Black streaks of mascara streak down my cheeks as I close the back cover of Jennifer Fulwiler’s Something Other than God. From all the blog reviews I had seen and all the rave reports I’d heard from friends who’d finished before me, I knew I would be enraptured by Jennifer’s conversion story.
As I close the back cover, after being fully engrossed in the journey she followed to find her home in the Church, I am struck. I am struck by the captivating nature of the Sacraments and how grateful I am to be Catholic and privileged to participate in them. I silently sobbed as she described the freedom of her First Confession and the encounter of God in hearing the words of forgiveness and absolution. I sobbed because I have easy access to that gift and I take it for granted. I sob too because I have experienced the same Mercy she tells of.
After closing the door on this glimpse into Jen’s life, my passing thought was that my story will never compare to hers. My cradle Catholic journey may never be the page turning memoir hers is. But that’s okay. My story is my own. My story may not involve a season of atheism or life threatening disease or three children under three, but mine does have the same theme of Love. A theme of the Lover pursuing His beloved through moments meant to woo me into a love that is unending.
And He persists – especially when my heart is hardened and closed off. He pursues me in what brings joy and in what breaks hearts. He pursues me through the love of my best friend and words that extend a mercy so deep it releases a lock on the chains I didn’t know were keeping me bound. And He pursues me the silence and beauty of Eucharistic Adoration in the wilds of Scotland.