For the past couple months I have been experiencing quite a bit of spiritual desolation. Slowly but surely my prayer life and fire for my faith started to dwindle. These past few weeks have been especially hard for me, because I realized that I'd neglected my faith since graduating High School. Not because I was too busy, (even though my summer schedule has been jam packed with work, soccer, conditioning, and spending time with my family & friends before I leave for college) but because I fell into a trap that I think most young people do the summer before their freshman year of college. . . I decided that I wanted to have fun, more than I wanted to carry out the duties of a disciple of Christ.
What I didn't realize is that centering your life around your faith does not mean you can't have any fun. Although making Jesus the center of your life does come with great deal of responsibility, it also comes with great adventure.
Long story short- I tried to ignore God, which didn't work out, because God refused to ignore me. Mark Hart once said "The good Shepard is faster than you. He will never stop chasing you." I think that quote describes my relationship with God this summer lol.
Last weekend I sat in bed all day--I had a procedure done to my foot the day prior, so I had to rest up for a few days and recover. I was having a pretty lazy day just watching Rom Coms and eating ice cream. . . Until I got a billion texts from my friends who were at my diocese's annual Catholic Youth Conference. These weren't just any texts no no no.... I was sent several pictures of my friends with my favorite traveling speaker and worship leader of all time. . . Jackie Francois Angel. Now you have to understand. . . I am a Jackie Francois Angel super fan girl. I found out about her a year and a half ago, when my youth minister posted a podcast of her and her husband speaking at a conference (S/O to Gabe), ever since then I've been Team Jackie all the way.
Not going to lie, I was quite jealous of all my friends who got to hang out, take selfies, and watch Jackie speak in the flesh, while I was stuck at home in bed with an injured foot. However, my day was made when one of the volunteers at my parish, who was eating lunch with Jackie, texted me and was like "hey so can you talk on the phone right now? Jackie said she'd talk with you!" and I responded back with, "YES. OF COURSE" So later on after Jackie finished eating, she called me. I gushed to her about how big of a fan I was and how much a loved her, and she laughed and said thanks lol. I thought our conversation would just be a few minutes, because I figured she would just say hi and then hand the phone back. . . but I was pleasantly surprised when she asked me about where I'm going to college and what career I was interested in. I happily told her that I wanted to pursue a career in youth ministry and, God willing, become a traveling speaker just like her. She offered me some great advice and encouraging words that I'll hold onto as I pursue my dream. We then talked about blogs (Although I failed to mention that I have one because I got caught up in telling her how much I admired her and her husband's blog), and lifeteen, and mission work, and other random things until she had to go take a nap. After I finished talking to Jackie, I may have hyperventilated and sobbed for a bit. . . I mean what else is a girl suppose to do after talking on the phone for 10 minutes with her hero?
After I calmed down a bit I prayed, and thanked God for the opportunity to talk with Jackie. At some point during prayer I started to think about my future, and it dawned on me that the path I was currently on would not get me to my goal. Even though I wasn't out being rebellious and committing serious sin, my life was not centered around Jesus.
When we center our lives around things that are not Jesus, we open ourselves up to sin. Once we open the door to sin, we can end up on a path that will not lead us to where God wills for us to be. I realized that if I was serious about pursuing a career in youth ministry, I needed to start taking on the responsibilities of a disciple.
I sat there for a while, and asked myself what would Jackie do if she found herself in my situation, and decided that I needed to schedule in some time with Jesus in Confession.
|The Jackie Francois Angel|
"Sin is a demon lurking at the door. His urge is toward you, yet you can be his master."
Here is the link to Jackie and her husband Bobby's blog: http://jackieandbobby.com/
The volunteer who helped me connect with Jackie, blogged about his experience meeting Jackie Bobby. Check it out! http://en-fuego.blogspot.com/2014/07/meeting-two-angels.html