I spoke to an old friend recently. She reached out to me through Facebook.
This is a woman who knows me pretty well. Beginning with our freshman year at the all girls high school we attended together.
She was also my sorority sister and roommate in college.
I was a somewhat good girl in high school. Active on the track team, in different clubs and eventually on the student council. I was by no means popular, but had a lot of good friends and a steady boyfriend.
I also attended teen Mass weekly and enjoyed the energy and the people. I would say I loved my faith during this time.
College however was such a different experience for me. Looking back, this is when everything changed. No longer was I living the sheltered life of a Catholic school girl with somewhat strict parents and older siblings.
I was on my own. No one to keep me from parties or boys. No curfews, nobody to disappoint.
Like so many young adults during this transition in their lives, I let what was really important fade into the background.
I no longer went to Mass or prayed my nightly prayers.
I went to parties, drank, made bad choices with boys. I became angry, miserable and mean to others.
At my job, my boss use to tease me and call me Groucho Marx and Sour Puss. I hid myself behind this mask of sarcasm and indifference.
I lived my life like this for a long time. I graduated, got a job, then went away to graduate school and eventually there, I met my husband.
Although I attended a Catholic college, I still did not practice my faith. I did, thank God, know enough to make sure my husband and I got married in the Church.
After we got married I eventually began going to Mass again. More as an obligation. Not something I was feeling passionate about. After having our first child, I knew that she and all our children would be raised Catholic.
It wasn’t until we moved to Virginia and had our second child that I began to feel this calling. I had to get involved, I needed other Catholic mom friends, I needed more in my life. I began to speak with Jesus and Mary daily. I began to pray the rosary.
I can now tell you that I love my faith. I love that I am learning something new all the time. The support I get from my moms group and other close Catholic friends gives me the strength I need to be a good mother, wife, sister and friend.
I have never been happier. I no longer feel angry towards others. I no longer feel angry towards myself.
My husband and I laugh. We both ended up at this college, in a town we never really thought of before, in a Masters program that was not really necessary something either of us wanted to do.
But, we found each other, and we both know it was through God that we are together.
I thank my friend for contacting me. Knowing that someone who knows your past is not only happy for your journey, but is on the same journey herself, is so uplifting. Again, everything happens for a reason and the Lord certainly has his ways.