1 Corinthians 1:27-29 †
I never set out to know, love and serve God, let alone to become Catholic. I spent most of my life angry at God, upset that He would allow such terrible things to happen to me; I didn’t want anything to do with a God that would let me hurt so much. I had a lot of hurt and hate in my heart.
But eventually I came out of homelessness, escaped the abusive relationships and even met the man of my dreams! Well, truthfully I was so wounded I didn’t even know that someone like him was actually the man of my dreams – I didn’t even dream anymore. And in that relationship which turned into marriage I was being loved in a way that I had never felt before – authentically. My husband made me feel like a treasure; a beautiful flower - and as he would say - but with thorns!
Slowly I began to trust, slowly I began to care and slowly I began to heal. But I never went rushing to God. Actually, I looked elsewhere for further healing and peace. I went to secular therapy for over 7 years, studied Eastern religions and New Age spiritualities. All in search of this interior peace I so longed for. I would get so close to feeling it, but I never quite felt fully there.
Until Jesus himself called me to Him in a New Age Temple in Pacific Palisades, CA. You can read about that mystical experience here. And then I did go running to Him and found Him in the Catholic Church.
But I knew nothing. Seriously, I knew absolutely nothing about Catholicism and barely anything about Christianity. I was like a newborn child when I was obedient to Jesus Christ and came fully into His Church in May 2008. I relied solely on His Church to teach me, to guide me and to feed me – I was an ignorant, helpless infant Catholic Christian.
And in His great humor, even before I became Catholic, God arranged it somehow that I would teach Kindergarteners about him in the Catechism class on Sundays at our parish. I believe the conversation between myself and the Director of Religious Education went something like this one Sunday after Holy Mass…
DRE: “Hi Jessica! I watch you in hospitality after mass every Sunday and see how you engage with all the little children. Would you like to fill in for our Kindergarten Catechist teacher, she is going on maternity leave soon?”
Me: “Me? I am not even Catholic.”
DRE: “Oh, well…do you believe in Jesus?”
DRE: “Do you love Him?”
DRE: “They are 4 and 5 year olds, that's all you really need to know and do!”
Me: “Well, if that’s the requirement, then sure!”
And that is how my time teaching little ones about being Catholic and loving Jesus began. It was so much fun, but it was weighing on me that I knew basically nothing and so I started researching “What to teach Catholic children in Sunday School” and that is when God began teaching me.
God used me, a little one in my faith, to learn and then teach them, actual little ones in the faith!
I ended up teaching Catechism classes to little ones for 3-4 years. I created and implemented a “Little Church” program for 3-5 year olds in two different parishes. It was such a blessing and a time in my life that I truly cherish (and miss).
In looking back, it was confirmation to me that God truly calls the unqualified and then qualifies those He has called! 1 Corinthians 1:27-29†
I stumbled across this picture today. It is a picture of one of my Little Church classes and me posing together after making St. Juan Diego tilmas and taking roses to the Our Lady of Guadalupe painting in the Church. I remember that before this class I knew nothing about Our Lady of Guadalupe and that through the grace of being called by God to share Him with the little ones, I learned so much!
May God allow me to always be like these little children, always wondering and eager to know, love and serve Him all the more!
Catholic convert. Deacon's wife. Nana. Homeschoolers. Mama of 5. Advocate. Author. Speaker. Foodie. Apron wearer. (Oh I love aprons!) Don't judge.