I fear nothing for God is with me.–St. Joan of Arc
Strength. A word that can be used a variety of contexts. Strength of body, strength of mind and intellect, strength of character, strength of heart…
I’ve felt a significant call to be strong these past few months. On my 20th birthday this past September, as I turned the page on my teenage years, I decided that my goal for this new part of my life was to become stronger. I wanted to grow in strength. Physically, mentally, emotionally, but especially spiritually. At the time, I wasn’t sure why I felt so certain I needed to work on growing stronger. I just felt like that was the thing I should focus on. It’s clear now, however, that God was preparing me for the challenges that were ahead.
I want to be strong in my faith. I want to be strong in my beliefs. In essence, I want to be strong enough to let go of my fears. I want to be strong enough to trust in God.
Trust. Seems like a simple concept but unfortunately, it is so easy to hold on to insecurities and fears. It is so easy to turn inward when things don’t go according to your plan. It’s hard not to succumb to self-pity just because you think your life should be different.
Having enough strength to trust in God means letting go. As an imperfect human, I, like others, feel the need to control every aspect of my life. I thought I had my whole life planned out. I thought I had an idea of where I was headed.
Especially in light of the events of recent weeks, I have tried to focus on being strong. When plans change, when you are suddenly forced to alter your life significantly, it is difficult to accept. But part of being strong means trusting that God knows better than I do.
As my time at St. Gregory’s University comes to an end, I am overwhelmed by the strength exhibited by my fellow students and faculty. It is not always easy to accept God’s will yet in the light of this sudden upheaval they are remaining strong. In a time where it would be so easy to assign blame and succumb to weakness, they are trusting in God. The strength of those around me is breathtaking and I am so grateful I am able to witness it.
The Lord is my strength and my shield,
in whom my heart trusts.
I am helped so my heart rejoices;
with my song I praise him. —Psalm 28:7
P.S. We are still accepting donations to this GoFundMe. The money will be given directly to faculty and staff of St. Gregory’s University to help them as they look toward Christmas.