Keeping Easter Joy in a Good Friday World

By Anthony Berry

Over the past few years, Easter has slowly become my favorite holiday. It usually comes at a wonderful time of year filled with graduations, weddings, first communions, confirmations, baseball, March Madness and so on. The Easter season is a time of year that is filled with so much life and energy. This Easter, I had the chance to go to a Sunday service at the Washington National Cathedral, and the sermon was one of the best that I have heard in a long time. It reminded me of why Easter truly matters in the first place and how as Christians we are called to live with the joy of Easter every single day. It can be hard to maintain the joy of Easter when most of the time the world feels more like Good Friday. One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned in my short life thus far is that life can be hard. Existentially, we see constant images of war and violence, dishonest politicians, horrible natural disasters, and so on. Interiorly, there is loneliness, depression, stress and being misunderstood. Between work, school, family, friends, relationships, trials, heartbreak, disappointment, and every other obstacle of life, our soul cries out for rest. During the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King had an interaction with an elderly African American religious sister named Mother Pollard who lived in Montgomery, AL during the famous bus boycott against segregation in the 1950s. During the entirety of the protests Mother Pollard walked to and from her destinations unfailingly. When asked if she was tired of walking to sustain the boycott, she famously replied: “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.” Life will get the better of us on many occasions. It will wear us down to the point that we may not want to go on. However, the Good News of Easter and of Jesus’ gospel is that our souls are able to find rest.

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are an Easter people and hallelujah is our song!” – Pope John Paul II

While Christ does not tell us that he’ll completely take away those problems right now, he leaves us with the Holy Spirit to make sure that we can find rest in Him. Easter cannot be just a nice idea with no reality behind it. Either Christ actually rose from the dead, or it really is April Fool’s Day as the date this year would fittingly suggest. If Christ did not really rise, then Easter is nothing more than just a holiday to play dress-up, wear fun pastels, and have brunch. But if He truly rose, as we believe He did, that changes everything. Christ promised that those who believe in Him would have everlasting life, not just far off in the future, but right now. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you by virtue of your baptism and confirmation.
At the heart of the Christian mission is defiance. We are called to be defiant against a world that can be cold, heartless, and violent. In the face of turbulent times, we must be reminded that our Savior lives. In John 10:10, Jesus reminds us that: “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” When God made the world, He said that it was good, and He has no intention of abandoning it. God wants to lead the world out of its current darkness, but we have to allow Him. If you’ve ever been to Easter Vigil Mass at a large basilica or cathedral, one of the most moving parts of the liturgy is when all the lights are turned off and a fire is lit outside of the church. From that fire, the celebrant will light the Paschal candle and process through the church. As the procession moves toward the altar, the candles of each congregant are lit from the first flame of the Paschal candle, and the church goes from complete darkness to being beautifully illuminated by hundreds of candles. This has always been one of my favorite representations of how Christians are called to live. We must bring light to a world that too often is filled with darkness. Most of us will not go on to be the next Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King, Jr., but each of us is called to holiness through our baptismal promises. We must allow the love of Christ to flow through us and into the world in simple but radical ways. That will look different for each one of us. It could mean sending a handwritten note to one of your professors at the end of the semester. It could mean inviting that one friend to Tuesday night Mass and Meal. It could mean deciding to sacrifice going out for lunch a few days to donate to a charity that you really care about. It could mean asking one of your friends or coworkers if there is something that you can pray for them for. As you strive to maintain the joy of this Easter season, remember the words of St. Paul in the letter to the Philippians:

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8

Our actions and deeds are a reflection of what we truly value. Live your life in a way that glorifies God and brings those around you closer to him, in whatever way that looks like for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to know how to do it. If you do that, the joy of the risen Lord will be with you, regardless of what life throws your way.

