Conflicted Thoughts

I go tomorrow afternoon to meet with a priest to talk about next steps in joining the Catholic Church.

As has become expected on this crazy journey, the looming reality of that meeting is both calming and terrifying, inciting joy, ambivalence, a sense of readiness to move forward, and thoughts of running far and fast in the opposite direction.

This week my thoughts have run the gamut. More than any week since very early in this journey I have found myself whispering to God, “would you really ask me to be Catholic?” and wanting to ask all sorts of trusted Christian voices who have guided my journey of faith over the years if it is even possible that Jesus would say something like this.

And then there’s the part of me that just wants to get this show on the road already.  I’ve been studying, pondering, wrestling over this decision for a year, and in some ways for closer to ten years. It’s true that a year ago when I first felt Jesus asking me to trust him to lead me to “a land I’ll show you,” I wasn’t expecting this to be the destination.  But now that I have a sense of that destination, I’m sick and tired of hanging out in the land of inbetween. I’m ready to leave no-man’s-land and find a home again.  I want to start the process of joining the church.  I want to start figuring out how it is that I’m going to communicate this decision to my family, and weather the controversy that it might raise in that circle of relationships.  I want it to be less secretive and a more open journey.

Like I said, I’m feeling conflicted, and sometimes avoidant. Rather than continue my reading and study this week, I’ve found some escapist novels to lose myself in. I’ve played music on my commutes rather than listening to lectures.  And yet, I remind myself that this has been a crazy week school wise, and that sometimes a break is okay.

And even as I face the part of this journey where it seems like things are finally moving forward, I’m becoming aware that this journey may be one with conflicting thoughts and emotions will last forever.  Carrying tensions seems to be a lifetime thing, and maybe this is just one of those tensions that I need to pray to learn to live gracefully with.

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