God's Merciful Providence: Reflections of an Adult Convert Raising Cradle-Catholic Kids
We recently celebrated the First Communion and Confirmation of our second-eldest daughter. It was a joyous occasion.
I have nothing from my own childhood to compare it to, and that had me thinking about raising "cradle Catholics" as an adult convert.
What do I want for my children's faith life when they grow up? What brings me peace as their parent? What can I do to ensure that they practice their faith throughout their life?
I have heard and read basic recommendations: make Mass a priority; pray with your children; pray for your chilren; help find answers to their questions about the faith that you don't understand.
All of these are very practical tips, and I appreciate them.
But when I think about the arc of an individual's faith life, my children's faith life, I'm encouraged by God's merciful providence in our lives. I know I've seen it in mine.
I was baptized a Lutheran. When my parents divorced, we didn't attend church anymore. I ended up on a few religious retreats as a teenager, thanks to friends and some extended family.
I was given a friend in high school who was very deliberate about sharing with me about Jesus Christ. When he died his parents picked up where he left off.
I began attending Evangelical churches and participating in various ministries for more than ten years.
Eventually, I married Jamie who was a very patient teacher about the Catholic church. After attending Mass with him for our first year of marriage and reading up on all the Catholic teaching that caused me confusion, I ended up converting.
I was thirty-two when I converted. Our kids have a bit of a head start. I hope that with continued prayer, patience, understanding, and forgiveness their faith in Jesus, His Church, and His Blessed Mother will grow. I pray it will offer them the consolation and support that every soul needs.
The thing that gives me the most peace is knowing that, just like Jesus was with me throughout my journey, He is with our kids. He loves them more than we do and will provide many opportunities for them to grow closer to Him in this life.