Living the Faith in College

By: Olivia Orfanello

Coming to UA, my faith life was what I’d describe as lukewarm. I came from a small town in southern Alabama, where I didn’t know many catholic people my own age. I never got the chance to have the deep spiritual connection with other Catholic teens that I never knew I craved.
When I got here, in the beginning, every single person that I met was Catholic. Every. Single. One. My first thought was, “This is a sign from God!” I’m pretty sure I was right because every Catholic person that I have met is not afraid to talk freely about their faith and the things that they personally struggle with, which in turn makes me feel more comfortable to share my own thoughts, experiences, and struggles.
Eventually the time came when I began forming other relationships with people who weren’t catholic/religious, and the difference in those friendships was like night and day. I couldn’t relate to those people in all the ways that my heart wanted to. As I began to spend more time with them, I noticed that I began putting my relationship with Christ on the backburner. Dust started collecting on my bible, and my bible study hadn’t seen me in weeks. I was so unhappy. It took some time and some breakdowns for me to realize why I was so unhappy. It was then that I realized, how can I expect to stay on fire for the Lord if I don’t surround myself with people who are trying to do the same? Well, I can’t.
As time progressed, I got more involved in my faith and I began to realize how much happier I was becoming as I surrounded myself with people who were also running toward Christ. It’s not that other friendships aren’t important, because they are. However, it is important to know the difference and prioritize the virtuous friendships that we have because those are the people that we are going to watch and imitate in our run towards Christ. Let your faith root your life and let your friendships blossom from it.

Olivia Orfanello

Sunday Gospel Reflection 4/8/2017 Divine Mercy Sunday

By: Zack Maher

The Gospel of John is easily my favorite Gospel because it is deeply reflective and has a message of Catholic mission. In the first part of the reading, Jesus appears to the Apostles in a time of great fear for them. They are running from the Jews, running from persecution, and locking themselves in the upper room. This is when Jesus appears to them. He is easing their fears when He says, “peace be with you” (John 20:21). How often do we find ourselves in a similar scenario? How often do we run away out of fear, whether literally or into figuratively into our own minds? This isn’t the life Jesus wants of us. He reveals his true intentions for our lives in the next part of verse 21, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Jesus doesn’t want us running from fear, He wants us to run toward it. Jesus wants us to attack the workings of the Devil with the grace and love that He bestows upon us because that is what He did, and we are called to imitate Christ. However, while we can learn much from this call, it is the Apostles that Christ is primarily talking to. What follows in verses 22 and 23 is the establishment of the Sacrament of Reconciliation: “Receive the Holy spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Taken as a whole, verses 21-23 present Jesus’ call of the Apostles to go forth and imitate Him, living as He was called by God to live, allowing the Apostles to forgive sins through the power of the Holy spirit, in addition to all else He can do because He does so through the power of the Holy spirit. That’s a lot, so I’ll sum it up this way: in verses 21-23, Jesus Christ gives all of us the gift of the priesthood. While the priesthood is a calling of a select few, it is a gift for us all because it is how Christ’s ministry remains alive. Priests have the ability to transubstantiate bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ (through the Holy spirit) because that ability was passed onto the Apostles when Jesus breathed the Holy spirit onto them, who then have passed it on through generations of priests.
While Jesus may be speaking primarily to the Apostles in the first part of the passage, He uses Thomas as a symbol for all of us in the second part. We can’t really blame Thomas for his doubt. Let’s be honest, the entire narrative of Christ is radical. A man comes down from Heaven, claiming to be the Son of God, fulfilling thousands of years of prophecy, then allows Himself to be crucified, ascends back to Heaven, and returns to Earth a few times. We especially can’t blame Thomas for his doubt because we all have our doubts. I know I certainly have, and continue to. However, we know the narrative to be true because Christ does present Himself to us, albeit often not in sight but through other senses. We feel Him, we hear Him, we consume Him (although this requires a bit more faith to acknowledge). Therefore, Christ presents us with another beatitude in verse 29: “blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” If everybody saw Christ, everybody would believe, and everybody would love Him, but then it wouldn’t be true love because it was not chosen. True faith requires choice, and by not presenting Himself to everybody, He allows us to choose whether we believe or not. Christ obviously wants all of us to believe in Him and love Him, but He wants us to do it on our own accord so it is genuine.
What is most important about not only today’s Gospel, but the day overall is the theme and message, that of divine mercy. Today’s gospel, above all else, is about Christ’s mercy. When the Apostles are running and hiding, when Thomas is unable to believe Jesus has returned, He comes to them with love and mercy rather than wrath and justice. Just as Thomas doubted and needed to put His fingers in Christ’s wounds, Jesus gives us two ways of experiencing His love and mercy in a real way: confession and the eucharist, forming the core of His divine mercy. The message of divine mercy was first shared with St. Faustina, with Jesus appearing to her the same way He would have appeared to Thomas. Hence, every time we look at a divine mercy image, we see Jesus as He would have appeared to Thomas. In His appearance to St. Faustina, Christ gave us five ways of living a more merciful life: the feast day, the image, the novena, the chaplet, and the hour. Divine Mercy Sunday closes the octave of Easter, bookending and solidifying the story of salvation. It is on this day that there are no hinderances to Christ’s mercy. All sins and punishments are forgiven by going to confession and receiving communion on Divine Mercy Sunday. While our sins are forgiven whenever we go to confession, we still have wounds and temporal punishments that remain, but on Divine Mercy Sunday, all that goes away.
Don’t worry if you’re running from fears or if you’re going through periods of doubt, because Christ’s mercy is greater than our fears and doubts. He knows we’re going to have fears and doubts, but He loves us regardless. He is waiting for us to turn back to Him as the prodigal son did earlier in John’s gospel. So, on all days, but especially on this Divine Mercy Sunday, let us turn back to Him and say with a sincere heart, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

