I found him whom my soul loves.
These words have been resounding in my heart and mind almost constantly over the last couple of weeks.
Let’s rewind for a few moments, if you will, to Fall 2012.
I had just graduated college, and had recently begun my first full-time job, as a paralegal at a law firm, although my degree is in psychology.
My high school and college years were strung together by a common theme: “What am I doing?”
All of my experiences in the short 22 years that I had been alive came to a head when I finally decided that I was brave enough to step outside of my comfort zone, to make the changes I knew I needed to make.
I found myself in the confessional one September Saturday, and the very next day I was at a brand new church, ready to start totally new.
I spent the next several months learning and growing and trying to figure out, “Now, what?” I had an excellent job, wonderful co-workers and more extra-curriculars than I had time for, even though they were mostly all church-related.
My life had been on overdrive for the last four years I couldn’t figure out how to slow down and just be still. I couldn’t figure out what God was calling me to.
I dare say that confusion in young people – young adults – is not uncommon. We are bombarded with so many options, so many opportunities and so much noise. It can often feel like the chaos of life is drowning out the whisperings of our Lord, and quite often, it does. I was having a hard time tuning those distractions out.
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One thing led to another and I ended up in the hands of an awesome spiritual director, Fr. Joe, who has been guiding me for almost two years through these distractions.
Fast forward to Fall 2014. I still had no idea, vocationally, what God was calling me to, but I did know one thing: God was calling me to something more. He was once more calling me out of my comfort zone, asking me to go beyond myself, to trust Him, and so I did.
I took a leap of faith and applied for a job as the youth minister and pastoral assistant at my parish, a job I’m seriously unqualified for, except for my desire to serve. And apparently, that’s all that God needed from me, my willingness to serve his children, to trust in him, because now I work where I worship, and it’s all in his hands.
That brings us back to today. I took my first few days off from this new job of mine to go visit my best friends who just had their first baby, pray for them, and to spend some time relaxing, reflecting and praying at home.
This is what I know, or don’t know, and having been praying about during my vacation.
I know that even though I still have no idea whether I’m called to religious life or married life, or even living an authentically single life, at this moment in time I’m exactly where I should be.
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I cannot envision working outside of the Church again. Fr. Joe says that some people can’t do anything except work for God, which I feel is now me. I can’t put into words the joy that fills my heart serving the parishioners and especially the youth of our small country parish.
I know that when we sincerely approach God in prayer with an open heart and a willingness to trust, He always provides. He will never lead us astray. So even though I am still discerning, I know that when I hand it to Him, he will take my hand and lead me to Him.
Have patience and trust in Him when you are uncertain and know that He is certain.
So as I came forward to receive the Eucharist at morning Mass a few days ago, as my heart rate increased and I got butterflies in my stomach, I realized that I truly have found Him whom my soul loves, and nothing could be better.
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Emily Kwiatkowski is a 24 year old youth minister and pastoral assistant discerning life and learning to love more each day.