Prayers Are Answered in God’s Time, Not Our Own

On Easter Vigil this past weekend, my Daddy came into the Catholic Church!

conversion story

Me, my dad, and my little brother

When I was 7 years old and received my First Holy Communion, I gave it up to my daddy and I prayed that someday he would become Catholic. I made this my tradition eachΒ  week, offering up my Communion and saying a prayer for him. Ever week I continued this until I was 15, and I realized that I had been praying for my daddy to become Catholic for more than half of my life. Perhaps it was time to pray for sometime else… sometimes, the answer to a prayer was just “no”.

Well, after 35 years of marriage to my mom, and 20 years after my First Communion, here is my Daddy receiving his First Communion:

first communion as adult

…and getting confirmed.

confirmation as adult

He was Baptized as a Baptist when he was a boy, so he didn’t need to get Baptized again.

When I was growing up, every night at my parent’s house we would sit down for dinner. My mom, brother and I would pray the Catholic “before dinner prayer” while my dad just patiently sat there, saying nothing at all. Year after year for my whole life.

Last year my daddy started coming to Mass. I’m not sure exactly why, but I think my little brother (age 10) asked him to come. At first he just came. He didn’t kneel, and he didn’t pray. Then he started saying some of the prayers… like the Our Father.

After a few months, he started to say parts of the creed during Mass, and some of the other parts he started asking questions about. Week after week, he started saying more of the creed.

By the Fall, he had decided to join the RCIA class. His teacher was incredible, which was a huge blessing! The whole RCIA class used my Picture Book of the Mass. I was so delighted this was a resource that my own father was able to use! It was especially helpful in the beginning when he wasn’t familiar with the Mass at all, and my mom’s missal was too complicated for him to follow- perfect book for RCIA classes.

For his birthday, I got him his first rosary. (It was a Marine Corps rosary from Trendy Traditions, because my dad is a former Marine).

Image of Semper Fi Marines Rosary

Before we knew it, we were hearing crazy things out of his mouth, like “Sorry I’m late- I lost track of time while reading the Bible at adoration”. Jaw dropping, folks!!! (And we’re still trippin when we see him do the sign of the cross- so crazy!)

On Easter Vigil, we went out to eat at a super nice restaurant, since this was a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Babysitters and everything. πŸ˜‰ I also thoroughly enjoyed Easter Vigil Mass without the little ones.

easter vigil mass

As a “Welcome to the Church” gift, I gave him “Prayers for Catholic Men” (which, by the way, is much cheaper on Amazon than it was at my local Catholic shop.) This book was small, and I wanted something “nicer” (maybe with a leather cover), but in the end, I just loved the prayers in this book. I totally recommend it for the Catholic Men in your life.

rcia present idea

I also got him an icon of the archangels since he took Saint Michael as his confirmation saint.

It seems that God is constantly reminding me these days that things happen in His time, not in ours. It’s a good thing that prayer is timeless. I still have someone very near and dear to me that is not a believer. I shall keep on praying. It only took my mom 35 years to convert my dad, but in the end, it’s not us who does the converting. It’s God.

I don’t usually post personal posts like this, but hey, how often does my daddy come into the Church? I promise my next post will be about a Catholic craft. πŸ˜‰

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Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    I absolutely love hearing conversion stories. Definitely my CATHOLIC ICING for today. So glad you shared this. Congrats to your Dad and keeping him in prayer. Some of our greatest saints are converts! : )

  2. That is so awesome Lacey! Congratulations to you and your family! I had goosebumps as I read this! God’s time is not our time, but the desires of our hearts are often answered in due time! I’m sure it was a very joyous Easter this year!

    • So true! I could blabber on and on about all the ways God has recently showed me that things are in His time, but I decided to spare you guys. πŸ˜‰

  3. Beautiful! Love the personal testimony! (My guess is that if your readers want Catholic crafts they will also truly appreciate these kind of posts!) Happy Easter to you and your family!

    • Lol! I’m never quite sure about posts like this. I usually reserve posts like these when I have a new baby, but it seemed stupid not to let my readers know. πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you for sharing this Lacy. It is so inspiring as I pray for my husband to join the Church some day. After 13 years of marriage I sometimes think it will never happen, this is a great reminder to stay the course!!

    • So true! Take on St. Monica as your patroness. πŸ™‚

    • Stephanie says:

      I want to say thank you also. Nearly brought tears to my eyes… especially when he received our Lord for the first time. I long for the day when my Baptist husband will do the same. After 11 years of marriage, I too sometimes feel like giving up, and with my actions (offering prayer and suffering on his behalf) I sometimes do, but there is a peace in my heart. I have been consoled that I need to be patient and trust in the Holy Spirit to guide and Our Father will grant this for His great glory. It’s hard when my own father is a very strong Catholic, and is always asking me when my husband will be joining the Church =) — he’s not as patient as I am! Especially when we have six little souls waiting to receive more than just the sacrament of initiation (Baptism in the Catholic Church is the only sacrament my husband agreed to allow the children to have), and with the oldest at 9, it’s getting harder. Your story gives me renewed hope and strengthens my patience. Thank you so much for sharing! We will continue to pray for you!

