Religion isn't something that I really talk about much and it's not something that I've really opened up about with Bobby, but lately it's been on my mind a lot. In addition to our experience at God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage, RCIA has begun. For those of you who don't know, RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Basically, because I was not raised with a religion, I'm going through the process of becoming Catholic so that we can get married in the church.....at least, that was the initial reason.
Bobby's family is pretty religious, not super jesus freaks, but they attend church regularly and take pride in their faith and when we first started dating I was fascinated by it. All three children went to catholic school their whole lives (minus a brief stint in public middle school for Lizzie) and Mama O was almost a nun, so you could imagine how radically different this was for me to come into....having only gone to church a handful of times and never really learned anything about any religion (aside from my Mystical Encounters class at 'Berg where I learned a brief snippet of several).
A year ago, when my sister started her second trimester of pregnancy, she explained to me how she wanted to find God...and I made fun of her for it. She wanted to have the same feelings of faith and spirituality that her husband had but didn't know where to start. She began reading up on different religions and wanted to attend services at different churches to get a feel for things, but I think she was too afraid to go it alone. It wasn't until I really knew that marriage was on the horizon and I had spent more time with the Olson's that I felt comfortable enough to consider my own faith and spirituality. I knew that I believed in some higher being, I just didn't know what or who and I knew that organized religion in general angered me because I wanted hard evidence to form my beliefs so I decided to look into Catholicism and take the leap with my sister.
I had attended Easter mass with the Olsons and Kate had just made confirmation and I felt very comfortable in their church. I can remember when I was in middle school and all of my friends were going to church, I wanted to know what it was all about so I would go too and I felt so uncomfortable at mass, like I was being judged by everyone around because I wasn't getting up to receive the eucharist and because I didn't recite the Lord's prayer....I didn't get that feeling at St. E's so that was the first place I turned to on my quest to find faith.
I called up the Director of Faith Formation and explained my situation. He suggested Heather and I go to a get-to-know-you meeting for RCIA, so we did and, to be perfectly honest, I still wasn't signing on for myself, but because I knew the Olsons wanted us to get married by a priest and I wanted to please them. When we went to the get-together it was just Heather, Lizzie (for whatever reason she never got confirmed even though she had received all of the other sacraments so she's technical not official), and Me in a room full of Catholics ranging from those who had just become to those who were born into it. Needless to say, it was a little overwhelming and I still wasn't in it for me, but I had the entire summer to get into it.