Tuesday, June 17, 2014
My Silly Fears vs Doing God's Will
Before you ask why this is a big deal, please refer back to my post about being apprehensive about taking a job and entering a field that was not fully immersed in the Church; a "secular" job. It was written right before I "bit the bullet" and decided (almost impulsively) to apply to Utah State's Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education program. I used to think that if I didn't have a job doing something related to Catholicism, I would be in danger of being pulled away. It was silly but I'd seen too many people fall away easily.
I spent the first 7 years of my reversion (late summer 2006 through autumn 2013) wanting to be completely immersed in Catholicism. I didn't really want to do anything else. However, I was stuck. That isn't to say that the Church and my Faith has kept my back; it was my own lack of trust of God and my own silly fears that kept me from moving forward. Then (with a lot of help from my spiritual director) I decided to let go and to trust God. "Okay, Lord, you want me to do this? I'll do it," has been my motto over the past couple of months... and especially over the last couple of weeks.
As I shared with y'all, I failed my first couple of exams when I started the COMD (that's the nickname we use) program last month. I over-studied for one class and I didn't study well enough for another. I wasn't the only one; those of us newbies who don't have a background in linguistics were (and still are) struggling. However, as much as it stung for this self-described academic nerd, I am still grateful because it only fueled the fire to do well. I could've easily said "well, I tried... this isn't for me" or "I should've stuck to Theology." I could've withdrawn from my courses right then and there since it was still early enough in the semester to do so... but I didn't. I didn't want to quit because I feel such a wonderful peace and happiness when I am doing my coursework. No matter how hard my courses may be (and they are hard; I didn't blog for weeks because of difficult exams/midterms I had to study for), I'm sure I'm doing what God wants me to do so I keep fighting.
The job offer came the week before my difficult Chemistry exam. For those who know me, y'all know that science (and math!) and I don't get along. At all. Those had been my biggest weak spots as a student from junior high until the end of my first Bachelor's degree. The thought "well, if I fail this thing spectacularly, it'll be a sign that maybe I'm not in the right field after all" popped up but I wasn't convinced. While it would have been a dream come true to get this job offer up until a few months ago, it doesn't feel right anymore. I still feel an immense love for the Church but having a job at a parish is not where I'm meant to be at the moment.
At the risk of sounded boastful (which I'm really not trying to do), I have never had to really work hard for desired grades. Everything came easy to me... but it took me these first 7 weeks in the COMD program to realize that it was all easy for me because I didn't have to push myself. I was coasting; I did things that didn't really challenge me in any way out of fear. The same could've been said for my spiritual life. I lived in fear (which produced anxiety) and that was what kept me in my "comfort zone"; it kept me from moving forward.
Having to let go of my silly fears and learning to have complete trust in God (even when I'm not sure of what He has in store for me) hasn't been easy. I know I've said this a lot over the last couple of weeks but it's still very true. Part of what I had to let go of was my fear of not having a job that was connected to Catholicism in any obvious way. "Okay, Lord... you want me to do this? I'll do it."
While I was studying Chemistry last week (and Anatomy... and Speech Communications in previous weeks), I came to realize just how amazing God is in ways I never really considered. Instead of being grossed out in anatomy (yeah, I don't do blood and guts too well), I've been able to see how amazing the human body really is. Instead of just learning how to help children speak, I've seen how incredible babies are and how they begin their understanding of language from the moment they're born (or even while still in the womb, according to some scientists). Instead of just learning what formulas were needed for conversion, I was able to see how even the smallest atom has an important role in His creation. Who said Catholicism and science can't be friends? ;)
So, yes, I did turn down a job that would have me in a happy, comfortable place... but it's because I don't believe it's what God wants for me. (side note: before you ask me, no, I can't do both right now. The program I'm in is too intense and requires most of my time.) I'm no longer going for comfort due to fears or my selfish wants. I'm doing what God wants from me, even if that means I'll get challenged in ways I never imagined. For me, that currently means enduring an intense program so that I can help others. If God gave me the gift of patience (which seems nonexistent when I drive sometimes, lol), the ability to hold babies and little children's attentions (baby magnet *points to self*), and a great desire to and love of helping others, I think I'm entering the right field. A rose from St. Therese of Lisieux on her feast day, an acceptance letter to the COMD program on St. Teresa of Avila's feast day, and an overwhelming sense of peace can't be wrong. ;)
So, final score (sorry, World Cup on my mind): Emmy's silly fears: 0 and Doing God's will: 1... just as it should always be. :D
Alright, I need to go finish cleaning up my desk before I study for one of my COMD courses. :)
I hope y'all have been well. Keep sending me those prayer requests; I've gotten to them all thus far. ;)
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D