I’m having a crisis of confidence as I make plans for this afternoon.
I’m invited to attend a picnic/baptism/baby dedication gathering beside a river, hosted by the network of house churches that I was a part of for the last four years or so. The group of people who nurtured my flagging faith in the years after the disaster that was a prayer/mission trip in Malta, who gave me a safe place to ask questions, and slowly to heal and find a wholeness I’d never dreamt of. The community whose leader’s retreat was the place where I first honestly said out loud that I thought I was being called to Catholicism. The community whose weekend retreat just before this last Lenten season was a place of renewal and blessing as I moved forward on that journey towards Catholicism. They are people I love and trust.
And so I’m sitting here this morning weighing that invitation against the loneliness I feel in this journey. I find myself wondering if joining this group of people to celebrate will ease that loneliness or intensify it. It could go either way.
It could ease it – being around people I appreciate. People who are pursuing Christ wholeheartedly. Getting hugs, celebrating with them, and the guaranteed laughter that comes when this group gathers.
Or it could exacerbate it – knowing that I am called to something entirely different from this body. That I am called away from them to this crazy new journey. It could be a reminder of the isolation that I’ve felt so strongly this week – the lack of people with whom to walk through this crazy season of transition to Catholicism.
I don’t know which way I’ll go. At this moment I’m leaning towards attending, collecting a few hugs, celebrating the baptisms. But going with gentleness towards myself, and the permission to slip out if the pain of my journey becomes too great. We’ll see…