Grief into Growth
When God Turns Grief Into Growth
By Delisa Piercy
I was raised by a wonderful woman, widowed when I was one-and-a-half years old, in a faithful home here in Houston, Texas, however, without “church.” I struggled through my teen and young adult years thinking God was not really in my life, until I married a wonderful man. Marrying Leonard, fifth of eight children from a stable, loving Catholic family, was clearly as God intended. Our marriage and my introduction into the Catholic Church was the true beginning of my spiritual journey. Even during seasons of trials and tragedy, I found that I was able to encounter Christ, turning my grief into growth.
When our daughter was two years old, I took part in the RCIA Program at St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic Church led by the Pastor, Msgr. Adam McCloskey, a family friend, and Dcn. George Trosclair (now a Deacon at POP). Easter of 1991, I was baptized and confirmed into the Catholic faith. Though my mother was not Catholic, she supported my spiritual journey. My family moved in 1995 to northwest Houston, and in anticipation of that move, we began attending Prince of Peace Catholic Community. Leonard and I wanted to attend a church near our new home in what would be our new parish. At the time, our children were five and three-years old.
Over a very short period of time and in the years immediately following that move, we lost several members of my family, each an integral part of our lives and the lives of our children. First, my eldest brother died, in the months following my mother’s cancer took over and eight months later my mother died, and then my sister, suffering with Parkinson’s and grief, took her own life. This large, vibrant family, part of our daily lives and that I grew up knowing and loving was now only myself and my brother.
It was in this time of grief that God and the power of the Holy Spirit turned my grief into growth. I came to realize that God brought me exactly where I needed to be at that time in my life, providing the tools to grow my family through those tragic years. God knew my path, and He brought me to a place where I could find and depend on Him. God brought me to a loving husband and amazing father with a solid faith-“full” foundation. God married me into a wonderful supportive extended family with in-laws that became “parents” to me, and God brought me to POP—our constant spiritual support and guidance.
Leonard and I turned to God for guidance, and POP was a track for our train, keeping us headed in the right direction. We attended Mass regularly, turning to Church for answers when we had questions. We were involved in scouts, as catechists, youth ministry leaders, CONNECT, ushers and EMHCs, attended bible studies, missions, faith-based seminars and presentations, ADORE and ACTS. As parents, POP helped to form our children, who also became involved as they grew up in religious education, children’s choir, as altar servers and ushers, youth ministry, etc.
Over the years at POP, our pastors, deacons and other church leaders have been personable and conveyed their messages in a way that genuinely spoke to all ages. As a result, we were engaged and connected with the leaders of our community. POP is our family.
With God remaining an integral part of our lives and POP being an important foundation, we have been blessed to have our children return after college to Houston and POP, renewing their involvement in various ministries. With God’s guidance, both found their spouses at POP (who are from POP families, as well), and our grandchildren are being raised with POP and a similar foundation. And we have shared and celebrated many joyful times, including Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations and Weddings.
To all who are looking for a church home, or those that are already at POP and find themselves passively sitting in the pews on Sunday, there are so many different ways to become involved and bring yourself closer to Christ. We offer a place for everyone here. Over the years, Leonard and I have not been involved in any one ministry, but rather we have evolved and connected with different ministries and brothers and sisters in Christ, so that we have grown in our faith and family. We have learned that regardless of the season in life, whether joyful times or periods of suffering, God is truly here at POP. Our Church that we call home.