I was once a sweet, innocent little Catholic schoolgirl, who seriously considered becoming a nun.
It didn’t pan out.
This old Polaroid picture shows me in the 2nd grade, happily making my First Communion, circa 1982.
You couldn’t find a kid in my class of peers who was more devout than myself in this picture. I was completely hooked into believing everything about what it meant to be an obedient Catholic. I said my prayers and went to confession like clockwork once a week.
“Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I kicked my little brother in the nutsack. I’m like, really sorry.”
I owned four rosaries. One of them was from Fatima. Another one was glow in the dark. (It really did glow.)
Once I entered the higher grades, we had to go to mass daily before lunch. Then, of course with my family on Sunday.
Yes, I believed with utmost certainty that God existed and that Jesus was an extension of him (although I was always a bit confused about the whole Holy Ghost thing.)
I believed that as long as I was a dedicated Catholic, God would have my back.
Then, two weeks before I was to start the 7th grade, my dad died right in front of me.
Let’s just say that I haven’t been right with God since.
I honestly cannot recall the last time that I walked into a Catholic church. The one that I attended is closed and the school building is the only thing being utilized right now. It made my eyes tear up when I saw everything crumbling and decaying from lack of attention when I went for a visit to my childhood neighborhood a couple of years ago.
My complete faith in anything right now is shaky at best, but I’m going to be honest with you guys about something.
I’m spiritually bereft. I’m like a raw nerve, overexposed and emotionally exhausted.
But, fear not, my loyal friends. My mama didn’t raise no fool and I think even my dearly departed, extremely Catholic father would be pleased with my desire to find something that works for me.
I don’t ever expect to be as joyful as that little girl up in that photograph, but I could sure use some of that radiance again.