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BIS LIVES Blog

When You Don’t Feel “Catholic-Catholic”

God led me to her, who led me to Blessed is She, who will walk me back home.

I think I might be the kind of woman the sisterhood here at Blessed is She tries to bring into its circle. I am Catholic. But not “Catholic-Catholic.” You know what I mean.

My parents were Catholic, and they raised my brothers and I Catholic as well. I sent my five children to our neighborhood Catholic school until—like so many have done—it closed. I then sent them to a non-faith-based school.

At that same time, I embarked on a journey of self-recovery and healing from some traumatic childhood events. My world shifted, and things that once made sense no longer did, and vice versa. I was still very prayerful and knew that without God I would not be able to survive the healing journey I was traveling through. But I had stopped going to church.

Therapy for Mind, Heart, and Soul

At that time, and to this very day, I have been acutely aware that the therapist who has been helping me was placed in my life directly by God. She is a devout Catholic and always—ever so gently—reminds me that I am, too. Faith and God and Mother Mary are constant guide posts in our therapy sessions. She is helping me heal from very difficult things, and sometimes I’m not sure healing is even possible. She will say a prayer with me before therapy sessions, and that has been incredibly therapeutic for me.

I have always felt a special connection with God that I knew was different than what others around me felt. I also learned that me talking about my thoughts on God, or my listening to Christian music, made people make fun of me. They would call me things like a Bbible thumper” or “Jesus freak.”

But my therapist did not dismiss my connection with God. She embraced my faith and the lostness of it at the same time.

Searching for God, and Home

This past Lent, she directed me to Blessed is She. I checked out the website. I subscribed to the daily emails. I read the blog. But I still didn’t attend church. I wasn’t even sure if I still was still a Catholic. My healing has been such an emotional, spiritually-tormented journey. Not being sure where, if anywhere, I belonged. Not being sure if God accepted my prayers as enough without belonging to a church of any kind.

For a short time, I attended a non-denominational church. I really enjoyed the live concert-like atmosphere with great mainstream Christian music and the stories of Scripture given like a live TED talk. But quickly, after following the pastors of this local “mega church” on social media, I became uncomfortable with how fancy they lived and flaunted their many travels, nice clothes, and houses. And when I discovered that they didn’t have church on the actual days of Easter or Christmas, I realized that I didn’t belong there either.

I was a prayerful God-lover who didn’t know what exactly to do with herself, spiritually. I felt very lost.

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Never Alone in the Church

My therapist and I have been working together for several years. She has become a very important person to me, especially in terms of me feeling like my relationship with God was embraced and not something to be ashamed of. She has been an ambassador of the Holy Spirit. God has used her as a vessel for me to receive His message: the message that He loves me, and longs for me to call out to Him.

A few weeks ago, she informed me that she would be having surgery. Knowing that the absence of therapy would be difficult for me, she gave me this beautiful stack of Blessed is She Bible verse cards. She asked me to randomly pull out one card while in her office, but two came out stuck together. God spoke to me that very second, because put together they were:

  • Walk in my ways, and
  • I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Now I am healing you.

I’ve Been Missing This

This week my father-in-law passed away. My children, husband, and I were planted back into a Catholic church for the funeral.

“I’ve been missing this,” I admitted to myself. “My kids have been missing this.”

My therapist is having her surgery today, and I have been stalking the Blessed is She Instagram page in an effort to find words that remind me that she is in God’s Hands. Last night I watched the live Instagram story, which was a live prayer group.

Someone to Walk with, Someone Who Will Walk with You

I feel like my therapist has walked me back home to my Catholic Faith, through the door of this website and welcoming sisterhood.

While I still do not feel “Catholic-Catholic,” Blessed is She has allowed me feel that it’s ok to feel like that.

I long to feel at home again. I believe that the work you do at Blessed is She is just what lost Catholics like me have been searching for: a welcoming group of faithful women who meet you where you are, and lead you the rest of the way.

Are you someone who has lost faith but is coming back to the Church? Who or what has lead you to this point? How can we support you?

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Christina Walewski is a mom to five awesome kids. She is a survivor of childhood trauma, and she is a strong advocate for defending the innocence of children.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    January 19, 2019 at 9:10 am

    Welcome home Christina! Thank you for your openness and honesty.

  • Reply
    Adriana
    January 20, 2019 at 1:52 am

    I love post. After my dad died unexpectedly 3 years ago I was so angry at God and I wasn’t going to church. My Dad had found his way back to God before he passed and I knew he wanted me to find my way too. But, I was so mad God had “taken” him away from me I just didn’t want to. After some time I knew I needed God back in my life. I felt a pull and I just needed Him to help guide me through this awful grief. Slowly I began to make it to church (some Sundays), I picked up my Bible and I found Blessed is She. Now I go to church every week, pray daily, and read God’s word daily. I am slowly learning more about my beautiful faith and what it means to be a Catholic Woman. It is so much more than I ever imagined and I am so thrilled to be on what feels like a new journey. I have been Catholic all my life, but I am only just now learning all of the beauty and grace that comes with it. Thank you Blessed is She for being such an amazing resource for me and helping me on this journey.

  • Reply
    jennifer.vetter.jv
    January 21, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    I needed to read this today. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Christina
    January 24, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Christina,
    Thank you for sharing your story. You are a blessing to so many people because of your bravery. I pray that God will continue to heal you and through your story, many others will realize that they are on a journey and God is always waiting with open arms for us to return to Him. I truly believe it is through these difficult and sometimes what seems impossible trials, that we truly grow and become who God created us to be. I pray that He will continue to pour out His love in your heart and that you will always know that you are a gift.

  • Reply
    fulvia
    January 29, 2019 at 10:59 am

    I am very happy to have read this testimony because I, in the last ten years, have had many problems that have ended up getting away from my Catholic faith and now I find myself not being really Catholic, too. So following this site for a year, I’m beginning to discover that there are many ways to live their faith and for a person like me, Italian and Roman Catholic by birth, this is really a discovery.
    Thanks for the work you do, it’s a beautiful thing.

  • Reply
    Cristina M
    May 21, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Sister! This article brought me to an ugly cry. I find myself on a parallel road walking back home too. I also have trauma that I need to recover from that is too scary to even think about most days. And every day I feel like the one sheep God has left the herd to find and bring back. I am so proud of your bravery and honesty in this article because it helps to know my story, my road, is one that many have traveled before. I find hope and peace in my faith journey as it progresses. I hope you do too.

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 22, 2019 at 5:32 am

      Praying for you. Keep walking…. God hears you.

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