Written by Kathy DeVet
A few days ago, I came across this quote posted on social media: “In order to do something well, we must first be willing to do it badly” (Julia Cameron). Is it just me, or do others find that super hard? If I want to do something—bake, play the piano, talk in front of people, write—I have to be willing to start where I am. Usually I start in a place where I don’t really know what I’m doing and I don’t have all the tricks and tips that you learn as you go along trying, failing, learning, and trying again.
This same principle applies to sharing our faith with our families or friends. We may not be successful or articulate or perfect at it the first time, tenth time, or twenty-fifth time we try to share the beauty, truth, and goodness of God with our kids or our spouses or our siblings, but we need to be willing to continue to practice doing it.
I remember when I was in 8th grade at a Catholic school, a classmate mocked me because I believed in Adam & Eve. Now, did I believe that Creation happened exactly like it’s written down in Genesis? No. But I did believe that there is Truth in Genesis. This classmate was relentless and willfully misunderstanding and ridiculing me when I tried to defend my belief, not very articulately, I must say. Now, we would call it bullying. It really scared me off speaking about my faith openly for several years.
Thankfully, I got over that fear, but I did learn that some people are not interested in having a real conversation; they just want to make their point and don’t care who they hurt. That’s certainly not how I wanted to be. So, I have tried to have real conversations and tried to listen to my kids or others when we are talking about the Faith in particular.
Sometimes I have not said all I want to or all I meant to when presenting the Faith to my children. But I must be willing to practice, be willing to accept that in order to do something well, I must be willing to first do it badly. I may forget a point, get bogged down in detail, be impatient—any number of things.
But really, conversations are only one part of sharing the faith. I need to model it in my daily life. I need my children and my husband to notice that God is important to me. They need to see me taking the time to pray. They need to hear me ask for help from the Holy Spirit when making a decision. They need to be aware of the effort I make to get to confession. They need to know that Mass is the most important Sunday activity and that I try to keep holy the Sabbath day.
I can reflect, pray, and try to learn more about the Faith and about sharing it and living it openly. I can try again. I can be open to the Holy Spirit working through me and trust that He will give me opportunities and words as I need them. I can use resources from the book The One Best Thing or other books. I can use resources from the Community Hub (coming soon) or other online resources. I can be committed to getting better at sharing the Faith because it really is the best thing that I can give my family. Having us all be together in Heaven with God for all eternity is a prize worth giving my all and fighting for.
What is the next step you can do to share your faith with those close to you? Ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the grace to keep trying.