by Patty Noel
Editor’s Note: This post was written by a dear friend of mine. Regardless of your views of the Catholic Church, I pray that you would see God’s redemption for a young man in this post.
The last few years our family has been growing and transitioning which at times is quite difficult and painful. Honestly I, the mother, have shed a lot of tears. Our eldest son a few years back struggled in his walk with the Lord.
He was raised, mostly, in a Charismatic church. He even attended over two years of Bible school there and had wanted to get into ministry. When he came home after a year serving his country, he had lost his innocence and some blood in the sands of the Middle East, he struggled in the church of his youth, it had become religion to him and he could not find God.
He wrestled to get a hold of Jesus again, God did set him free from the torment and grief of war, however, he could not keep a hold of God. Maybe it was what had become a religious pattern for him, or maybe it was a few hurtful people, or maybe it was ME. Unrealistic expectations from your mom are a lot of pressure for a person.
As the parents you want to do everything you can to restore your child to the church they grew up in. Our families’ journey over the last year or so has been one of spiritual reconciliation as we battle to stay together and united. At the same time of our sons roadblock on his journey God brought into his life an amazing, beautiful, and sweet young woman who happened to be a devout Catholic.
Initially this caused us great concern, a lot of Christians in America frown on other denominations or label others as cults. In general people just want to argue doctrines and even family and friends seemed quite resistant.
We were not sure how this was going to work. As we feared they would be “unequally yoked.” This young woman is a treasure, she loves God, loves her family, works hard, is smart, wants lots of babies (which is a huge plus to this wanna-be-grandma). The division of denominations and religion had us snared.
Our son and his lady have attended our church a few times, they stand next to us with hands held in worship to our Jesus. We have attended mass with our son and his lady and stood next to them and sang beautiful hymns and worshiped our Jesus together. This Easter our son is joining the Catholic Church, we could not be more proud of him. He has found God there and is getting challenged and growing in his faith.
The first of this year our little family has been getting together once a month as we are studying the book of Matthew. We read a couple of chapters a month, this is the book the Catholic Church is studying this year. We usually go to our churches Sunday morning, have a good meal at our home and then have discussion about the chapters we have been studying. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we do not argue.
We share what was new that we saw or how a scripture had helped us or encouraged or convicted us, everyone shares something. We joyfully laugh, we humbly cry, we share our hearts and the sweet presence of God comes into the room. We studied Matthew 5
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. In the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Blessed are we as we have pure hearts, making peace, being merciful and are humble and welcoming and embracing one another.
Not competing, on the contrary, we stand united by one thing-Nothing but the Blood of Jesus, who can argue with that?
*Have I become religious in my Charismania?
*Do I embrace all people who love Jesus? People that love Him like He said “love Him with all their heart, mind and strength.”
*How much more of His Kingdom would be advanced if we focused on what was right and good in our churches, in our homes, in our nation and in the world?
*How can I be different TODAY