How a Soldier is Starting Over on Easter

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

He said:

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

 

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5 thoughts on “How a Soldier is Starting Over on Easter

  1. I love this so much; I can relate totally with my family too. My dad’s side of the family has always been the secular side that basically denied all religion completely. Two of my cousins (brothers) both were the leaders together of a CRAZY fraternity in college that was definitely taking them in a bad direction… but no one guessed that one of my cousins might fall head over heals for the beautiful blonde Catholic from a nearby sorority. Since seeing them together I have watched my “pagan” cousin find faith beyond himself, and ultimately through that, God. He chose to join the Catholic church, and they had a gorgeous Catholic wedding last summer. I personally had never been to a Catholic ceremony before, but was deeply honored when my cousin asked me if I would represent our family and do the scripture reading part along with his wife-to-be’s father (in many Catholic weddings I was told they like a family member from each side to read scriptures as part of it). The Father Priest officiating was wonderful – every word he said had a powerful grace to it and was completely focused on the power of Jesus (not even one mention of Mary or some “statues” – as I grew up wrongly assuming all Catholics ignored Jesus!). I have seen my cousin embrace God in a way that I could tell wasn’t “just” so he could marry the love of his life, but because he truly wants to lead his family the best he can in faith in God.
    The “crowning” moment for me was after the ceremony the Father Priest came up to me and told me he was very moved by the way I read 1 Corinthians 13, and that if I lived in town he would be honored to have me do a reading in his parish every week. That touched me so much to see how much we ARE “on the same side” as Emily said in her comment. And… not all Catholics pray to statues. 😉

    • Love your story Kari! Thank you for sharing your heart. I think your support of your cousin’s decision to marry a godly Catholic girl spoke volumes to your family. So many times we put God in a box that He refuses to stay in.

      On Mon, May 12, 2014 at 4:10 AM, Keeping It Real from Leilani Haywood wrote:

      >

  2. Reblogged this on Relevant Reflections and commented:
    The writer of this story and the editor of this blog are good friends of mine. I think there is a growing realization that we are not “reaching across sides” to one another; we are realizing that there IS no side. We are in this together. I hope this is not a trend!

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