Leave It All Behind

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.

We will be called to leave behind comfort, familiarity, and relationships for His sake. Click To Tweet

Curious about what actually happened at your Confirmation? Listen to what this Bishop shares.

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. 


  • Reply
    June 30, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Thank you for the helpful commentary.

  • Reply
    Diane Roncaioli
    June 30, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Through baptism and confirmation we do not profess our faith to the Catholic Church but to our faith in the trinity of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. In my younger years I was raised Baptist and was baptized by immersion in that church (As an 8 year-old I stood in front of the congregation and professed my faith before preparation for baptism.) I was confirmed as a Methodist (went through classes that educated me in my faith and the church). In college I attended a Quaker church. As a young adult I attended the Covenant Church in which I was married and was witnessed by a Catholic priest. Three years latter I converted to Catholicism because my husband wasn’t comfortable in a Protestant Church. My husband did and still do attend mass every weekend and raised our two sons in the Catholic faith. It was the best decision that I ever made as we attended church together as a family.

    If you have grown up professing Jesus as your Savior in a Protestant church, you do not need to turn your back on that faith. That is a part of what your faith is. Jesus Christ is the center of my faith and what he teaches in the Bible is what I live by. Whether Catholic or Protestant (or Baptist), we need to turn our back on the part of our lives when we were/are not living by the words of Jesus and the Bible,

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    Jessye Tabachuk
    June 30, 2019 at 8:09 am

    This could have been my story (only it was my FIL standing as my sponsor because DH and I were already married and spouses as sponsors are not allowed). I was so happy that my faith journey had finally led me Home to the Catholic Church, but sad that my family/friends thought that I was abandoning my faith. Like you, I never would have thought that I’d ever become Catholic… even after I married a Catholic! But looking back, I see how God was leading me in that direction long before I even realized it. Now I constantly pray for the conversion of my family as I so wish that they could enjoy the fullness of the Faith with me! It’s not an easy decision, especially in today’s world. But it is SO worth it!

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