Have you ever been so cranky or for the ladies PMSed sooo badly that you wonder, how can anyone stand to be around me? You think you’re a great person until suddenly you’re not, and you wonder, how did I get like this? The idealistic and false view of yourself as a living saint comes crashing down and all the effort and progress seemingly made in building up your spirituality gets called into question. It just takes one of these days and the devil sneaks in that little lie that you are not enough and will never attain sainthood. Yes, we are all called to be saints. Yes, Jesus wants YOU (insert Rosie the Riveter or Uncle Sam icon), to be a saint in your very own unique and unrepeatable way. I could never be a saint like Mother Teresa or JP2 or St. Gianna, but crazy enough, they could never be a saint the way that Jesus is calling me to be. Woah, what!? We all have a unique calling and spirituality that we are called to live out. It is specifically ours. We just have to trust that even in our lowest emotions, in depression or anxiety, that Jesus can and will still use us if we let Him.
My best friend Jocelyne -- she’s this 5-ft-curly-blonde-sunburst of a human to give you an idea -- always tells me “You are perfectly enough.” Hold-up. I want you to tell yourself this truth right now, “I am perfectly enough.” Why do I believe the lie that I’m not? It’s because it involves a wound with our identity. There is a whole plethora of wounds, and the ones that involve our identity hurt the worst. They are the deepest ones. Another one is “I am unlovable”. It denies the fact that we are so completely His as daughters and sons of God. I had a Carmelite sister say to me once that she had this vision of Jesus. It took place the night before His Passion, in the Garden of Gethsemane. He is about to go with the soldiers, and right before He does so, He stops, looks at you, and says, “Never forget how much I love you.” Never forget it. Although un-Church approved, this vision really strikes me because Jesus means it for me, and for you so intimately. He loves you. Don’t allow yourself to forget it.
Okay back it up, have any of you guys seen the movie Moana? One of my all-time favorites/obsessions for sure. Because it’s SO GOOD! Here’s my second tangent: storms. One of my favorite things being a Midwest girl, lightning and thunder are a 1-2 punch for a good night’s sleep. And if you wake up from it, how awesome is that roar to witness!? Now I promise, this storm talk is related to Moana. Because here’s the thing, storms in our lives are hard. Here’s the basic set up for the movie: Moana is sent on a journey by the Ocean (I capitalize because it’s a character). She has to save her island and her people from destruction. To do this, she must go into the unknown and distant parts of the sea where no one has ever gone before.
If you’ve seen the movie or even if you haven’t, there’s this scene in the beginning where Moana finds herself in a tiny canoe, in the dark, facing mountains of stormy waves. She says to the Ocean, “Um, ocean a little help here…” and once shipwrecked, “Ocean?! I said ‘help me!’ And wrecking my boat? Not helping!” I relate a ton to this clip because in our spiritual lives, it sometimes feels like God is not there, like he sends us on missions that He later gives us no aid in. Like He gives us a path and then laughs when we struggle and feel like we’re sinking. But in the movie, the fact that the Ocean shipwrecked Moana is exactly how she gets to her goal and where she wanted to be.
Jesus chose you for a reason. You are right where He needs you to be, and if you aren’t, Jesus will let you know and give you a little nudge. Our Father in Heaven knows we need His guidance and He will give it right when we need. Be patient. We have to be okay with being in the storm for a little while. Trust that your Heavenly Father has a plan that will lead you exactly where you want to go.
- Genevieve G’Sell