Friday, November 23, 2012

Catholic Love Story #9 Pauline from Catholic By Choice


Who’s in the mood for a novella?  I am!  Between last week’s missing guest post and this long Thanksgiving weekend, I am excited to feature a 3 part love story from award-winning Pauline at www.catholicbychoice.wordpress.com.  You can if you choose, skip the first two, but why would you do that when the entire story is a page turner?  (Seriously, I don’t know why this woman goes out and heals the sick when she should be blogging more.)

Part 1 is herePart 2 is here, and part 3 is

 *POOF!*

…After that unforgettable day when God spoke to me, and told me marriage was the vocation He desired for me, I can say I waited with this quiet excitement to see how the who, when, and where would unfold. The waiting was a peaceful, joyful period: I was confident that it would come, but I didn’t live as if I was holding my breath for it. I was with my God, and He was with me, and I was complete. 

Then, almost a year from receiving God’s message, a group of friends worked at convincing me to go on this blind date. I’d been on one once, and it was, well, disastrous (to put it lightly). So it took quite an effort on their part to convince me to go, as I had already sworn off blind dates just from that first and only experience. (Later, I would find out that it also took a lot of convincing for Peter to come and meet with me, having been disillusioned from blind dates as well). After persuading me that an afternoon over a cup of coffee couldn’t hurt, I finally consented.

Indulge me, as I venture into cheesiness for a bit here. On the day of the blind date, I remember hearing a version of the Stevie Wonder/Dionne Warwick song “It’s You.” It wasn’t like the song was a particular favorite before then, but I found one line jumping out at me. “If only I had not waited, I would have picked the wrong one.” For some reason, this line made me smile, remembering some of the “wrong ones” that I’ve encountered, and finding peace that they weren’t the ones, and that God already had someone in mind for me. Whether or not the blind date that afternoon would bring me THE one, I had no idea. But I did know that I had peace beyond understanding filling my heart, making me confident and content with whatever God’s timing was.

And what perfect timing it was indeed.

It was, to say the least, very stimulating conversation over a cup of hot Chai Tea Latte (“You like it, too? I love that drink!”--His excitement, not mine). I think we spent around 3 hours just talking and getting to know each other which, when I think about it now, was pretty amazing as we’re both not ones for small talk. As we continued getting to know each other date after date (after date), we discovered so many things we had in common. A common friend, one who had known us separately, observed that we were practically male and female versions of each other. 

It was a wonderful, enjoyable time. The more I got to know Peter, the more items got ticked on my checklist of traits. But having my heart broken (just a little each time) before when I would find that someone was not the one, I was trying my best not to fall too hard, too fast for this guy (mind you, that wasn’t easy). Should it turn out, for some reason, that he was not the one either, I didn’t want to allow myself to become too attached to him. But the whole time we were dating, I prayed: not so much for a sign to know that he was the one, but for God to speak to me, clearly, undeniably. 

Now it is time to tell you about my mountain. For the past 4 years, there was this group of mountain peaks that we would see on our way to our family’s rest house in Tagaytay. The perfect silhouette, the way the ridges traveled down on a slope created such a beautiful landscape, that it had come to remind me of God’s majesty and greatness. Every time we passed that road, I would always make sure to turn my head and just marvel at its beauty, saying to the Heavens, “You did good on this mountain, Lord! Awesome job!”

It had been a little over a month since our first date (5, maybe 6 weeks), and I was wondering when God was going to talk to me about everything going on with Peter. That weekend, I was in Tagaytay with my parents, and we set out to hear mass at a seminary a couple of kilometers out from the house. Catching a glimpse of my mountain on our way out, I asked my mom about the new chapel the Don Bosco brothers had built recently, and she couldn’t stop telling me how pretty it was. I couldn’t wait to see it. 

A few minutes later, we were at the relatively new "Chapel on the Hill." As I made my way up the steps, I had to agree with my mom’s taste: it was a beautiful, elegant little chapel set on the backdrop of...my mountain. It had a perfect view of the other side of my mountain! There it was, so much closer than I had ever seen it before, looking even more majestic and breathtaking on such a clear day. 

The tears started coming and wouldn’t stop. Since the years of my offering, the promise of someone to share my life and faith with was a distant vision--a beautiful promise, waiting for the right one, the right time. Much like my mountain, it was something I beheld from a distance. But now, I felt God speaking to me, saying that now, it was time to see what was on the other side of the mountain. The verse from Isaiah came to mind, “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges; can you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:19). 

I could see it, and it was beautiful.

P.S. Two years after that literal mountaintop experience, Peter and I said our I Do’s at the very same chapel with the perfect view of my, our, mountain.  

4 comments:

Anabelle Hazard said...

Pauline, thank you for sharing your story here. I'm glad you said yes to your friends. I've set lots of blind dates up and three couples got married from my matchmaking. Someday I'll visit your chapel and your mountain. I'm putting you on my blog roll your reflections are amazing.

paulinecauton said...

You're so sweet, Anabelle! Thank you so much :)
Haha, my patients wouldn't be too happy if I left them to write on my blog, but really, this is a great encouragement for me to be more committed to this. Amazing how blogging is making me meet friends from all over the world!
Let's keep on sharing the LOVE! :)

8 kids and a business said...

Pauline, your story is even more beautiful than your mountain. Annabelle, thank you for persevering with Catholic Love Stories. It's a privilege to know such amazing women!

theveilofchastity said...

Beautiful story, Pauline! I enjoyed your blog also. God bless, Cindy