Getting to Know Our Missionaries Better...
God has a plan for each of our lives, but He has also given us all the free will to choose the path we follow. Now sometimes His plan seems to just line up perfectly. You could fall in love with someone, discern the relationship, and get married. And those times are great, because when you feel in sync with God, nothing seems to be able to stop you. However, not every case flows so smoothly. Sometimes we hear God’s call to something radically different than what we had planned for our own lives, and that is where trust comes into play.
To give an example of this, I’ll use my own journey. When I first went off to college at the University of Florida (Go Gators), I started off studying Chemistry, on a pre-pharmacy track. In high school I had always enjoyed my advanced science and math courses, and figured that must be what I’m supposed to do. Turns out I hated it. The more I studied it, the less I wanted to do it. I simply felt obligated to because that is what I knew, and anything less just felt like I wouldn’t be living up to my potential.
I took this turmoil into prayer, and was met with even more of a call away from it. I didn’t understand; God had gifted me with a mind that grasped complex math and science with relative ease, but I kept hearing Him say that isn’t where He wanted me. With much reluctance, I began trying to discern where else He could be calling me, and started exploring in school and in work.
In my discernment, I discovered a love for speaking and writing. Mind you, I still took a job teaching math, but I knew that God wanted me to use these gifts for something. I started taking up leadership roles in campus ministry, and giving talks regularly. I looked forward to going out onto campus to go evangelize in the breezeway. I was excited when I got to talk to people, and even more so when it was about the faith. Looking back now, all of this makes sense as to how I’m called to serve as a missionary, but at the time I viewed it as just a fun thing to do.
This leads me to my main point. Evaluate what it is in your life that gives you joy. Stop reading this for a minute and just reflect upon the things you enjoy and are most free in doing. Got that in mind? Now evaluate what you are doing regularly in your life. If the two coincide with each other, then right there you are on track with God’s will! If not, think about why that’s the case. I know when I gave up my comfortable job teaching math to become a missionary I struggled a good bit. I was going from making a nice living, to trusting all my financial needs in God’s graces. More than halfway through my first year, I can now say that every obstacle that has been placed before me has simply been removed by God. He’ll use the generosity of others to help me through.
Trusting in God’s will is not easy. Sometimes we’ll go through loss of a loved one, or have to deal with an illness or injury that is out of our control. Sometimes he’ll call us to move across the country to serve in ministry. And sometimes His call is what we are already following. All of these cases though rely upon our trust that He desires for us what is best, and that we embrace His plan with joyful hearts.
“Those who know your name trust in you; you never forsake those who seek you, Lord.”
Star of the Sea's missionary interns
Young adults from around the country come together to live and serve the Lord at this beautiful Catholic parish in the Pacific Northwest.