Sometimes God puts prayers in my heart to say in very particular ways.
Before my family and I made a very big move out of state, away from all of our family, I kept praying that God would help us on our journey. In those words, always using the word journey. That became a prayer that I prayed for months before, during and even after our move. Amazingly, when I went to the first retreat at the new school I was working at, we were told that our theme for that year would be The Journey and that we were all on the Journey together. Of course, I realized immediately that this was no coincidence. This was God letting me know that indeed, this was the Journey He wanted me to be on.
Something very similar just recently happened. For about a year now I have been praying that God show me what He wants me to do vocation wise. I just haven’t felt very passionate or motivated by what I am currently doing in my job and I just felt like there had to be more or something else that I was supposed to be doing. I just didn’t have any idea of what that was! Within the past few weeks, as I have been praying about it, I have felt God telling me to stop worrying so much about what’s next. He showed me that this is something I have been doing for a long time. Always searching for “what’s next”. I felt God telling me that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I am where I am. He has told me that the important thing is what I am supposed to be doing where I am. And that is that I need to be Christ to others. Through my actions, words, thoughts and deeds He wants me to show others who He is. He wants me to love with a Christ-like love so that others will see Him through me. That message suddenly became very clear to me, almost like an epiphany. And I embraced it immediately. I began praying about this, asking God to help me, through my words, actions, thoughts and deeds, to show others who He is. And not to be afraid.
Yesterday, at now my fifth retreat at my school, I was reaffirmed of my prayer, once again. I know this, because the priest’s homily was (and these were his words) how our words and actions show others who God is. He repeated “our words and actions” quite a few times…the same words I have been using lately in my prayer. The moment he said it, I knew that what I had been feeling in my heart was truly God’s message to me.
And thinking about it, isn’t that His message to everyone? We are all so busy searching for “what’s next” that we fail to do the most important thing we are called to do right where we are. And that is to love. To love all of those around us, all of the time. At first, when I heard this message from God, all I could think was how simple that is. Really? That’s it? That’s my purpose? But right after that retreat, when I felt empowered and gung- ho about starting this mission from God, I learned that to love with a Christlike love was not going to be a simple task. I had received an unkind email shortly after the retreat that immediately made my blood boil and I couldn’t wait to email something equally as unkind back. However, God, in His grace, whispered to me, “Love”. I did calm down after a few hours and did not respond to the email until the next day, when I had a chance to let God help me with this and I could respond in a loving manner. At that moment, I realized that this would not be an easy task, but it was a mission, a calling, that I knew God had given me and I am determined to carry it out.
I hope that all of us can, at some point, hear that very same calling from God. I believe it is what we are called to do, wherever we are. Because the important thing is not where we are. It’s what we are doing while we are there.