I mentioned in Friday's quick takes that April 7 was the official one year anniversary of when my husband was baptized, confirmed, and received his first communion in the Catholic Church (the date of Easter Vigil 2012). I meant to ask Michael if he'd like to do anything to celebrate, but somehow it slipped my mind in advance (terrible, I know). Fortunately I was redeemed because it came up in conversation with our friend, C, who we spent yesterday afternoon hanging out with at our apartment.
The topic came up as I explained to C that in my family we always celebrated our "Baptismal Day" growing up; this basically meant getting to choose what you want for dinner and perhaps receiving a small gift. As I explained this I mentioned that it was the exact one year anniversary of Michael's baptism - making it his official Baptismal Day! His eyes lit up in remembrance as he realized I was right and we quickly made plans to do whatever he wanted for dinner - which of course meant some Taiwanese noodles and bubble tea at an authentic restaurant downtown. :)
I happily obliged and we headed downtown where we enjoyed a delicious meal and spontaneous dinner date. Unfortunately I didn't manage to take any photos to capture Michael's special day - so instead I'll share this photo from last year's Easter Vigil:
|Easter Vigil 2012|
It's hard to believe that less than 2 years ago Michael had never been to a Catholic Mass or any religious service (other than a couple of Catholic weddings). At the time he considered himself agnostic and he had no idea what God in store for him!
The Holy Spirit was truly already hard at work before Michael and I met, which is why I believe he was so receptive to the Church when we first began spending time together. After all, I was astounded at how very "Catholic" Michael's answers were to all of my questions in regards to his morals and beliefs. He had no way of knowing, but there was one evening we spent getting to know one another when I distinctly thought to myself, "this man is Catholic but he simply doesn't know it yet."
If you ask my husband what brought him to Catholicism he'll sweetly respond that it was meeting me or my influence and encouragement - but we all know the truth is that God was calling him and Michael was blessed with the boldness to follow and respond to the call. I was a mere instrument in God's beautiful plan and perfect timing, which is something I am still deeply humbled by.
The fact that our love story is so deeply interwoven with Michael's and my individual faith journeys and his rapid (and sincere) conversion still makes my heart soar - and I imagine that it always will. In fact, as I searched my photo archives for the above photograph of Michael on last year's Easter Vigil I was astounded by the beautiful memories I had managed to document throughout last year's Holy Week...and I was immediately overtaken by a sense of joy, peace, and gratitude that equally matched (if not exceeded) all I felt last year. This just reiterates to me that some things - like my love and appreciation for my husband's conversion & our love story - do not fade...but continue to flourish with time.
|Images from when I visited him in Ann Arbor during Holy Week 2012|
|Easter day 2012: Michael's first full day as a Catholic!|
God has truly been good to us and I'm beyond grateful to have my wonderful, Catholic husband by my side and helping me work towards heaven. Now - one year since his baptism and full admittance into the Catholic Church - we've been married for over 6 months and have a precious baby boy on the way. I cannot wait to meet our son, have him baptized, and begin our family tradition of celebrating everyone's day of baptism. :)
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."
1 John 3:1-3