When I was twenty-three years old I stood at the front of my congregation facing the altar. With my priest in front of me and my husband (then my fiancé and confirmation sponsor) behind me, I professed my faith in the Catholic Church, received the chrism oil on my forehead, and made my First Holy Communion. Growing up in charismatic Protestant circles, never in a million years would I have guessed I would end up becoming Catholic, and yet, here I was.
As the rite of Confirmation was being prayed over me I felt certain that the Lord had led me to this point, but at the same time I felt a tinge of regret about the friends and loved ones who I knew didn’t understand this step that I was taking. In my mind I could see their looks of concern, the hurt in their eyes. To me, becoming Catholic as an adult felt like a very natural continuation of the faith I had grown up with. But I know there were many who felt I was rejecting the faith of my youth.
To say I was like Elisha from today's First Reading (1 Kings 19:16B, 19-21), literally setting fire to my former way of life in accepting God’s call, would be a little dramatic. But there were things I left behind when I entered the Catholic church, old habits, styles of worship that I preferred, and there were friendships that were never quite the same.
Jesus faced much rejection during His time on earth. And He warns us that as His disciples we will face the same. We will be called to leave behind comfort, familiarity, and relationships for His sake. It’s not easy to leave it all behind—it takes faith, courage, and eyes fixed on Him. The sacrifice is great, but the reward is always greater.
Anna Coyne is a wife, mother, and convert to the Catholic Faith. She is a classically trained pianist who, after teaching for ten years now stays home with her three young children. but still manages to flex her creative muscles through writing, knitting, and gardening. She is proud to call Saint Paul home and loves everything about living in Minnesota, except for winter. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.