      • So happy that our story is giving hope to others! It’s a day we certainly thought we would never see.

  5. Reading your post gave me so much hope! My husband is not a believer and I pray for him every day. Sometimes I get discouraged and wonder if it will ever happen, so reading a story like yours is so wonderful. πŸ™‚

    Would it be possible for you say a prayer for my husband? His name is Joel. Thank you so much!

  6. What an awesome story! It brought a tear to my eye. Congratulations to your Father.

  7. Melanie says:

    Yay! That is so awesome! πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks be to God! And thanks for sharing so that we can all rejoice.

  9. That is a GREAT story. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Your story made me cry of joy! My dad is an atheist and I have prayed for his convertion for many years. I’m so happy for your family!!! I hope my dad’s time comes soon as well!

  11. Michele says:

    This is awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story!!! Welcome to your Dad!!!

  12. Oh, Lacy! This post made me cry. I am so joyfully happy for you and you family! What a blessing! I have family members who aren’t full members of the Church. I try to maintain patience and keep praying.

    God bless you all!

  13. What a beautiful story. I have prayed for a very long time for a wonderful man to come into my eldest daughter’s life and after many years, (she is 33), a wonderful young man has asked my husband for her hand. AND he is Catholic. We are overjoyed. Also a very close friend’s husband also officially joined this year. Praise The Lord! (I was raised fundamentalist, and my husband and I were confirmed togther in 1991, the week after our children were baptized). 58-year-old brother-in-law who was never cornfirmed has started attending mass.

  14. Christine says:

    What an emotional experience. Thank you for this hopeful story. I love that the RCIA class used your book. I’m guessing that your dad might have been just a wee bit proud.

  15. Lacy, thank you for sharing your story. We pray for my husband every day, and will never give up! I tell my kids, “In God’s time”. Congratulations to your dad!

  16. Awesome! That is so exciting. I had a classmate in grade school who always prayed for his dad’s conversion when we prayed as a class. I wonder if it ever happened.

  17. Congrats to him! RCIA is close to my heart, as I went through it 4 years ago! This year my Father-in-law did it!
    I love attending the Easter Vigil to see all those being Baptized, but it is even more special when it is someone you love!

  18. Yay! I am so happy for him and all of you! God hears our prayers!

  19. What a blessing, Lacey! Thank you for sharing. I myself just got confirmed last night at age 40, and it was a wonderful experience πŸ™‚

  20. That is so wonderful! Congratulations to your whole family!

  21. Jennifer says:

    Lacey, Thank you for sharing! I’m such a sap, so I cried as I read your blog entry and am fighting back the tears as I type this.

  22. Such a heartwarming story! Congrats to you Dad -we welcome him to the family! πŸ™‚

  23. Dwija {House Unseen} says:

    This is so wonderful and awesome and brings tears to my eyes! Wow. Incredible. Praise God!

  24. Tell you daddy, “Welcome to the family!” This was a wonderful story. Please share more personal todbits, if you feel so inclined. I’m sure many other fellow readers would be encouraged by them too. After all, we wouldn’t be interested in Catholic crafts if we didn’t want to see the Catholic faith growing too, starting with our own families. Congrats again!

  25. Congratulations to you and your dad. Gives me hope for my family πŸ™‚

  26. What an amazing story!! You made me cry…i’m praying the sane for my father to Santa Faustina, and in Easter he went for the 1st time to mass. I hope it goes the same way ad with your father!!! Blessings!!

  27. Your story made me get teary eyes! So beautiful

  28. Thank you so much for sharing this. I can’t begin to tell you how much hope this gives me. My husband came into the Church 11 years ago, but never really let it inside. I keep hoping and praying though, knowing that, in God’s time, he will find the peace only God’s love and mercy can provide. God bless you and your family, especially your dad. Congratulations to him and welcome Home!

  29. Amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing your Easter joy with us!

  30. Wow what a great story. Thanks so much for sharing, it’s very encouraging that a conversion can happen after so many years of praying. It gives me hope for my husband. He’s catholic just more of a cafeteria catholic so he doesn’t practice fully or believe everything, but I just keep praying for him that one day his eyes will be fully opened to the truth like mine was.

  31. deltaflute says:

    Congrats! It gives me hope for my husband.

  32. This was so encouraging to read and I can only imagine the joy and peace you must feel!! I converted after marriage and my husband is Agnostic. I often wonder what effect on our children it will have. I love the idea of explaining to my children that conversions happen “in God’s time”. I will remember that as they get older and start asking why Daddy doesn’t go to church. Happy Easter!

    • It is hard, but not impossible to raise children in a family where the father doesn’t have faith. I am saying a prayer for you!

  33. Bradley Hays says:

    A wonderful story! What a blessing! I’m not a Catholic but I love your crafts and use them for my kids at church. Such a great testimony and answer to prayer. We praise you and thank you, Father God!

