By Debbie Shelley

The Catholic Commentator  

“Confirmation is one of the biggest cliffs you can jump off of into the arms of God,” said Kyle Trantham, whose faith journey brought him from being agnostic to being sealed by the Holy Spirit and becoming a disciple of Christ on April 5 at St. John the Baptist Church in Zachary. 

Tratham grew up in a home that was “religious” but in name only. His dad was raised Methodist and his mother was non-denominational, but they didn’t practice their faith. Trantham had a difficult family life, and over time, he became agnostic.

“Most of my problems with the existence with God were emotional, especially since I was younger,” said Trantham. 

He struggled with questions about why bad things happen to good people, why God had allowed certain things to happen in his life, what happens to people when they die and they didn’t know God. 

“I also didn’t know about salvation,” said Trantham. 

While he knew many Christians, he couldn’t see Christ in them. 

Things started to change when a friend invited him to a nearby Baptist church. 

“I met their youth pastor and a few people who loved God and they answered my questions,” said Trantham. 

“All I knew about Christians is what I saw in my family. I didn’t know exactly who Jesus was. But I realized that there was more to the story than Jesus was a crazy man who claimed to die for our sins, which he (really) did, but that ‘Gospel’ is Greek for ‘good news.’ So the good news of the Gospel is that Jesus is God who came down to die for man and save him from his sins. 

“The fact that God wanted to be part of my life was a big deal. Once I found out that God wanted me to be a part of his life, I wanted to be a part of his life as well,” said Trantham. 

He entered Christianity through the Baptist faith. 

“Once I became Christian I ran with my faith,” said Trantham. “My faith wasn’t handed to me, I just grabbed it. I earned my faith. I pretty much immersed myself in the Bible and wanted to know more about who Jesus and God was.” 

He enjoyed the apologetics and theology lessons and Bible drills in Sunday school. He volunteered in church and joined the youth leadership team. 

“For me, I could see the sunrise in the morning and know that was God,” said Trantham in talking about his budding relationship with God, which he knew he could not keep to himself. 

“The Bible said that when (St.) Paul became a Christian, necessity was placed on him to preach the Gospel to all people. That’s what it was like for me,” said Trantham. 

When he started having struggles in his life, he met his dad’s friend, “Melissa.” 

“At this time I was praying and trying to hold on to my relationship I had with God and I prayed for God to send me a family,” said Trantham. 

That’s when he repeatedly dreamed that he wrote down his life and faith journey story and gave it to Melissa and they had a conversation. It was an instructional “this is what I want you to do” type of dream.

“It scared me at first. I went to a good friend, who was Catholic. She immediately told me I needed to do it, because it was something that came from God,” said Trantham. 

He did so and Melissa told him that she had the same type of dream. 

“She was also Catholic, so that peaked my interest,” said Trantham. “So I launched a full investigation into the Catholic faith.

“Being a (certain type of) Protestant, I thought Catholics were Christian, but barely. But it was amazing to see God working in my life through Catholics and I wanted to know why. And I wanted to know why when I had all these questions, he provided me with a Catholic person.” 

He added, “I tried to remain as unbiased as I could, because in my mind, where God went, I wanted to go, where he stayed, I wanted to stay.” 

But he conceded, “I believed what I believed was right, which means that I believed that Catholics were wrong.” 

Tratham’s investigation left him without arguments. 

In all his arguments God and history came through on the Catholic side every time, he said. 

“It was pretty easy to see where God wanted me to go,” said Trantham. 

He also emailed back and forth with a LSU faculty member who had been a professor at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. When he emailed questions to Protestant leaders, they eventually stopped emailing or became “busy.” 

He also had a big hurdle to overcome with the Blessed Mother. 

“I’m actually getting consecrated to Mary soon and that is awesome. But I struggled with Mary the same way I struggled with the idea of God. It was hard for me to accept that there was a mother who loved me and wanted me to know her son when there was so much I went through in my life. I not only had trouble accepting it, I was angry,” said Trantham. 

Once again, through dreams that connected him with Catholics, he found a mother’s embrace. 

Then there was the issue of the Eucharist. But Tratham discovered in his research that the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist was not disputed by the early church. 

Tratham said Christ did not speak metaphorically when he told people they must “eat his flesh and drink his blood” and spoke many times about being the “bread from heaven.” 

“Melissa said, ‘How many times does Jesus have to say something for it to be true?’ ” mused Trantham.

He said, “Once I started believing in the Eucharist, I not only wanted to be Catholic, but I had a secret jealousy of it.”

Tratham was confirmed and received his first Communion on the same day.

When he was confirmed he said he “wasn’t hit by a beam of light that made him fall to the floor” or start speaking in tongues. When he received the Eucharist, “the bread tasted like bread” and the “wine tasted like wine.” 

But most importantly, his desire to follow God and his sense that he is doing what his father called him to do increased.

“God is not here to call attention to the fact that he’s present. Like any real good father, he does not put on a facade. It’s in the small things a father does that show his love,” said Trantham. 

He wants to use his life to spread the Gospel, love God and seek his will. He said he has compassion and can help people because he’s “been there and done that.” 

“God has taken a mess to use as a messenger,” said Trantham. “And this is his message for everyone to see: Don’t follow Kyle, come follow me.”