The following story appeared in the April 29 Idaho Catholic Register.
Megan Konzek, center, on the night of her Confirmation at All Saints Catholic Church in Lewiston. From left are her hus-band, Timothy with their daughter, Mercedes; Paul Brown, Megan’s father; Megan Konzek; Candy Brown, Megan’s mother; and Sheila Flock, Megan’s sponsor. (Courtesy photo/Megan Konzek)
By Megan Konzek
LEWISTON – Both of my parents were raised as Christians, my dad a Lutheran and my mom in a more non-denominational setting. While they are not practicing, my loving parents raised me with a general understanding of what the Bible is, who God is, with an emphasis on faith in Jesus as the Son of God. They made sure growing up that I had respect for God’s house, and knew the true meaning of Christmas and Easter.
I recall that sometimes at the end of the day, I would really wonder if Christ and God were real. What if I died and found that I was wrong? That has always kept the search alive.
Not long after I began attending college, I met and married a wonderful man, Tim, a proud Marine who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was struck at how strong he was in his Catholic faith. He was convinced that he came back alive because of God, even though it seemed like there were many times he should not have survived.
Though he had a strong faith growing up, it was his experiences during his time away in Iraq that deepened his faith even more. His devotion to his faith led me to want to search more. After continuing to study with people of other faiths, I would always come back to a discussion with Tim. In his most gracious terms, he would present his arguments as to why the Catholic faith is where he has stayed and always will. He always used scripture to support his answers and give me context. No matter how challenging the questions I may have posed to him, he has always been willing to have that discussion.
Over the years, I attended Mass with Tim, especially after our daughter was born. Our daughter was baptized by Father Nathan Dail in September of 2018. After that, I started to get to know Father Dail. After sharing some rather personal experiences, he suggested I take RCIA to learn more about the Catholic faith. He felt those classes would help me understand why the Rosary and other prayers are so powerful to assist me with some spiritual challenges I was having.
I took his advice and enrolled in RCIA in the fall of 2020 at All Saints Parish in Lewiston. I learned so much that it was overwhelming. Due to such an overload in information, I could not join the church at the time. However, unlike the other groups I had studied with before this time, I did not feel the need to walk away entirely. I was a bit surprised that the individuals in RCIA accepted my decision and had no problem allowing me to finish the course on my own time. I was treated no differently, and was told not to be afraid to ask questions even after the class was over if I felt the need. I had never had this hap-pen before. With other groups I studied with, people would become impatient, some even saying I was eternally damned if I didn’t join with them. But, with RCIA, that was not the case. A fellow class member wished me luck on my continued search. I was told a similar thing by the lady who organized RCIA at the time, who said she would continue to pray for me.
I continued the search on my own the following summer, more aggressively than before. I began trying to learn how to pray the Rosary. I went to Adoration and began reading scripture more and meditating on it. Perhaps most important, I began utilizing the power of prayer, as I had learned how important and how powerful that is to Catholics. I asked God, Mary, the angels and the saints to help me to see and to understand what I do not see. My biggest struggle was doubts I had about God’s existence. How can you believe in something you cannot see or touch?
I was fortunate to form many good friendships and get good counsel from people during my first time with RCIA, and I still would come to them from time to time with questions after RCIA was over. They were never afraid to help me.
I had some experiences during Adoration that led me to return to RCIA a second time this last year. About halfway through, I had an experience I will never forget. I finally had my answer I searched for. As Father Nathan once said, “Christ will find you in your darkest place.”
There is much more to my story than what I can say here. On Easter Vigil, I was proud to become a member of the Catholic Church. I was able to be sealed at Confirmation with St. Michael the Archangel as my Confirmation Saint and to receive Eucharist.
I was forgiven, washed of all my prior sins and able to begin a new life with Christ. I am thankful of all the graces God has given me.
To those who are still searching, never give up your search. Keep asking; keep knocking. Don’t be afraid to put Christ in the midst of the most scary doubts that hold you back. Be open and honest; He will find you; He will answer your prayers. He did for me.
May God bless my loving husband, Tim, who has prayed for me all these years and put up with my nagging questions. May God bless Father Nathan Dail for suggesting RCIA and for being a great friend and counselor. Thanks also to my sponsor, Sheila Flock, who so graciously walked with me through this journey and to my parents who have supported me. Thanks also to all the people in RCIA who have prayed for me these last two years.
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