. She is the nun who is in charge of the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) in our parish and she has truly been a blessing throughout the process. She worked with Jim one-on-one, bending her schedule to fit our busy one so that he could prepare to receive the sacrements this Easter Season. She was open to his questions, never judgemental of his feelings. She simply guided him through the process by sharing her own faith journey and encouraging him.
At the Easter Vigil Mass, Jim was confirmed and recieved The Eucharist for the first time (along with two other men and 2 other women--who were also baptized). The 3 hour service was completely moving, at times breath taking, and truly for me a glimpse at God's majesty and glory.
We truly had something wonderful to celebrate this Easter!
Here's Jim before his big day:
You can almost see his halo! :)