When the Security and Comfort of Defining Labels is Torn Away

Child, son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father, nurse, teacher, engineer, student.

As a young adult I have been transitioning through roles at lightning speed. I’m realizing it has actually been that way most of my life. This is something I’m sure we can all relate to. Take a moment to think about the labels and roles that have defined your life the past year or two. How do you cope with losing your “identity”?

It’s definitely painful transitioning especially when it catches you off guard. In the last two years I have been a nursing student, a secretary for a building campaign, a nurse in the hospital, a nanny, a religious discerner, and now a full time volunteer at a shelter for pregnant women who are homeless.

After the shock and pain of the first barrage of label stripping, I was spinning. I had lost my footing and my direction, I felt helpless. I can tell you my compass seems to still be quite broken or otherwise unreliable. At the center of my confusion there is an unchanging peace. A garden of refuge where Jesus waits patiently for me to throw my arms up in the air and run to Him, shedding the weight of my uncertainty and despair. This garden is where I am learning to trust in the Man with the plan. He holds me close and tells me to forget about my compass and take a good look at His.

I was told life is like a mountain, as you climb higher you can see more of what is around you. This is how He shows us our future. Tiny glimpses, enough to take the next step or two over that rock or ducking under that branch. One day as we get closer to the top the view will be wider. The beauty will take your breath away. Until then I need to be patient, focus on the next step, try to keep my feet firm on the path. Take my time in the gift that is now. The gift of the present.

What do you say? Take a walk with me and my Friend?

 

 

Thoughts on the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Saint Thomas Aquinas defines mercy as  “the compassion in our hearts for another person’s misery, a compassion which drives us to do what we can to help him.”

I recently watched a video on youtube on the Jubilee Year of Mercy done by Fr. Mike Schmitz. In this video he talks about the importance of being merciful to others and how we take steps to being merciful as our Heavenly Father is merciful. How we can become missionaries of mercy?

First, take other people seriously. Be present in their lives, put down your phone, put down whatever preoccupies your life. Just sit, just be, just listen.

Second, take other people’s pain personally. Share in their suffering, bring consolation and rest.

Third, do what you can, not what you can’t. I’ll explain this more later.

Now, all of you reading this are aware of your imperfections, spiritual, physical, ect. Your Heavenly Father loves you with your faults, He celebrates your struggle and your battle to overcome these faults. You know how you treat people. Could it be better? Are you striving to grow and become better?

If you died today and people who knew you spoke at your funeral, if they were being completely honest what would they say?

Oh, she went to church but she was so arrogant and rude, she didn’t understand being a Christian is about love.

Well, he was the nicest guy to my face but I know he judged me harshly, he didn’t forgive easily, didn’t he know God is infinitely merciful and forgives my offenses?

 

How are you perceived? Are you trying your best to model your life after Christ, the most perfect example that ever shared in your humanity? When people perceive you wrongly, do you go after them in anger thus making their perception valid? Or do you strive to do better to live holier and show them who you really are by your true example?

Often times we are so focused on ourselves that we don’t see the impact we have on others. When you give your life, your very being to God, look around, the results can be humbling. Saint Vincent de Paul said “When God is the center of your life, no words are necessary, your mere presence will touch hearts.”

What Kind of tool are you for God? Are you a tool that builds love in someone’s soul? Are you a tool that demolishes it? Are you a tool that paints hope for the future? Are you a tool that stripes their walls bare? Are you a tool that covers sin and hurt with God’s infinite mercy? Are you a tool that exposes flaws and hurts?

If you haven’t already, begin to be present and take people’s lives seriously. I can tell you their Heavenly Father does. Take their pain personally, how can you be an extension of the Lord’s love and mercy to heal their wounded hearts? Do what you can, not what you can’t, every little bit counts, the Lord will give you the strength you need. Think about ways you can help, check out the spiritual and corporal works of mercy for ideas.

What will people say about you when you are gone? Do you like what you hear? If not, you hold the power to change the story.

 

Finally I would like to say, you are doing a good job, if you believe it no one has the power to say otherwise. You are beautiful and perfect in your Father’s eyes, He loves you infinitely. He is proud of the work you are doing and knows what your future holds, trust Him.

 

 

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