When I came into the Church I went through a radical conversion. The majority of who I was and what I had done for most of my life made me cringe, and I thought, "I am so glad that I am not THAT person anymore." I got rid of everything that reminded me of who I used to be and promptly created a bubble around myself. I breathed a sigh of relief thinking that my cringe-worthy behavior was over and I wouldn't have to deal with any of that again. Little did I know that 11 years later I would be cringing again. This time because of who I became within my bubble.
I entered into my bubble with a heart bursting with love. Love for Jesus. Love for my new found Catholic faith. Love for all of His creation and a profound gratefulness for His mercy. I was on fire for the faith. Unfortunately, over time the love in my bubble was smothered by fear and pride. Instead of a beautiful sanctuary, it became a fortress keeping everyone and everything out for fear of contamination. I saw evil in everything and was in constant fear of unintentionally opening a door to the devil. The joy was gone and I began searching desperately for the love that was lost. I was beginning to despair and lose my faith. Finally, it became clear that my bubble needed to be popped.
So I popped my bubble. I popped it, and our family emerged from a place filled with fear and began to rebuild. My heart needed to get back to the place it was in when we began this journey. I felt like I had climbed a mountain just to get halfway up and jump off. I was confused. I questioned everything. Was I going crazy? Was this really what God wanted for us? The answers were made very clear. In my bubble, I had run up the mountain the first time. Pridefully pushing people out of my way in my zeal. Finally I reached a point where I was the recipient of all that I had been dishing out. It hurt very badly, but I needed to feel this. I needed to feel the rejection. I needed to feel what I had done to others. It sparked a flame of compassion in me, and brought to light the need for my own repentance. I needed to go through all of this so that I could start over. This time not trying desperately to bubble up and keep others out, but rather trying desperately to hold onto the love in my heart so that others might see it and want to come with me. I am going more slowly and carefully this time, because I am sure I haven't learned nearly as much as I think I have. The only thing I can say with certainty is that I am never going to be done making myself cringe, and I think that the humility that comes along with making yourself cringe is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, this whole post already makes me cringe.