  34. This made me cry! So beautiful!

  35. This almost made me cry! Welcome home, dad :)!

  36. Hello! What a beautiful story about your Dad. Maybe you could post his conversion story sometime, or contact the Coming Home Network so he can one day share it. Praise God! A blessed Easter season to your family. Thank you for all you do for us Moms out here…We need to hear these beautiful stories at this time during the Octave of Easter. God bless you all.

  37. WOW! Did I cry! I can not tell you how excited and happy I am for your family that your Dad finally came home and joined our Cathoic faith. I continue to offer up my prayers for my husband’s conversion. But, as you said…”in Gods Time, Not our own.” Thank you SO much for sharing this with all of us.

    • I can’t believe how many people are telling me they cried when they read this! I love how much you all care. πŸ™‚

  38. Tears of Joy! Thank you so much for sharing this personal story, Lacy. What a beautiful testimony!

  39. Awesome conversion story! Congratulations! My husbands conversion took 15 years. So worth it to wait for him to become a devout Catholic husband and father. God’s plans are always perfect. God bless!

  40. What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing!

  41. Nicole B. says:

    That is AWESOME!!! Prayers of Thanksgiving:)

  42. Michelle says:

    Thank you for posting this story and congratulations to your dad! I really needed this reminder that things happen in God’s time and not ours! πŸ™‚

  43. Miranda says:

    Totally bawling right now. lol <3

  44. Erin Womack says:

    So proud of your father and for your family! I’m also a convert, and it is amazing to see how much God can change us. Prayers for you all!

  45. Congratulations! I know exactly how it feels, my husband was not Catholic either.

  46. Oh, and just a reminder, once a Marine always a Marine!

    • “former” Marine is ok to say. It’s “X Marine” that gets everyone in a ruffle. Both of my parents were Marines, so I understand. πŸ˜‰

  47. Oh my, this is just so wonderful! As a convert to Catholicism I know the joy and purpose he must now feel (not to mention the great joy your family must feel!)
    Praise God!

  48. Piwimama says:

    Wow Congrats! I got a bit teary reading it!

  49. Congrats to both of you! Glorious news! Thank you for allowing us to share in your joy!!!

  50. Thanks be to God! So thrilled for your father and family. Congratulations!

  51. Monica Stanley says:

    Lacy – I too thank you for posting this beautiful recount of conversion, especially in this year of the New Evangalization. I continue to pray for my own father’s conversion and will continue to do so with a renewed faith. God Bless and thank you so much for your work.

  52. Thank you for such an inspiring post! I have been married to my husband. For 20 years – he is Protestant and I am the catholic. We happily taise our kids catholic. I too pray for his conversion. I know it may never come but your post gives me hope! Thank you!

  53. Oh, what a blessing! How wonderful for him and you and your family.

  54. Christine says:

    Congratulations for the wonderful conversion of your dad! I’m sure your 20 years of prayer had something to do with it… and as a convert myself I can really relate to how your dad took one little step at a time, starting with the stuff he recognized as the same for all Christians and in the Bible. One can’t underestimate the spiritual warfare that goes on behind the scenes for Evangelicals to come into Catholicism. It’s a battle, and fear is really big in it, make no mistake. But once they’re in, they’re IN! We never go back! Very very happy for all of you… and please say a prayer for my parents and siblings to follow me in to the Church. I think my dad will do it first, which will help everyone else, but no telling how long this will take….

  55. Praise God! I’m so happy for your family! I converted to Catholicism two years ago this month and it is the greatest joy in my life. My Dad joins my family at Mass but is seemingly uninterested in joining the Church. Your post really encouraged me! I too will continue praying, for with God all things are possible.
    God bless.

  56. Faye wilkinson says:

    Congratulations!! Your father’s story brought me to tears. God is great and works in mysterious ways, but always for good! Blessings to you and your family as your father continues to grow in his faith.

  57. Thank you for sharing this, it made me tear up. :).

  58. This is so cool–thanks for sharing!

  59. I’m so glad you shared…it’s a beautiful story! It gives me hope and also fortified my resolve to pray for those dear to me who are not Catholic, yet, or who are fallen away. Thank you.

  60. Anna Karilyn says:

    I felt so moved with your story. I shared it in Facebook. Glad that our Lord granted what you wanted finally!! Many blessings to you and your family!!

  61. aww Lacey! I’ve been following your blog for a little while and I’m so thankful you shared this with all of us. I got all teared up and all I can say is Thank you Lord for all the love and for once again teaching us that you work in mysterious ways and in Your Blessed Merciful Time!

    • It’s so hard to wait for God’s time, but in the end, we don’t really have any other choice, do we?

  62. Thank you so much for your post. Gives me hope…I’m praying for my husband of nearly 38 years to come back to his faith. Also praying for my 3 sons to come back to their faith.

    Thank you for reminding me it’s in God’s time, not ours. We all need to hear that sometimes.

    Thank you!!
    Sue