By Jalyn Devereaux, Sophomore at Ohio Dominican University
Faith. It’s a word we’ve all heard our entire lives growing up in a church, but something I recently realized I was lacking most of all.
I grew up in a split home between divorced parents, hopping amongst different Protestant churches that consistently left me disappointed. Ever since I can remember, I was told to have “faith in Jesus Christ,” and as easy as it sounds, that never came easy to me. As a pretty rational person, I always had to KNOW. When I finally left for college, running brought me to Ohio Dominican University where my life radically changed. I had been introduced to the Catholic Church by friends my senior year of high school, but I didn’t understand much of it and I came to ODU open to finding faith on my own. During Weeks of Welcome, I got dragged to a night sand volleyball game (against my will) that turned out to be exactly what I needed. Saint Paul’s Outreach hosted the event and I shared my story with missionaries Patrick Welsh and Sarah Spangenberg, which opened the door for my journey in the Church. In the following weeks, I met some awesome women from SPO in bible studies and visited Sarah for coffee often. But still, my faith was shaky.
After my freshman year, I began to get more serious about what my faith was. My roommate and I decided to go through RCIA at St. Patrick’s Church in Columbus together starting in September of my sophomore year. I wanted to learn about the Church with no intentions – just to see where God left me at Easter. My biggest holdups were thoughts about Mary and about the Eucharist, and I had LOTS of questions.
I read “Behold Your Mother,” by Tim Staples to get a feel for Mary and I found I was willing to accept her, but the Eucharist? How could it be? I had to KNOW. It came down to the Friday before the Rite Election and I was hoping for a decision by then. Conveniently, Bishop Campbell was doing a Q&A at ODU that week. I asked him about the Eucharist and bawled my eyes out (on the radio!), but I had so many people tell me how my questions blessed them and that they were praying for me. And I could tell, God wasn’t letting it go.
Saturday morning, I had a sense that today’s the day I am making a decision. I prayed so much (and cried so much), I called my sponsor, called Sarah and listened to a talk by Fr. Michael Schmitz, and all I could hear in my head was “have faith.” I drove to St. Patrick’s and talked to the priest from RCIA and then and there I did it. I decided to join the Church and to have faith in the Eucharist! I know it is truth because God called me to have faith. That’s all I needed all along, to let go of my pride, the pride of understanding, and to accept the MYSTERY OF FAITH.
Now, it’s a week after the Vigil that I write this as a newfound Catholic! The Lord has given me so much peace and excitement. And now He calls me to lay down my life at the altar to be filled with Himself again and again!