Sunday Reflection 4-1-2018 SPECIAL EASTER EDITION!

By: Maddie Lee

Alleluia!!!! Christ is Risen!
Happy Easter, dear friends! What a beautiful day to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord- the victory over all sin! Today we get to rejoice after 40 long days of sorrow and despair. Today we get the opportunity to renew our baptismal vows!
The first thing that Jesus did in His public ministry was get baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Jesus was a grown man at the time of his baptism, but many of us were too young to remember being baptized. Because of this, it is so important to renew our baptismal vows today so we can be reminded of our new life in Heaven with Jesus. Baptism not only cleans our souls of original sin but also makes us an adopted child of God. Adoption in this case is irreversible- you become a child of God for eternity. The word “Baptism” originates from the Greek word “”Baptizein,” which means “to plunge.” The symbolic submersion under water symbolizes the entrance into Christ’s death and resurrection.
How cool is it that we get to “plunge” into both Christ’s death and resurrection with him?!? We have spent the past 40 days in the desert with Jesus preparing for this day of grace. We have confronted our weaknesses and grown stronger through fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Now we are able to enter into the joy of life with the Lord, “For if we have grown into union with Christ through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.” (Romans 6: 5). Throughout the Lenten period we were refined by the Holy Spirit in our fasting. During our time in the Lenten desert, we had the opportunity to prepare ourselves to be unified with Jesus in the resurrection. What an amazing gift: to be united with Christ in life! We get heaven! We get joy! We get love!
My favorite part of The Passion of Christ movie is when Jesus and Mary are at home and Jesus is building a dinner table for a rich man. Mary calls Jesus in to eat supper and together they joyfully act out what it would be like to sit at the “tall” table that Jesus was building. In this scene, Jesus and Mary lovingly participate in ordinary life together. This is an example of how living our lives with Jesus can bring joy even into the simplest of moments. In our baptism, we receive this gift of sharing life with Jesus as his beloved children. We are able to participate in moments similar to this scene in The Passion by living out of our baptismal gifts which are renewed on Easter. We get to share our silliness, our joys, our hopes, and even our sorrows with Christ. What a gift to share life with Him!
Our time of preparation in the desert of Lent has ended and now we rejoice. Hallelujah!!! Jesus has Risen and has come to share His life with us! After these past 40 days of entering into His suffering, our hearts are prepared to receive new life through His love and mercy. As the Psalm said today, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord,” (Psalm 118:17). We are granted a renewed life through Christ and we are responsible for spreading the good news of the Lord. We must share the joy and the love of Jesus to all that we encounter. Our hearts must proclaim the goodness of the Lord, “for his love endures forever,” (Psalm 118: 1). Let us live in union with the life, joy, and love of Jesus!
“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song,” (St John Paul II). Let us sing our praises today and everyday as Easter people and share in our new life with the Lord!

Why Mission

Why Mission?

