Wednesday, 15 November 2017

A Real-Life Catholic Love Story - Part 1 of 13 - Life Before Love

This is a story I wrote for my friends, Thomas and Genevieve, describing their romance. It's long- 13 parts, but it's worth it! If it doesn't sound a lot like me, it's because I recorded them telling their story, and used a lot of their phrasing.

How did this

Become THIS?

Part 1 - Life Before Love 

Genevieve and Thomas came from very different worlds. Growing up in DC in a divorced Catholic family, Genevieve had spent most of her teenage and young adult years constantly in a relationship and living the party lifestyle. The strict judgmental God she knew had no place in her life except for Sunday mornings. “Maybe one day in my thirties or forties I will prioritize my faith. But I’m young now!”

But in 2013, Genevieve hit a low point in her life. She had just recently gotten out of a relationship and everything felt empty. School, job, having a skinny body, and the party life no longer fulfilled or satisfied her. She found herself depressed, but couldn’t believe that a relationship was really the answer. “I don’t want a man! I don’t need a man! I was born without a man, that shouldn’t complete me!”

In January 2013 she reluctantly went on a mission trip in Mexico with her sister’s organization. She had a question burning in her heart, “What IS going to fulfil me?” On that trip, everyone told her, “It’s Jesus!” To her surprise, Genevieve found that clich├ęd answered was true! The lives of the full-timers burned with joy and authenticity. They weren’t the Jesus freaks and hypocrites she had thought they would be. On that trip, Genevieve decided to give her life over to Jesus, and respond to His invitation to enter full time ministry too. She signed up for Intake, and in September 2013 moved to Louisiana along with a number of other Catholic singles and families for a three-month initial training. In preparation for her transition to this new life, she shaved her head completely bald. 

Meanwhile Thomas, a young seminarian from Kansas, was struggling with his desire for marriage and family. He had always had this desire, but he also had a deeply wounded perspective of God as a demanding God who wanted him to sacrifice everything he desired in order to win His love. He also had a fear of marriage because his parents separated when he was very young. He spent two and a half years in seminary, but one day on the feast of Saint Joseph, God spoke to him clearly through the story of Gabriel appearing to Joseph and saying “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.”

God showed Thomas that he was in seminary for the wrong reasons. He invited him to let go of his fears, and follow the desires of his heart. “I am good and I want to give you good gifts! I don’t want you to sacrifice your desire for marriage to earn My love. I want you to receive it as a gift!” For Thomas, this was his biggest conversion moment, when God began to slowly bring healing to his heart.

He left seminary, and kept hoping God would bring the right woman into his life. Six months after seminary, two options opened up. One was life as a foreign volunteer, serving the poor and sharing the Gospel, and the other was a position as a youth minister. “If I want to get married, it makes more sense to take the youth minister position, I’m sure I could meet any number of eligible young Catholic women!” he thought. Going to a foreign country on the other hand seemed to limit his options. Not only that, but the volunteer organization had a one year no dating commitment, which made no sense to Thomas. “I’ve just spent two and a half years in the seminary not dating, and many years before that too! No more singles’ commitments!” But his spiritual director helped him see that his deeper desire to spread the Gospel and serve the poor was a call from the Lord, and he was able to trust that He would be faithful to His promise.

Coming soon- Part 2 - When Thomas Met Genevieve

If you like this story, let me know, and I'll post the next part! Or become a patron for as little as $1 a month and read the whole story in one go.

1 comment:

  1. Please post the whole story! This single girl loves a good Catholic love story!