Hey there! Glad y’all could make it today! The weather has been pretty stormy here a couple of days lately. Once, there was a thunderclap and lightning flash at 3am that resembled a bomb going off in my bedroom. Fortunately, the dog and I survived. She was certainly searching for a place where she felt safe after that experience! Grab a glass of tea and pull up a comfy place to sit. Then join me on a quest!
Recently, several people have questioned me about my journey. They’ve questioned my sanity, my stability, my devotion to family, my fulfillment level, and asked me what I’m still searching for. That’s a great question. It made me stop and think pretty hard. But, I have an answer!
Over the past year I’ve gone through some pretty big changes. I’ve been to Israel, quit my paid job, gone to ‘work’ volunteering at the retreat center, joined the Catholic Church, and been to Italy. I’m going on three more trips before the end of the year. Now I’ve applied to a college, but even with my academic history of 4.0, there’s no guarantee I’ll get into this school. If one sees these things as disconnected actions on a whim, concern is certainly warranted!
I see these things as part of a well-orchestrated journey, although I can’t see how it ends just yet. I’ve known the Lord for over 40 years at this point. That’s 40 years of studying the Scriptures, prayer, and listening to His voice; 40 years of ups and downs, rainbows and thunderstorms, excitement and disappointments, success and failure; 40 years of an ever-deepening desire to say ‘yes’ to anything He might ask. That doesn’t make me infallible; it just gives me a pretty solid base to work from.
Let’s talk about travel for a minute. I really don’t particularly like to travel. So why all these trips? The Lord is educating me in Christian culture. First Israel, where Christianity was birthed. Six months later, Italy – the place where the church was established by the apostles, and where some saints lived with a devotion that inspires people yet today. Four months after Italy, I’m headed to Europe on a Marian Pilgrimage to get that basic piece of faith history. Then back to Israel to supplement the last trip a bit. After that, to Mexico and Our Lady of Guadalupe, to get the rest of the Marian piece for now. It’s like studying abroad for a semester, in two-week seminars, called History of Christianity 101. And believe me, there are dozens of trips I am NOT taking!
In June, I asked my pastor, “What’s next?” Knowing my thirst for more of God, and my love of study and learning, he responded, “Catholic College”. I’ve wanted to go to college for years; I just didn’t know what to study and lacked opportunity in the past. Let’s face it, I was just plain scared as an adult to quit a job and go to school for something ministry-related. Now I have some direction, some goals and the time to do it. And permission, of sorts. I’m still praying about where and when, and I have some pretty good ideas, but they are not guaranteed. It’s interesting to see who’s cheering me on and who’s not, and who’s cheering me on as long as I don’t actually do more than talk about it for the next year. No matter which opinion they have, I do know that my friends and family all care deeply for me. Even if they don’t agree on what’s the right thing for me to do, I know they love me. That’s a huge stability in and of itself!
So, am I really searching for something in my life? Yes! Of course I am! I’m searching every day for a deeper knowledge of the Lord, a more perfect devotion to Him, and to be more like Him. I’m searching for the knowledge and opportunity to share Him with those around me. I’m perfectly willing to go to school and learn more to make that happen. I’m willing to write hundreds more blog posts to practice and sharpen my writing skills. I’m willing to travel around the world to see ‘where it began’ and ‘where it developed’, if that’s what He thinks I need. It’s all part of saying ‘yes’ to Him; it’s also part of chasing my long-term dream of full-time Christian ministry.
What about you? What are you searching for? Stability? Love? Acceptance? Freedom? Adventure? I promise you that Jesus can give you all of these, and so much more! If you wish you had someone to talk to about all this stuff, find a pastor or a priest. They’ll be glad to sit down and help you find what you’re searching for!