My dear friends,
I have noticed recently that loved ones have been asking about how Adam and I met. Although the story of God calling me to the Sacrament of Marriage began long before I was born, I thought that I would share a little bit about how God brought Adam and I together. I will also share how God prompted me through His love to learn more about my faith and His will for me.
This may be a long story, so thank you for your willingness to join me as I recall how God merged Adam and I’s paths to become one. First, I would like to share with you my conversion story because I would not be where I am today if this did not happen.
I will briefly start at the beginning when I was little. I remember being very shy and gentle. I can recall having a great dislike for being the center of attention. Whenever it was my birthday I dreaded being the focus as people sang the “Happy Birthday” song. I would crawl under the table and cry as soon as everyone looked at me and started singing this “cruel” song. Within school I was equally just as shy. While all the children would raise their hands after the teacher prompted a question I would take everything in, observe, and listen all while not raising my hand, even if I knew the answer.
I asked my mother once what I was like when I was young and she said I would notice the most minute details about people and their actions. From a young age I always loved people. My empathy for others was hard to hide. When something beneficial happened to a friend I would often wonder why I would rejoice more than my friend would. I genuinely loved and even if I had just met a person I would often describe him or her to others as my friend. Although I am no longer a child my natural tendency from my youth is to be shy, however my love of people has become stronger over the years. I can still be shy at times, but this constantly reminds me to hand my will over to God. He has greatly helped me to overcome fear and shyness for “perfect love casts out fear” 1 John 4:18.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” 1 John 4:18.
God had His love written within my young heart even before I realized it. When I was in third grade my best friend and a few of my other friends started “dating.” I wanted to share my love in a relationship with a man too (and at that time he would have still been a boy). I felt that I was too young to understand how to date and the man I was seeking was, as I mentioned, still a boy. I wanted to enjoy being a child even though I desired a relationship just like the other children my age. Isn’t it interesting that as young children we desire to be in a relationship?
The world had snatched me up a little bit as I was in high school and seeking to be loved by another. In 10th grade I had to take religion classes in order to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. One day the teacher asked our class, “When are you going to give up your life for God?” The answer I had in my head was, “When I’m old.” My grandmother faithfully lived out her Catholic faith so I figured I could wait until I was older in order to be religious. I started wearing clothing that erred on the side of immodest, was very self conscious of my physical appearance, got caught up in gossip with other girls my age, and desired to have a boyfriend more than anything. At 16 years old I never had my first kiss and dreaded when people would speak about their crushes and who they were dating. I felt as if I was the only one who had never been kissed. I desired to be known more than anything. To talk with a man for hours and hours as we would slowly fall in love over time.
As I entered into my junior year of high school I knew that something significant would happen that year. I started seeing the number 17 everywhere, which was how old I was going to turn soon after starting my junior year. The number showed up in songs like 17 Forever by Metro Station, in books I was reading, even on license plates, signs, and clocks. It seemed everywhere I turned I saw this number! The year continued to go by, but still no boyfriend. I continued in my ways listening to music whose artists were deeply confused about what love is, wearing clothes that were not comfortable in the least bit, and continued to search for love within the world. I felt as if I was left with this empty space in my heart.
During my 11th grade biology class one of the guys that was in my mutual friend group said something absolutely distasteful. He said to me, “I know your body better than you do.” How in the world could he know my body better than me?! He barely even knew me as a person and I wouldn’t dare date him. The only signs of physical touch we shared was the occasional side hug as a welcome and goodbye when all our friends got together. I remembered feeling as if he saw me as an object after he said this statement. This was deeply wounding. I had also noticed that when I would wear tighter clothes certain guys in my class would look at me in such a defiling way. It sent chills through my bones and into the depths of my soul. I would wonder why these certain male peers would look at me as if I was an object. It saddened my very delicate soul and I wondered if there was a guy out there who I could encounter and who would look at me in such a way that would make my heart flutter re-humanizing and re-dignifying my very being.
After my junior year passed I felt as if I was the last of the hopeless romantic species within the world. There were good guys at my school, don’t get me wrong, yet it seemed that each of them were either dating or the opportunity didn’t present itself. I knew there had to be more guys out there who were good and loving. As I sat alone outside on my front porch I started reflecting as to what my inclination for my 17th year of life was all about. It was summer and I would be turning 18 as autumn rolled around. I was confused with this empty space still lingering within my heart. I was so sure that I would find the most amazing man that year and we would have a beautiful love story. This didn’t happen though. Why?
Later that summer I was cleaning my room and noticed my Bible had been gathering dust on my bedside table. The urge to read it was so strong that I stopped what I was doing, picked my Bible up, and went outside on my front porch to be alone. I started reading page one in the book of Genesis because I really didn’t know much about the Bible at all other than the big staples like Noah’s arc, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection among others. As I began reading Genesis it was as if I was reading the letter that had been written on my heart all these years. I couldn’t stop reading. I prayed that day that God would show me what He desires of me and that I would open my heart to my Catholic faith that I knew very little about.
St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” Reading the Word of God sparked my initial conversion similar to how this saint’s conversion began (read it here) and my life completely changed. My heart was no longer restless and I finally understood that this conversion of mine was the significant event that would occur for me while I was 17 years old. After calming my restless heart and completely filling the emptiness within it with Love Himself I was ready to partake in the endeavor of God’s will for my life. From that moment on God brought me on a wonderful journey of true joy even with all the ups and downs! God knew the desires of my unsettled heart even more so than I did. He would later bring the special gift of Adam into my life.
“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets” Matthew 7:7-12.