Be Not Afraid

More than five years ago, I began a special journey that would change the course of my life forever. Leading up to my college graduation, with the anticipation of receiving my BA in Interior Design, there were several conversations with my spiritual director and through prayerful discernment that ultimately led me to discover a very specific call from Christ to serve Him and His Bride, the Church, in a full-time role. Before that discovery, I remember writing several entries in my prayer journal about the weight of each option that laid before me, and how each would pan out not just for the immediate future, but even later on — 5, 10 years down the road — financially and career-wise. Begin my interior design or put that on hold? Complete a year of service in Catholic Campus Ministry? These were the big questions in my discernment. I was always the kind of person that would much rather have a clear idea of what the future would look like. But it was during that time when I realized that once I came to the conclusion to do ministry, the future would be entirely in the hands of God and I would just have to trust in His guidance every step of the way, no matter the drawbacks that may be involved.

With His grace and generosity I was able to find joy and delight in my obedience to God’s will, the decisions I made for love of Him. There was great certainty in His faithfulness. I wrote a few weeks before graduating, “amazing blessings will take place in my life in the coming weeks and months. I know the Father will indeed make beautiful things happen. I believe it.” The childlike faith that became my constant prayer all semester long bore fruit. Peace, joy, and complete confidence in God’s will was no longer so far-reaching for me. The fruit of my prayers were all made reach at the time that I needed them, and they are what led me further along my journey.

Fast forward five years later I can say with full confidence that these years post-college have been the best years of my life so far, and it’s entirely because I trusted in God’s providence and faithfulness. It wasn’t easy, it took lots of prayer. I may not be financially where I would like to be, nor am I at a place where I can get any design job I desire, but because I’ve seen how faithful the Lord has been in my life these past five years and well before then, I’m certain that He will continue to provide for every need I have, every need that my family has.

A week from tomorrow will be my last day working as a campus minister at Bishop Ireton. I recently accepted a position that would finally help jump start my interior design career path and I can’t even put into words how excited and nervous (in a good way) I am. Though I will deeply miss doing what I’ve done as a day job (and often times, a night job – let’s be real here haha), I look forward to learning and overcoming new challenges in the design world, and being able to provide more for my family – my domestic church.

One of the mottoes I meditated upon frequently throughout this journey was the first thing St. John Paul II said when he was elected pope and even throughout his papacy; it was his message to be not afraid. Especially in times of uncertainty and fear, Christ told me each time be not afraid. This cry of JP2 to bear in mind Christ’s words helped continue to drive my mission and to not hold on to fear or anxieties about the future, but to truly allow the Lord to work through and in my life each day at a time. I pray that I may continue to mediate on this as I make this career change as well.

Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ!

There is no place for selfishness–and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.

Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.

Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you.

Finally, here’s an electronic “toast” for these beautiful five years of full-time ministry at three different places… to all the funny outfits, silly games, meals cooked for Soul Food, amazing encounters with our Lord, core team meetings, pizza (SO MUCH PIZZA), Eucharistic Adorations and Masses, Certificate Trainings, being a minister of music with very little experience, service opportunities, praise and worship concerts, praise and worship concert practices, small groups, Alternative Spring Break trips, WorkCamps, WorkCamp preparation meetings, high school rallies, jr. high bashes, meeting Catholic “celebrities”,  Kairos and Camden Retreats, Papal events, novenas, coffee (LOTS of coffee), 7am meetings with Kairos leaders, school plays, sports games, daily office visits and on and on… here’s to all the seeds that have been planted and all that is to come.

I’m so grateful for all those who were a part of this particular journey, those who walked with me, prayed with and for me, challenged me and encouraged me, and taught and inspired me to love Christ more and more. And of course, I’m so forever grateful for all the young people I had the privilege of serving every single day. My life wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for all of you. Thank you. It may have been years since we last talked, or it may have only been weeks, but I still think of you fondly and pray for you. Again, thank you, and may Christ be your guide and light wherever you are in your life.

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