I can’t tell you how many times a month, a week, or even in a single day I remark that my life is crazy. My life is also a beautiful love story written from God onto my heart. He sings mercy over me and calls me to Himself in more ways than I even recognize.
My journey to the faith is a story all its own, and perhaps someday it will get its very own blog post. My family and I attended church until I was about four or five years old. We didn’t go back until I was around 11 or 12 years old. The reasons for this gap are mostly unknown to me, I’m simply grateful that God called my family back to His Church.
I had gone to public school my whole life, so when my family threw me into religious education classes, I had a lot of questions. Okay, okay, they didn’t throw me into religious education classes, I basically begged my mom for weeks on end to sign me up. Unfortunately the church didn’t have any classes going for kids my age who hadn’t received their sacraments (confession, first communion) at age seven. I had to wait a full year before beginning classes. Classes finally began for me, but before I knew it, we had three family members die within three months of each other. I’ve never been one to believe in coincidences, so in my mind coming to the faith meant that people you loved died, period.
I went through Confirmation classes and received my first communion and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil sunrise service (read: I had to be to the church by 2:30am) in 2003. Even as I received those sacraments, my heart was incredibly hardened. I wouldn’t even utter God’s name because I was still so livid at Him.
I went to youth group exactly once during my freshman year in high school. I absolutely hated it. No one talked to me (I’m actually quite introverted, especially in large group settings when I don’t know anyone) and all I remember was watching SpongeBob Square Pants and talking about how much Jesus loved us. These people were weird, and to top it off, they had no idea the kind of pain and anger I was experiencing. It wasn’t until two years later when this sweet girl in my math class invited me to youth group that I finally went back. Her quiet joy intrigued me and from that night on (even though I walked in so skeptical) I was hooked. Not long after that I began going on retreats and had my first experience of Eucharistic Adoration. That first night I experienced Jesus in the Eucharist and adored Him, my life was forever changed. Every plan I’d had for my life (Type A much? Yes.) went out the window. My dreams of being a child psychologist were gone, and in their place I had a heart that was on fire to do whatever it is God called me to.
After I graduated high school I left for North Carolina, where I studied at Belmont Abbey College, majoring in Theology, and minoring in Psychology and Philosophy. Remember all those questions I had when I started religious education classes? It wasn’t until college that they were answered. I have a heart for learning theology and understanding the teachings of the Church. In some ways majoring in theology only left me with more questions, simply because majoring in it showed me how much there is to know, and how little I know. In other ways it left me with wonder, awe, and peace. Upon graduating from college I moved back to Colorado and became a youth minister. That original desire I had to work with young people was re-oriented by my reversion to the faith as God gave me a desire to share the faith with teens, to answer their questions, and guide them to His heart. I spent four years working as a youth minister before I took a job as the Director of Faith Formation at my home parish. After two and a half years working at my home parish, I resigned my position to stay at home and raise our daughter. Now I am a missionary spouse with FOCUS, alongside my husband, who serves as a full-time missionary.
I trust that He has brought me through everything in life so far and I know that He’s not going anywhere any time soon, unless He’s coming to get me. And I’m okay with that.