“Nothing weird, I promise.”
That was the invitation we got from a dear friend that was also a pastor at a small local church. Our chance meeting and subsequent friendship had led to a few curious conversations surrounding faith on our double-date nights together.
The invitation to step outside of our Catholic faith upbringing and into the doors of the quaint, progressive Christian Church – even if just as a visitor to one day – felt like we were committing some sort of…sin.
The tugging of our unsettled hearts and the mere fact that we were wrestling with trying to belong to something that we no longer felt aligned with was enough to push us out of our comfort zone.
We anxiously stepped through the doors on Sunday evening.
There were people mingling and checking in with each other over a cup of coffee before the service started. The ambivert in me (and my husband, for that matter) couldn’t find a seat fast enough! Don’t forget – we were raised in the Roman Catholic Church – there was no talking before mass! There was also no organ droning on or gold flanking the altar.
What had we gotten ourselves into?!
When the service started, we were finally able to relax a little. With my guard down, my heart seemed to open.
I remember very clearly hearing the pastor say, “…because, this is how Jesus rolled.”
What?! This is how Jesus rolled?! I leaned in…”tell me more…”
I remember going for a walk that evening with my husband. We both reconciled that it was a great experience (even for the ambiverts that we are). It was church unlike anything we had ever experienced. Almost sheepishly, we both admitted that it was the most engaged we had ever felt at church. There was a strong sense of community and curiosity that was alive and welcomed. All of this was very unlike our childhood experience.
Great. What were we to do now?! Our Catholic guilt was kicking in…hard. Would we go again?! Should we?! What if our parents found out?! We were like teenagers all over again stepping outside of the parameters that had been set for us.
The easy thing to do would be to text our friend and thank him for inviting us. Close the loop and settle back into our decision to be okay with ‘doing nothing’ about this crisis of faith we had fallen into.
I’m not sure how but, the following Sunday, we found ourselves back at Church. There seemed to be something pulling us back despite all of the resistance we felt.
It’s two years later. We’re now active members of our church community. We are exploring our faith through a different lens. I feel like I finally have a voice within the church.
The thing I don’t want you to know:
Two years later and, honestly, we still haven’t come clean with our families. Not because we want to be dishonest but, rather, we don’t want to hurt them. Growing up in very devout Catholic families leaves little room to wander. I guess no matter what, you’re always still someone’s child.
The Guidance of My Inner Mentor:
✤ I knew that if we continued to take the ‘easy’ route of pleasing our families’ expectations of our faith, we were going to lose our faith all together.
✤ You need to find the community in this world that opens your heart and makes you come alive – whether that be a community of faith, friends, work or even friends that become family. To live small in fear of ruffling feathers will leave you looking back on a life poorly lived.
Before becoming a business coach, Jenn established and led a thriving marketing agency – a time filled with challenges, yet great fulfillment. By personally experiencing the highs and lows of business ownership while balancing a family, she gained invaluable insight into overcoming difficulties and achieving goals.
After 13 years, she realized she was ready to expand as an individual and business owner and wanted to assist other female entrepreneurs to do the same. Leaving an established business and embarking on a new path took every ounce of bravery she had, and became one of her greatest accomplishments.