Each year by the time spring break comes around everyone is ready for a break from school and work. Many people make plans to go to the beach or somewhere they can relax and take time not to worry about anything. Going on a mission trip last year to Mexico City and this year to Ecuador I have learned that spring break is the perfect opportunity to go and serve. On mission, you are put in a completely different environment where you often deal with discomfort and change of surroundings. You learn to adapt to these uncomfortable settings and make new amazing friendships during the week. Going on mission is the best way I have decided to spend my spring breaks in college, and I hope to do more mission work throughout the entirety of my life.

When preparing to leave for Ecuador I was very concerned that during my time there I would be distracted because I would be comparing it to Mexico City. I prayed that the Lord would allow me to be fully focused on the people in Ecuador, be open to building new relationships, and truly seeking Christ in everyone I met. The Lord fulfilled my heart and allowed me to have an amazing trip. In Ecuador life is very simple. The people live in shacks on stilts that are surrounded by rice fields. We walked around to different houses in the community to share the gospel and invite people to mass. Each day when walking to the different houses I learned that even when you might not have much your faith is the only thing that can truly satisfy you. The people in Ecuador were so giving and welcoming and appreciative of us being in their homes. They were always open to talking to us and learning about why we came to Ecuador. In Mexico City, the Lord taught me that the greatest poverty is being alone. I brought this lesson with me to Ecuador and was able to love everyone I encountered and see Christ in them. At times, I felt sad that I was unable to communicate with the people, but I knew in my heart that I was making a difference. In Ecuador I felt the presence of the Lord in the nature, in the people’s homes, and in the smiling faces of all the children. The children we played with each day radiated the joy of the Lord and I learned so much from them. They looked up to the boys on the trip and always wanted to participate in whatever activity we were doing.

I have been so lucky to have had the opportunity to serve in Mexico City and Ecuador these past two spring breaks. When my mom picked me up from the airport she asked me which trip I liked better. I laughed and said I could not put it into words and pick a favorite because both trips were so different but equally as fruitful. Going on mission in these two countries has changed my life more than I could have ever imagined. I think that if you have an opportunity to go on a mission trip you absolutely should. Serving the Lord in another country has taught me so much and helped me become a stronger Catholic. I have made some of the best friends, learned to respect other cultures, and most importantly I have been able to see how truly universal our Catholic faith is and that is so beautiful.

Katie Kopf

Sunday Reflection 3-25-2018

By: Olivia Orfanello

The Purpose of Palm Sunday lies in the people’s recognition of Jesus as the Messiah- the true Son of God. Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday. The gospel begins when Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. This speaks to His true sense of humility amongst the recognition of His importance. As He rode into Jerusalem, the crowds placed palms in His path, saying, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel,” acknowledging Jesus as King (this is why we receive them at mass on Palm Sunday). Following Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem is The Passover meal, which marks the beginning of the Passion of Christ. During the Passover, Jesus introduces the Eucharist. He addresses here that the bread and wine truly are His body and his blood.
The gospel highlights the diverse crowd of people that have come to witness the Son of God. Everyone is there from His disciples, those who have betrayed Him- saints and sinners. Where do you stand among the people welcoming Him into Jerusalem, the same ones who condemned Him to death and shouted to release Barabbas? Who are you in the presence of our Lord? Who are you in the presence of your friends who aren’t committed to their faith? We’ve all been there. I know I have. The doubt has lingered in not knowing where I fall or where I am in my relationship with Christ. The truth is, our relationships with Christ are embodied by each person in the crowd in some form or fashion, they represent both our sinful and faithful doings. We’ve praised and welcomed Him, begged for help, and sinned against Him. When we don’t get the instant gratification of receiving what we desire, we turn our backs on Him, like those who welcomed Him as Messiah. Once our mistake is realized, we should pray and accept His will, and we will receive forgiveness through His love and grace.
This is the moment when Jesus fulfills the will of God, His preordained death. This is it. The ultimate sacrifice. The moment when Jesus will feel all the ramifications of our sin in one single moment. I am forced to ask myself what it means to make the statement of faith that Jesus is making in his obedient suffering as He reveals Himself as the Son of God.
Use this time to meditate on the passion and on what is to come, and ask yourself, where did I stand before this Lenten season? How have my resolutions impacted my relationship with Christ? Am I fulfilling the will of God? Am I committed to my faith as I should be?

