I wrote this a month ago but some things came up:
I was raised Catholic. Went to Mass every week, said prayers before meals, was grounded if I missed Mass. I was very involved in our youth group. I attended a Catholic college and somewhere in there I got lost. I became too intelligent for faith. Science and reason were the way to go and obviously there was no space for made up “fairy tales”. I was married in the Church and after the wedding I didn’t bother stepping into one for 5 years and only then for a funeral. Through out that time something was missing. I thought another baby was what was missing. Somehow I stumbled back into re-exploring faith.
We attended church for a little while and had X baptized at 11 months old. I am not even sure of my reasoning, because I was barely sure God existed and was still unclear on my take on the whole “Jesus story”. We stopped attending church for another year. Sunday mornings were our time to relax, hang out and read the paper. Why would we change that? It was SO much effort to take a toddler to Church when I was not even sure why I was there. Our marriage was struggling. We decided to attend a World Wide Marriage Encounter Weekend. Because of that weekend we found our current parish. It happened to be a mile from our house at the time. From the moment we walked in it was welcoming but we had no idea the journey we were about to go on over the course of the next year.
Suddenly B wanted to become Catholic and I was still dragging my feet about returning. I had so many questions and issues. A few months later I attended a Christ Renews His Parish weekend or CRHP, pronounced “chirp”( and no that doesn’t make sense). That weekend was the catalyst for my reversion. The relationships I built because of that weekend have strengthened and uplifted me.
Thursday morning the phone rang at 6:57 am to tell me that the night before we lost one of our group. She passed away unexpectedly and left us all reeling. I just can’t believe she is gone.
Why all of the back story? One of my toughest sticking points and a major source of my doubt and lack of faith were a string of loses in my life that seemed unfair, traumatic and pointless suffering. My youth leader, a classmate, my grandmother. I couldn’t understand how if God existed such good amazing people could die. Each death shook what little faith I had until it was gone.
And now? My sweet, kind, joy-filled friend is gone. She was the kind of person I wanted to be when I grow up. The kind that pours her goodness into people and you can’t help but better for it.
And for once my faith is not shaken. I know she is in God’s hands. The stupid scientist voice doesn’t even try to pop up and refute that.
I grieve for her family and all they will miss out on without her. I worry about myself, terrified that the next moment could maybe be my last and sad with regret at all the opportunities I have failed to live to my potential. I am so afraid knowing it is all out of my hands.