One more year

January 11, 2008 | Atheism, Background, Conversion | 11 comments

I almost didn’t post this because it sounds overly sentimental and cheesy, but it’s true. So here it goes…

I turn 31 this weekend. I’ve never been one to freak out about birthdays, but there have been a couple milestones here and there that caused me a bit of anxiety, thinking, “Man, am I already that old?” And when I thought about turning 31, it gave me pause for a moment to realize that I am truly a “30-something” now, which I think means that I am officially an adult.

But those thoughts were immediately overshadowed with overwhelming joy to think that this year will bring the one year anniversary of us becoming Catholic. And every year that goes by from now on is one more year that I’ve had God in my life.

I had a great life before my conversion. I was a happy atheist surrounded by family, friends, and all the worldly comforts a person could ever desire. Yet, when I look back on it all, it seems so bleak and somehow lonely compared to now. It’s like if you’ve ever gone inside on a winter day, and it was only when the warm air of your home hit you that you realized just how cold you were outdoors.

When I think of the astounding peace and joy that Christianity has brought to my life, it’s hard not to lament all the years I spent without it. It’s hard not to find it distressing that I spent three decades ignoring God. I will have to wait until I’m 61 to say that I’ve been a Christian for more than half my life. From here on out, I think that any anxiety about having one more year gone by will always be vastly overshadowed by the knowledge that it’s one more out of the cold, one more year spent in the warmth of home, the Catholic Church.

11 Comments

  1. mrsdarwin

    Happy Birthday! Our best wishes for a pleasant day and a blessed year.

  2. el-e-e

    happy birthday, Jen!! Your candle is a light shining brightly in the world! 🙂

  3. jrg

    Illuminating and edifying as always, Jen!

    ¡Feliz cumpleaños!

  4. TwoSquareMeals

    Happy Birthday! I just turned 30 during Advent, and I definitely think 30 is the new “grown up.” Too bad that people think you can be a kid that long, especially if you already have kids of your own!

  5. Mary Poppins NOT

    Thanks for sharing your gratitude, and May God grant you many years in peace, health and happiness!

  6. Abigail

    Happy Birthday! I’m wishing you many more illuminating moments (and a few more nights of solid sleep) in the year to come!

  7. Sarah

    Happy birthday! We’re only a few days apart!

    I’m glad you did post this; you say so clearly so many of the things I feel as well, especially “From here on out, I think that any anxiety about having one more year gone by will always be vastly overshadowed by the knowledge that it’s one more out of the cold, one more year spent in the warmth of home, the Catholic Church.”

    Amen!!!

  8. eileen

    Happy Birthday, Jen! Jesus’ light and grace shines through your writing…here’s to many more years of shining.

  9. Lynne

    Thank you for posting this. It’s another one of your beautiful entries. I wish I could express myself as well as you do but I can’t so in order to evangelize, I’ll just have point all of my NGP (Nice Godless People) friends and family here… Maybe not this blog entry to begin with but definitely your blog…

  10. Karen E.

    Happy Birthday, Jen. I know exactly how you feel. I was baptized a month before my 30th birthday, but it took me five more years after that to make it to the Catholic Church. 🙂 What a lovely post. Again.

  11. Kristen Laurence

    Happy belated birthday, dear Jen! And welcome home.

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