Honest work

The apostle Paul writes in Colossians 3:23–24,

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

The world that we live in today is filled with busyness. Society perceives busy as successful, encouraging an over-scheduled lifestyle. It’s only natural to conform to this belief and lifestyle. A lot of people with good intentions are constantly overwhelmed with meetings, activities, and social engagements. It’s tempting to believe that pushing yourself is good, but the Lord commands us to rest. Without rest, you can not be healed and restored. You can actually overwork yourself into acedia, an exhausted defeat. It comes from failing to rest in God and listen to His desire for our work and activity. You choose to worship power and prestige, and you become numb.

You aren’t doing honest work when you work for something other than God. And work never intended for you will leave you restless with a tired spirit. Your exhaustion will damage you. It brings discontentment in all areas of your life because there is no real substance. You are chasing contentment in the fleeting, and that will always disappoint. Acedia detaches you from people who God has entrusted to your care. Your agenda replaces the journey He invites you to take. Chasing contentment will distract you from His will for you, honest work of definite importance.

“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need.” Ephesians 4:28

If you let Him, He will lead you away from what is robbing you and give you a sense of mission. He will walk with you, every step of the way, and show you how your gifts are made to serve. Only then, you can know true contentment.

I pray that you surrender your will to His better plan.

Cassie Smith

Lord You are the center of my life

Lord You are the center of my life: I trust in you.

I have always wanted to be the best that I can be. Unfortunately, for most of my life I have taken the liberty of defining what my best self is and this is based off of how the world views success and how I view myself. I am the type of person that needs to plan out early and often and set lofty goals for myself. While doing these things are great and I certainly recommend everyone to set high standards for themselves, I urge you to always remember that you are not in control. It’s a shame that I thought I could be in control for so long because the simple truth is that only God knows what my best self looks like and me trapping myself to some preconceived notion of success only leads to stress when my vision doesn’t pan out. But recently, I have decided that instead of actively seeking my own plan, I will actively seek to know and understand God. John 17: 3: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

 I have accepted that I am the Lord’s servant, He is my savior, and my life is completely unto His will. When we are able to fully trust in God and focus on understanding His love we are becoming better versions of ourselves. When we trust in God He helps us discover our unique talents and share them with the world. To me, trusting in God comes in the forms of the hundreds of decisions that we make each and every day. I have been telling myself as often as possible “Lord you are the center of my life” and that phrase has found a way to calm me and serve as a guiding principle for my life. God is not just a part of who we are: He is why we are. God is what defines us and keeping this in mind makes me more aware of every sin against God that I commit. It helps make every decision in my life easier because if God is at the center of my life then almost all of the things that I sometimes worry about are marginally important.

Before everything that I do I try to ask myself, “Is this bringing me closer to God?” The closer we are to God, the more He will reveal his plan to us. The best thing that we can do is to trust Him and seek to know Him. To know Him is to Love Him. If success is what you’re after, spend time throughout every day just talking with God. Spend time in silence, spend time celebrating the good things, asking for guidance, praying for loved ones, and thanking God for all of the sacrifices He has made and the grace and mercy that He shows us. The most satisfying thing in this life is to know God. I have been reading Matthew Kelly’s book, Perfectly Yourself this lent and it has helped me find more peace in life. He writes about how in a world where success is defined by wealth, job status, sex, material goods, or positions of power; it is so important to remember this: becoming the person that God created you to be is only true and lasting success.


Vincent Zicarelli


Sunday Reflection 2-25-2018

By: Kieren Altenbern

“Here I am Lord!” If only I could respond to the Lord’s call with such enthusiasm and trust as Abraham did. In the readings today we are reminded of the power of trusting in the Lord. But sometimes putting your total trust in Him is extremely difficult. It completely baffles me that Abraham could so willingly lay his only son’s life down because the Lord asked him. Meanwhile, I struggle to accept the small sacrifices the Lord asks of me every day, especially during this Lenten season. Instead of responding “Here I am Lord!”, I respond with something along the lines of “Really? That’s what you want me to do?”. I get caught up in the trials of the moment and fail to recognize the many blessings that can come from saying “yes” to the Lord. Blessings that can be “as countless as the stars in the sky”, only if we are willing.

