I knew when I left the Catholic Charities Service Corps that I would be faced with many challenges. I couldn’t think of a way to prepare for a time when I knew I might feel lonely or misunderstood. However, I knew I would have my community to keep me grounded in intentionality and focused on positive change.
Graduate school is very interesting. I love the curriculum, my classmates and professors. They all challenge me to think about new issues and explore to find truth. The only thing that is missing from my education is God.. We don’t talk about faith that much. I’ve become really involved in my church, so I get support and faith community from them. I have also encouraged my classmates to deepen their faith. It’s so hard to minister to people who are unwilling. Faith is the type of thing you don’t understand unless you have it. It is fulfilling in so many ways.
At my undergraduate college, people were always worried about not being cool. Well, you know what? Jesus wasn’t ‘cool.’ I’m talking about the radical, forgiving, amazing Jesus. Not the ‘died for our sins so we don’t have to do anything but say thanks’ Jesus that has been simplified in a comfortable faith. But I don’t think someone who goes directly against everything our society promotes would be considered cool, so I’m okay with that.
John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”
John 15:20-21 “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.”
So right there Jesus is telling us ‘look, you’re going to have a hard time. But so did I.’ To me, the fact that Jesus faced persecution and rejection motivates me to know that I can make it through.
Of course the world hated him- everything he spoke was against the structures of that time. Why would people support someone who makes their life ‘uncomfortable?’ That’s exactly what I think we’re called to be- uncomfortable. So if I am perfectly happy with everything in the world and everyone loves me, I can know that I must not be paying enough attention to Jesus.
Just because God is powerful and loves us, doesn’t mean that Satan isn’t powerful and can’t hurt us. Also, the fact that we believe in Jesus and God doesn’t automatically make us Christians. After all, Satan believes in Jesus and God. But he does not follow them. Do we follow, or just believe?
I know I still have a lot of things to work on, so I’m lifting my problems up to God and asking him to help me.