No, one of us is not part of the Empire and the other a part of the Resistance. He's not Darth Vadar and I'm not Princess Leia. Although I can be a little Leia-ish at times--snarky, sarcastic, sticking to my guns even on things that don't really matter. But he's definitely a Han Solo kind of guy, which is why I do refer to him as Mr. Solo on this blog.
"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.......Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen 'anything' to make me believe that there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. 'Cause no mystical energy field controls my destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense."
~Han Solo in Star Wars: A New Hope
That quote really sums up Mr. Solo's outlook on life, as far as I can tell. I say as far as I can tell because in seven years of marriage we've never been able to get more than 5 minutes into a discussion on faith and God without both of us getting frustrated. We are on the same page on a lot of issues in our life together, but religion has never been one of them.
Mr. Solo was raised on the Catholic conveyor belt, as so many others have. His parents made sure he was baptized, received First Communion, was confirmed, etc. He went to Catholic grade school for 3 of his grammar school years. The took him to Mass every Sunday from the time he was about 4 years old (he was a rambunctious child who tended to be a tad disruptive during Mass) until he was in his early twenties and still living at home. They did everything they thought they should do to try and raise up a good Catholic boy. But they never taught him the "why's" of it all. They never taught him about a personal love of God and Christ. They gave him the tools, but they never showed him how to use them. As in so many others, this has resulted in him turning away from the Church and not really understanding why we "have" to go.
I was raised Methodist my entire life. For the first 11 years of my life we lived literally less than a block from our church. We walked there every single Sunday for church services and Sunday School. My entire extended family went there and we took up 3 whole pews in the sanctuary. My parents made sure I was baptized and confirmed, the only two steps needed in the Methodist church. I think the main difference though is that my parents and grandparents tried to actually discuss faith with us and my grandparents especially have been lifelong examples of living their faith.
For the first six years of our marriage this differnce in faith didn't make much of a difference. He wasn't interested in returning to the Catholic Church, and I had no interest in ever attending, so we went to my family's Methodist Church. This was okay for a few years while a sweet lady pastor was in the pulpit. I felt like something was missing in our church that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but she was so sweet and our family loved her so much that we were willing to stay put just because of her. When she retired, the missing piece felt even bigger. I could no longer ignore the fact that I just didn't feel comfortable there anymore, and I still couldn't figure out what was missing.
I started looking for a new church for our family. I did what any sane person would do when confronted with this problem--I started by looking in the Yellow Pages! :) I know, I know, sounds ridiculous, right? We live in a town of 25,000 people. In this tiny town, there are like 30 churches, of probably 20 different denominations. I started by looking up the church online if they had a webpage and narrowing down from there. If the churches didn't have a webpage I'd look up the national or state webpage for the denomination to look at doctrine, etc. and see where we could feel comfortable. I immediately eliminated anything Mormon, extreme fundamentalist, and Baptist because Mr. Solo would never in a million years go with any of those, an of course I knew that Mormon was definitely out of the picture anyway. I then started eliminating any that were extremely liberal in their teachings like Unitarian, United Church of Christ, etc. Anything that taught that abortion, gay marriage, etc. was okay was NOT going to be the place for us. I also immediately eliminated the two local Catholic parishes since Mr. Solo made it pretty clear that he didn't really want to be there. I finally narrowed it down to staying with the Methodist church but going to a different parish or Lutheran.
I decided to start looking a little deeper at the doctrines and guidelines of the Methodist and Lutheran churches to understand what they really taught. The more I dug, the more I knew I couldn't attend either of those. I was starting to lose hope. Finally, I decided to make a last ditch effort to find the right place for our family.
I started going through a 40 day prayer devotional that I had used in the past to great success. It's called "Give me 40 Days" by Freeda Bowers. I started out my 40 days by making my list of prayer items and made sure to include direction for our family on what church to attend. About 10 days in I was still not getting direction so I decided to do a modified 7 day fast. I couldn't do a full, hardcore fast, so I prayed about it and felt led to only consume bread and water or juice during the day, and having a small amount of whatever I was feeding my family for supper. Even this modified fast was enough to open huge doors in our life. Only a few days in I felt so much clarity from God, and I've also never felt more emotional in my entire life. Everyday around 2:30 pm I would feel inexplicably emotional. I can't explain it. I would sit at my desk at work and fight tears for an hour until I could get myself back under control.
During that time of fasting and clarity, God opened doors for us to attend the Catholic parish of John's childhood. It was such a great experience and at this same time God was making it very clear to me that we were meant to be at this church and that our family needed to be in unity in the Church that Christ himself founded.
I informed Mr. Solo after much thought and research and soul searching that I had decided to join the Church. I had hoped to receive a more enthusiastic reaction from him than I got. It wasn't exactly positive. His reaction also wasn't positive when I informed him that I wanted to get my IUD removed after believing that I experienced an early miscarriage. He was supportive of the IUD removal because of all the trouble I'd been having with it and from the possible miscarriage situation. He wasn't terribly supportive of my desire to use NFP. He was especially unsupportive when during the second month of trying to get the hang of NFP we found out I had gotten pregnant.
So currently I am in RCIA with full support of my husband for me to go, but he doesn't want to come with me. He goes with me and the children to Mass every weekend. We are 17 weeks pregnant with our "Oops, Mama screwed up the NFP chart" Baby. We are at a crossroads trying to figure out what to do after this baby arrives. He wants to get a vasectomy. I don't want him to. He doesn't want to use NFP because he doesn't trust it and he doesn't have enough trust in God to believe that God knows better than we do what we can handle. I refuse to go back to the IUD now that I know how it REALLY works. It sucks, but all I can do is pray for God's will to be done. I don't know what else to do, really. Sigh.