Every week I hear him sing joyfully in church and I could not fall more in love. Six months ago, I don’t think even he’d believe that he’d find himself singing along in church. Six months ago, had you told either of us that we’d be happy to wake up early on a Saturday and spend five hours at church, we would have laughed and said “pish-posh.” Well, Chris is still never excited to wake up early, but when it comes to church now, I see the change in him. He sees the change in him. We have found such a positive home and community in our parish, that we both look towards going to church as almost a weekly medicine to help get us through the week. It’s like a workout—sometimes you don’t feel like getting up early to do your workout, but you know you’ll feel awesome afterwards, and you do.
It makes me beam when I see how much he has grown in his faith. While Chris attended Catholic school throughout his entire education, he was never raised particularly religiously. When we were first dating and he’d go to church with me agreeably, and without pain or pressure, I was delightfully surprised. I thought, wow, thank you Jesus, this man must love me. After we went through Engaged Encounter—the Catholic retreat for engaged couples—I realized how much it meant to me that he shared my value in faith. It touched me deeply when he told me during this retreat, that I inspired his faith to grow and that he, too, desires we raise our family in the church and its values. I thought, wow, thank you Jesus, this man loves me.
My faith was always personal and private to me, and I never knew how much it would mean to me to share that with someone I love. I thought I could live with just knowing what I learned on that retreat. However, over the last six months, I’ve watched him grow and it’s the most beautiful sight. At every mass, and every church gathering we have, I have to turn and look at him while we sing to make sure I’m not dreaming. The pure joy and peace that spreads across his face is wondrous. It makes me smile like a silly school-girl.
With each day I think, Chris is slowly coming to life on God’s time, and on Saturday morning, I witnessed Chris arrive. My man shined with such light, I was so proud.
Saturday, we were on a short retreat with our RCIA group—it was just a few hours. Typically on these retreats, we reflect on where we are on our spiritual journey and our relationship with God, and further study parts of the scripture. We always learn something new, too, and it’s always a little different each time—topics and what we do. On this particular day, there was a part of the retreat in which we read a short section of Angeles Arrien’s book The Four-Fold Way, which was titled The Four-Chambered Heart. We read it popcorn style, where one person reads a bit, then stops when she feels ready to stop, and then whoever feels so compelled to do so picks up where she left off.
Never could I imagine Chris would pop to read a paragraph. Just on Wednesday we were talking about how he should maybe consider becoming a Lectern, because it could help him in his confidence with reading in English. Of course he said, “No way.” He’s always so self-conscious about reading aloud in English, because it’s not his native-tongue.
I was sitting behind him and I just started beaming. I thought, Chris has finally arrived; he has arrived on God’s time. What a beautiful and moving moment it was. More important than the confidence I’ve seen him gain, is the fact that he feels loved and at home in this beautiful community we are both so blessed to be a part of. I know that, because I know he would not have popped to read, or sing in church every week if he did not feel this kind of honest love, where he knows there is no judgment, only love. I wish we could create this kind of energy, feeling, and connectedness everywhere in the world so that other people may feel all this love, too.
As I witness Chris’ growth, my own growth, and our growth together, I know that I have laid all my trust in the right hands. God is good. He is SO good.
I think so many of us are always rushing to get somewhere or to become something. Oh, I’ve got to become CEO by the time I’m 30. I need to drop 10 pounds in one month. I need to start earning this much, by this time. Our lives are often defined by time and limits, and what I’ve witnessed over the last year, and even more so over the last 6 months is that the best things in life cannot be defined by time.
God lives outside of time, and I 100% believe that things happen as they should and when they should…on His time. He is never late, nor early. So just trust and give life all you’ve got.
BIG LOVE & HUGS