Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life is Very Good... (Ask Me Why)

(I do not own this)
In a recent trip down memory lane, I recalled a day in 10th grade when our teacher introduced us to a brief version of the Myers-Briggs Personality test.

One question in particular stood out to me: Do you prefer to travel the world or stay close to home? Internally, I immediately replied, “Travel the world, duh!” But then I began to consider how worn out I got when I spent the whole day out of the house, or how anxious I would be entering an unfamiliar place without my parents or sisters as allies. “But I don’t want to be a homebody!” I cried out in my mind.

As a fifteen year-old young woman, I was restless and unsatisfied with my suburban reality. I truly believed that my life would be a dreadful waste if I didn’t get out and go! I firmly resolved to travel extensively and accomplish A LOT. I wanted to be one of the “key terms and people” in the index of a history or science textbook, because that was the only surefire way I knew I would have done something worthwhile with my life. This desire was prideful, and it was mostly born of profound insecurity and empty intrinsic self-worth.

Six years later, my life is exciting and fulfilling everyday; I travel to exciting places regularly, and I am blessed to have many wonderful close friends. I graduated on time from a well-respected university, where I established a great reputation as a Psychology research assistant. Plus, I’m employed, and am finally moving to Boston after 10 years of dreaming about living there. Life is Very Good!

Life is Very Good, but contrary to what I believed in high school, nothing that I just listed is what makes my daily life fulfilling or satisfying. At 15 I was under the impression that doing a lot is what would give my life meaning. I woke up each morning and labored to earn my place on the planet. I had a pleasant life, but I lived in fear that taking time to rest would invalidate me. I wanted to be the best at something -- at everything -- not for bragging rights, but so I could be sure that I wasn’t wasting everyone’s time or space. I ran and ran and ran until I could run no more, and I was forced to rest.

Photo credit: Pat Dunford
In a state of fitful exhaustion, I encountered Jesus Christ in His Church. This encounter was a crossroad: I could keep living as I had been, or I could embrace the reality of God with all of my heart. When I found rest in the Lord, I finally saw how my life is His amazing gift to me. My worth was a permanent gift that had already been freely given. God created me; I am His daughter, and as His daughter I can neither earn nor lose the worth with which He created me. God let me empty myself out for 20 years so that one day I would open my heart and let His Grace fill me entirely.

FOCUS Team Harvard 2014-2015
Beginning August 20th, I will be serving as a campus missionary at Harvard University with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). My mission is to grow in my relationship with Christ, make myself radically available to the students at Harvard, and walk with them as they grow closer to Christ. I will meet them wherever they are, just as He met me where I was, and invite them to make God the center of their life.

I am not alone in this mission; I have many mission partners who support me spiritually and financially in my efforts the help fulfill Christ’s Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). As part of my missionary endeavors, I will write updates and reflections every week and post them here.

I can’t wait to enter into mission with you!