We are called to live in total obedience to God’s plan for us, and this can be scary at first thought. Surrendering your life to a great, almighty power that may be completely unknown to you is an extremely daunting task. But this plan is not one that will lead us to ruin, but rather it will lead us to salvation. It is a plan inspired by an unconditional love that may have a few bumps of doubt in the road, but in the end it leads us to a greater happiness than we could ever know. As is said in the second reading for today “If God is for us, who can be against us?”. The power and love that lies in the Lord and His plan for us is so great and awesome that it defeats any evil that could come our way. We just need to say “yes”. Maybe that’s in a few small ways, like praying before meals or when you wake up each morning. Or perhaps it is in a big way, like finally going to confession after years of sin and pain or sacrificing your only son on an altar (though highly unlikely, you never know). Our obedience to God and His will for us can lead us to the greatest and most perfect happiness we could ever hope to know, complete union with Him. Are you ready to say yes? Are you ready to say “Here I am Lord!”?

His Master Plan

                              His Master Plan

                                                By: Cassie Smith

Have you ever felt so sure you’re going in the right direction and then all of a sudden the rug is pulled out from under you? It leaves you feeling like everything is crumbling all at once. When this happens, it can feel as all of our hopes and dreams are shattered. It may leave you feeling confused, upset with God. You might find yourself questioning where you went wrong. This is because we are put in a situation that is out of our comfort zone. We all desire comfort. We want to feel safe. We plan each and every single day. From the date on the calendar, to the minute on the clock. We live by a schedule. When we are consumed by our plans and our timing, we put ourselves in a situation where we rely solely on ourselves. We find comfort in our plans, so when they are altered we feel lost. We can even feel resentment towards God when he asks us to let go of habits. I know that I did. I experienced a traumatic brain injury in 2016, and as you can imagine, it was nowhere near expected. I hadn’t planned for it. I frantically tried to piece together a puzzle with pieces that did not fit. I saw my injury as a set back, or a bump in the road. I was determined to “fix” everything as soon as I was allowed to return to school.

I was spending all of my energy trying to adjust and compensate, when I needed to bring my sufferings to the Lord. I needed to trust His master plan. Instead, I beat myself up. I pushed myself to study all day and night for final exams. With a constant throbbing headache, I remember trying to motivate myself with “you can do anything if you set your mind to it!” and “you can have anything if you want it badly enough!” The next day, I found myself lost in each exam. The exams on the screens looked foreign. I vividly remember myself leaving the math lab after my last calculus final, tears flowing uncontrollably. I felt defeated. I immediately called my mom, “I don’t know what to do. I failed all of my exams. I know I did. I didn’t know any of the answers. I have to change my major. I can’t be a doctor. This clearly isn’t for me.”

 But He tells us in Leviticus 26:4,6:
 “I will give you rain in due season, so that the land will bear its crops, and the trees their fruit… I will
 establish peace in the land, that you may lie down to rest without anxiety. I will rid the country of ravenous
 beasts, and keep the sword of war from sweeping across your land.”

In time, I learned that my desires would be rearranged by the Lord if I let Him take control. The Lord took me all the way from a biology major on a pre medical track to an art and design student. Beforehand, I had never even thought about picking up a paint brush. From an outside perspective, I probably looked like I’d lost my mind. But, for me, it somehow made perfect sense. I had discovered the gift that the Lord blessed me with and found exactly where I belong.

I encourage you to pray for strength when you experience confusion and hurt. We need strength to fight our emotions. The Enemy seeks using them against us. We’re not enslaved to these emotions.

2 Corinthians 10:5 advises us to “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”

He doesn’t promise it to be easy. We’re fighting a tough battle here on earth. He knows that we will struggle. He begs us to share our struggles with Him. He begs us to place our trust in Him and His master plan. When we do, He leads us on the path to holiness. When everything seems impossible, He’s there holding us. And He will never let us go.

 Depend on Him wholeheartedly and He will turn your sorrow into sanctification.