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?When You Don't Feel Catholic-Catholic #BISblog // Click To Tweet
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.