My flashlight lights a meager circle around my body as I clumsily shove my feet into flip-flops, unzip the flap as quietly as I can, and step out of my tent.
I shine the light to the right and left hoping to scare away any snakes and bigger vermin as I hold my three year old and make my way along the path to the bath house, a cement building straight ahead, glowing from buzzing fluorescents.
Seven years ago my husband and I found ourselves at dead ends in our search for deeper truth. We both grew up devout Protestants having always known and loved Jesus. Our community had supported us through engagement and the early years of marriage, as well as the births of our first two children.
Yet the questions we had were increasingly met with unsatisfactory answers. One such query that we couldn’t get out of our minds was regarding birth control. We were married and open to life and were, of course, against abortion, but were unsettled inside with a blasé answer. If birth control wasn’t a big deal, why was the answer to why it was permissible so often skirted around?
We found ourselves immersing our minds and souls in the Word of God, the Catechism, papal documents, and the lives of the Saints. And slowly, that circle of light widened. As we cast our flashlight deeper into the darkness around us, we were able to see more clearly the path leading onward.
Not only did we find that our questions about birth control answered with a truer understanding of the workings of a woman’s body, the beauty of marital communication, and the goodness of sacrifice, but this expanded to us seeing depth in many areas of our lives.
The Catholic life is a process. I don’t know everything. I still struggle through teachings I find hard, but as I shine the light of His Word to the sides of the path, Jesus brightens my path.
And I see Home in the full light of the Father pouring His love down into His bride, the Church.