Saturday, February 6, 2016

My Gifts from God?

This morning started out like any other morning on which I have errands to run. I tapped the "snooze" button on my iPod touch twice. "Oh, I can get ready in under 10 minutes," I reasoned. (side note: one of my guy friends can attest to this -- I made him keep track the last time we hung out just so I can say "yeah, well, Jose can tell you it's true." lol.) I got ready, grabbed reusable grocery bags (because they charge for plastic AND paper bags in CA), and headed out the door. I got into the van (I have access to a transportation service that allows me to reserve a ride where I need to go a day ahead of time) and I heard someone talking about prayer on the radio. "Hmm... talk radio? Christian radio?"

Drivers having Christian radio stations during the rides isn't new for me. It's usually the Hispanic drivers and it's usually a branch of Protestant Christianity. I kept listening to the listener talking about the Pledge of Allegiance being a form of prayer. Then the host of the program started talking. "Wait... I know that voice..." I said to myself. "Is that Patrick Madrid?" I asked the driver. Surprised by my question, he said it was. That sprung a conversation that made me think a lot about my faith and my role in the Church.

I told the driver that I was a Catholic blogger and he became excited. Seriously, stoked. He said that it was great that I shared my gift with others, especially other youth. It became clear that he thought I was much younger than I actually am. I get this a lot, especially when I don't wear makeup (which is about 98% of the time). He told me that he used to be a confirmation teacher before he began driving for the company. He shared how difficult it was to teach confirmation because a lot of young people are apathetic to the faith. Not only do they feel forced to be there, their parents are just as bad. "I'm glad there are people like you who are sharing your faith," he said to me. "We need more young people to help evangelize youth." That reminded me why I felt a great pull towards doing youth ministry.

Long story short, over the last couple of years I've had a lot of younger (teens into early 20s) Catholics spring up conversations with me over a myriad of topics. I've also had random adults open up to me but it's mostly youth who do this, both in person and online. I guess they just see me and they go "hmm, maybe she'll understand." Maybe it's because I look so young or maybe there's something about that I don't see but makes other people feel comfortable divulging big things they want to talk about. Either way, I've felt like the Holy Spirit has used me to help (to the best of my abilities) these young people... which sent me down this path of wanting to work with youth.

I thought about this -- about how this weekend I'm getting introduced to the kids at my parish and how I will have to overcome a fear (getting home a bit late on a Sunday night; I live in a shady neighborhood) to go to these meetings. I thought about all the young Catholics who've felt safe enough to open up to me over the years. Though I don't feel particularly wise, I always ask the Holy Spirit to help me figure out what to say to them. I thought about how many private messages I've gotten about certain blog posts, filled with gratitude about opening up about certain topics. I've never really seen writing as my gift (I didn't become an English major for a reason, lol) nor have I considered youth opening up to me as a gift... but maybe I should. Not in the "oh, I'm so great. Boom! Look what I can do!" way but more "wow, okay, God gave this to me to share with others; to bring others closer to Him."

I, of course, can't do it by myself. The Holy Spirit needs to help guide me because I feel clueless more than half the time. lol. The internal monologue goes something like this: "What am I doing? Are You sure I'm not seriously underqualified? I feel underqualified. Alright... if it's what You want..."

Alright, God... You have my attention. You got my attention through a fellow Catholic who was listening to Patrick before I even stepped inside the van. He said things that both humbled me in the best way (which I'm keeping to myself) and lit the fire within me. As my beloved Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati used to say, "Verso l'alto!"

Anyway, I just wanted to share these thoughts that have been bouncing around in my mind since this morning. I have to go get lunch started since mom will be home soon.

I hope y'all are having a great weekend thus far! :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


AnneMarie said...

What a cool story about the driver!!!! I think it's so funny that you just wrote about this whole topic of the Holy Spirit bringing people to you (through online or in-person interactions)-I literally just thought/blogged about this exact topic the other week, because God and I recently had a talk about this! I think so many times, we have gifts that we may not even realize. Maybe a rambly story or experience that we had which we tell a teen may have a huge impact/connection with them, even something as small as smiling and asking someone how he or she is doing can be a huge gift. Like you said, we don't know what we're doing, and we can't do it by ourselves. But, if we just let the Holy Spirit completely guide us, God will be able to use us in the best possible way-even if what we're prompted to say or do makes absolutely no sense to us sometimes!

Emmy Cecilia said...

*whispers* Totally checked out your blog lately. It's so wonderful to see how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. Sometimes we're led where we need to go, without knowing why or how.

side note: I think we have mutual friends on Facebook, if you're the same AnneMarie that has come up on my suggestions. ;)

AnneMarie said...

*whispers back* yes! I love how the Holy Spirit works. I especially think it's cool when we're given the gift of-down the road-getting to see how things fit together in the massive puzzle of God's plan :)

AH! That's so cool!!!! I wouldn't be surprised if we have mutual friends (it is a small Catholic world, after all!)-one of my college friends, Molly, works for some pro-life Catholic group/office in L.A., so maybe you know her. I have other friends who live in California, too-actually, tons of people who attended college with me (at Franciscan U) are from various parts of California, it's kind of insane.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Actually, no one in CA. Julie Baldwin. I consider her one of my besties.

AnneMarie said...

Oh, gotcha-cool! That's pretty great. I have to confess, I haven't met her in person ever, but she's my editor (for Ignitum Today). Very cool-I love how God just connects everybody!

Emmy Cecilia said...

She's great. The Catholic world is teeny tiny though. I'm sure we have other people in common as well.