By Nikita Lakatoo
Have you ever had such a thrilling conversation with someone and found yourself reaching to a point where you feel as though you’ve over shared and simply digressed by saying “well I could write a book?”. Or perhaps the phrase “looking for love in all the wrong places”, after neighbouring for some time, has finally hit too close to home.
Well, in the words of the incomparable Barbara Streisand, “I’ve been there with my heart out in my hand” and when you’re young and unknowing, you feel like everything is the end of the world, but I am here to tell you that in both life and love there are many do-overs.
Today terms like ‘icon’, ‘legend’, and ‘phenomenal’ are so loosely used it’s no wonder that ‘love’ has become diluted into something that’s often dragged through trashy headlines and messy break-ups.
It’s for this very reason that most of us, if not all of us, can recall how wrong we started out on our way to love. From Disney Classics to raunchy tv shows, what we learn from our peers to what we observe in our homes, when it comes to love it can seem a bit dichotomous.
As Catholic Christians, we are veered to pick a helpmate within our own religion, like most religions out there. One Catholic priest even refused to wed my parents because my father was not Catholic and they ended up getting married under the rights of another religion.
I’m happy to report that since then I myself was able to marry my non-Catholic husband in the Catholic Church I grew up in and he is the most God-fearing, best boyfriend turned husband, still not Catholic and honestly, I do not require him to be.
I grew up being taught that I had to marry a Catholic boy and recently I came across a very educated, beautiful young lady who told me she is looking for a good Catholic guy. I felt sad for her and so many like her because here is this wonderful young woman in her late twenties missing out on what God probably has for her because they simply aren’t Catholic.
Let me tell you I’ve had the “good’ Catholic boy from a really good Catholic family. His parents even cooked for priests every day. I was very much in love with him, and we tried several times to make it work but he had several other partners – if you know what I mean!
Then there was this guy who actually converted to Catholicism just so he can marry me because I told him I could only marry a Catholic. Well, that didn’t work out either. We simply won’t equally yoked.
Then, I met my husband, Akash. A Hindu boy from Penal whose mother is the Queen of Chutney music. Talk about Indian / Hindu heritage.
First of all, I never liked an Indian boy in my life. Secondly, I made so much fun of people from Penal when I was younger and didn’t know better. Nevertheless, there I was trying to avoid someone who I was clearly feeling an attraction towards just because he didn’t make the checklist, I created for myself and dare I say, those that were created for me as well.
But then I remembered after breaking up with the ‘good’ Catholic boy I was so in love with for the second or third time, I said a prayer which I didn’t know would change my life.
It basically went like this:- “God, I don’t want to hurt like this again, I can’t take this kind of heartache again, please send me someone that You want for me and open my eyes and heart to him so I will know that it was You who sent him, that I will be a blessing to him and he, a blessing to me.”
It took some time; I kissed a few frogs, but I finally found my prince. My prayer was answered, and God didn’t care about my checklist either. We dated for five years, he proposed on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima (he didn’t know it was a Feast Day) and got married in 2019 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in San Fernando. One year later, we were blessed with the most loving, easy going baby boy and have a home in Couva.
Over the years, I have seen God work in the heart of Akash. We’re compatible, share the same interests and we push each other and bring out the best in each other.
It’s not picture perfect but once Abba Father running the show “we go make it if we try”. And that’s marriage, it doesn’t just happen. Every day you try at it. Also, my in-laws love and treat me as their own, especially my mother-in-law even though I married her ‘eyeball’.
I told that educated young lady I mentioned before that a husband and wife who are both Catholic is great, but I have found that sometimes a Catholic wife like me, can be the one who introduces a non-Catholic spouse like my husband to Jesus and that can be great, too. She told me how much she appreciated what I shared with her and that I gave her a fresh perspective.
Now I’ve never preached or berated my husband about anything concerning religion. I am simply open with my faith, how I worship and how I place God before everything I do, and my husband has a front row seat of that every day.
There is a saying attributed to St Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times, use words if necessary.” Our Catholic people, if we all grasp that and let go of our false pride and false prestige, we would certainly win more hearts to Christ. This is my personal view.
Worship is not always a private thing, and you don’t always have to wait for when the house is empty to blast your worship songs and get lost and bold in the Spirit. I say do it when everybody is home, be open and unashamed and free with your worship, let them do as they see you do rather than they do what they only hear you say.