Currently I am a senior, in my 6th year of college, and planning to graduate with my degree in Communication Studies in May. It feels great to finally be near the end of the finish line and being able to see the end of the tunnel called COLLEGE.
Typically around this time many questions pop up for seniors: What are your career goals? What are you going to do with your life? Where will you go? Are you moving home?
And I had a plan… until it kind of crumbled.
I applied for an organization called the Fellowship of Catholic University Students in August of 2016. I had discerned and prayed over this decision and felt it was right decision. I thought God was calling me into missionary work where I evangelized and developed great relationship with college students across the country. I thought He was calling me to invite students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ in order to fulfill the Great Commission. I was called to do a pre-interview, then eventually invited to go to an interview with FOCUS while I attended SEEK2017 (FOCUS’s biannual conference) in San Antonio, TX.
I thought it was going great until I got the call after waiting about 3 weeks to hear about the outcome.
I was in the middle of showering when the call came. I rushed out of the shower, threw on my bathrobe, and answered the phone. My heart was practically beating out of my chest. Anxiety had overcome me because I wasn’t prepared to hear an answer I didn’t want. The conversation went on… and eventually I heard the other voice on the phone say,
“Unfortunately FOCUS isn’t able to offer you a position this year to become a missionary.”
And my heart dropped.
A thousand thoughts rushed through my head. What was I going to do with my life once I graduated? Where was God calling me? Am I suppose to do missionary work or am I suppose to work in a secular job? Was I even discerning properly in the first place?
The problem in all of this was that my focus wasn’t in the right place. I was so concerned about myself that I completely forgot about the Lord and trusting in Him and in His plan. I had desired more of what I wanted rather than what He wanted.
For me, FOCUS was the end all, be all. I idolized myself being a missionary and never considered the He would call me to a different path. I was so set on this one path that I never bothered to look up and check to see if Christ was extending His hand out to me and wanting me to walk somewhere else.
When I found out, I was heartbroken. But in the days passing, I have found peace in knowing that this is God’s will for me. The peace I experience wouldn’t have been discovered without prayer because prayer is KEY! We have to take the time to sit down with Jesus and be able to converse with him. The Lord is gracing me with the courage to walk in the footsteps of Christ and to be able to discover that ultimately life is not about living for myself. My life is for living for others and that I must humble myself enough to trust God’s will. Without prayer I would have never discovered that.
I don’t know exactly yet what the Lord is wanting me to do… but I do know that I am called to greatness. You are called to greatness. We are to rise above the norm of society and become great saints. We care called to give our hearts completely to Christ and to be an authentic witness to Jesus Christ to the world. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (who is a Catholic, saintly stud, by the way) said, “When God is with us, there is no need to be afraid!”
Sometimes we believe the lie that it takes so much effort to become like one of the great saints and to be united completely with God. But it doesn’t! In choosing God in the small moments of our lives, we are conforming to His will. Saying yes to getting out of bed the first time your alarm goes off. Saying yes to having to deal with someone who you find annoying. Saying yes to folding your laundry when it comes out of the dryer instead of waiting a week to do it. Those are the small moments God is calling us to say yes.
Inspired deeply by my homeboy St. John Paul II, I leave you with this quote to think about:
“The more ready you are to give yourselves to God and to others, the more you will discover the authentic meaning of life.”
Jesus, no matter what happens… I trust in You.