The past few years I have been blessed with a unique opportunity to grow in my faith
– by explaining it to someone else.
My boyfriend is not Catholic.
The topics of what Catholics believe, what the Catholic faith means to me,
what it would mean to us as we discerned marriage and in our possible future marriage and family, have been discussed often,
even before we went on our first official date.
Among the doubts, intense discussions, and frustrating misunderstandings,
the moments of clarity, peace and grace shine brighter.
It may sound like I am doing all the teaching and he is doing all the learning,
but often it is the opposite.
When I explain the faith to him, I see things I have always taken for granted in a new light. When he asks a question I have never thought of before,
I have to delve deeper into what I believe.
When he repeats things we have discussed to others or holds me accountable to my values, I am humbled and desire to live my faith more authentically.
When he kneels beside me at Mass, not yet out of belief, but out of respect and love for me, my heart burns for him to know a love greater than that which he shows me.
Faith is a gift. I cannot give my boyfriend the gift of faith,
but I can, with God’s grace, answer his questions, remind him how much God loves him, support him as he walks down his journey to the Truth, pray for him and with him,
and thank God for all the times this man ‘without faith’ shows me what I believe.
- This post originally appeared anonymously at My Year of Faith on November 20, 2013
It feels like ions ago that I wrote those words.
At the time I did not know where God would lead us and until today
I have never shared this element of our relationship
which has been so deeply on my heart.
I did not in part because it was too sensitive,
but ultimately because it was not mine to share.
A lot has changed in a year and a half.
My faith has changed. It has grown stronger.
We have changed. We have grown closer as we move towards marriage.
Last night another thing changed.
The Easter candle broke the darkness.
My love professed his faith and gave his heart to the greatest Love.
And today our hearts are full of joy
as we bask in the new light like the rising sun of the first dawn.