Parts 1 and 2.
Part 3 starts with me deciding that maybe Christianity and this God guy aren't so bad, after all (and being utterly shocked when my husband shares that he feels the same). I went to the local Christian bookstore and bought a New Testament only bible. I also ordered a simple women's bible study, and started posting in the Christian threads of the message board I went to.
My husband was very firm in his desire to be Catholic. He stopped by a local Catholic Church after work a lot and talked with the priest, bringing home a lot of books the priest had given him. I was shocked but tried to be supportive. He wanted me to convert with him, but I was very resistant. As I said in my journal at that time- "I aboslutely believe someone or something was looking out for us wrt Riley...but I'm also a complete bleeding heart liberal and I don't know how I could rectify that with some of the more conservative aspects of catholicism (specifically homosexuality and abortion)." My friends on that journal were supportive and assured me I could convert and ignore the things I didn't like, pointing me towards groups like Catholics For Choice. The thought of converting but ignoring major parts of a religion's belief system didn't sit well with me, though. But, I was also still assuming at this time that the Church opposed abortion and homosexuality because she hated gays and women, which is the typical liberal rhetoric.
My husband went to Mass alone at first. I tried going to a Unitarian Universalist congregation for awhile. The people were nice enough, but it certainly felt empty. I found it hard to feel energized about the concept of doing "what felt right," since that's what I had been doing my whole life and it hadn't gotten me anywhere. So I agreed to start attending Mass as a family. In November of that year I agreed to enroll our oldest daughter in Catholic pre-school, but I still had no plans to convert myself and was still very adamantly pro-choice. I was also realizing around this time that while it would be easy to church shop and find someplace that would tell me what I wanted to hear, it was intellectually dishonest at best, and spiritual suicide at worst.
I can't really pinpoint where the change in my heart started. I'm sure going to Mass every week helped. I also started reading the books the priest had given my husband, including the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Catholicism and Reason. The more I read about the history of the Church and Scripture, the more I started to feel that maybe there was such a thing as absolute truth. I agreed to attend RCIA classes with my husband, knowing that it didn't mean I had to convert. So in March of 2006 we went through the Rite of Acceptance and officially became Catechumens. During this time I started reading the Church's actual stance on things like abortion and homosexuality, instead of the liberal interpretations of the Church's stance, which was a huge help (what? The Church DOESN'T hate women and homosexuals! Wow!)
That's really it, which seems anti-climatic, doesn't it? It was a gradual process that occurred over a couple of years as I read and studied Church history and doctrine. There was no big "moment." There were "moments" regarding other things, such as feminism (reading about Pope John Paul II's feminism was a HUGE "A-HA" moment for me- I realized that what I had been searching for in liberalism and 3rd wave feminism could only be found in the Catholic Church, but that's another post!) I also had a conversion from pro-choice to pro-life that contained some "moments" (thanks in large part to having a child with disabilities and taking Biology 101; again, another post). But overall, the Spirit worked in me, slowly, persistently, breaking down the walls I had built up and illuminating my soul as well as my mind. Catholics call it "coming home" and I certainly can't think of a better way to put.