Once again, I would like to apologize for the delay in my posts. A lot of personal stuff has been going on in my life that has kept me from being able to post as frequently as I’d like, and though those things are not finished, I have some availability to continue discussing my journey to Orthodoxy.
In my last major post, I had finally come to terms with Mary; who she was, why she was important in the church, and what that meant for me.
To be honest, this was the final hurdle for me to accept the Orthodox faith. She was my biggest issue, and it felt good to be able to acknowledge my wrong thinking towards her. I have come to accept her as the Holy Mother of our Lord and Savior, the most blessed of all women, the Queen of Heaven, and Theotokos, I was ready to admit to myself that I had found the true church in spite of all my objections.
I remember meeting once again with Father Phil and admitting that yes, I was overwhelmed with the evidence for the Orthodox Church and I was ready to convert. It was a difficult decision for me. What would my parents think? What would my old friends think? What would I think?
I have started to realize that I cannot live my life based on what others may think of my actions. Much of my life has been paralyzed because I have thought this way in so many situations. Christ had freed me in many ways, and being freed from my own internal demons has been so powerful for me in the last year. Though these demons still rear their heads from time to time, and it is a difficult daily struggle, I know that with Christ and the wisdom of the church fathers before me, that I am not alone in the battle.
Father Phil took the news of our decision to convert with great joy, though not at the idea of having another person fill his pews, but with the joy of welcoming a new brother and sister into the church family. I don’t believe Father Phil has a selfish bone in his body or that he ever tried to coerce me into any decision, and I will always love him for that.
We set our conversion for the following month, November 2015. I had already been baptized as a protestant, and the Orthodox Church rightfully does not believe in performing a second baptism. I was informed that I would be Chrismated into the church instead.
My wife had not been baptized previously and she was going to go through all of the ceremonies.
Father Phil asked if we knew who we would like to have as our patron saints and godparents. We asked that he would prayerfully find godparents for us and said we were going to continue praying over our patron saints.
I would come to pick Nicodemus the Hagiorite, and in my next blog, I want to discuss this choice in more detail, as I have come to learn he is not a common choice.