To be honest with you, I’m not a huge fan of change. The thought of things not going as planned fills me with worry. This past year has taught me that as much as I want to be, I am not in control. As much as I’d like things to always go as planned, they don’t. This past year I learned that things will always change, but that doesn’t mean JOY cannot be found in the change.
I said earlier I don’t like when things go differently than planned, but I also struggle with things that are planned. In two weeks I will be heading back to college. My first summer after starting college has been pretty great. A normal week for me included spending time with my cute grandma, little cousins, family, high school friends, and changing the world of math one elementary school kid at a time. It’s been three months of relaxing and enjoying my time back in the great state of Texas. Although I am so excited to start my second year of college, I find it so much easier to want to stay at home, so much easier to avoid the change. Ohio is really far, but going to college at such an authentically Catholic school with so many great people makes the distance worth it. Even though heading back to school will bring a change to how my life is at this moment, it will also bring a great amount of JOY.
This semester I have the wonderful opportunity to be on women’s ministry. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this. Before we even begin the semester, we will go on a retreat together. We will prepare our hearts to serve the women of our campus. Jesus knows my heart so well and knows this retreat will allow me to transition back to college. Besides women’s ministry I am most looking forward to being a part of the nursing home ministry. I am scared of the change I might find at the nursing home. Will my favorite residents still be there? Have some of them been moved or even passed away? I have to trust that God is in control and will allow me to see the residents there that I need to. Heading back to college also means getting to see my friends again. Students come from across the country to study at Franciscan so it is difficult to see people over breaks. There will be many other changes besides these but I will remind myself that with change comes the JOY Jesus has prepared for me.
I look back and think about how I am so opposed to change but then I think to myself, how many times has God sat through my change? How many times have I decided to go to daily Mass or adoration and later decided not to go? How many times have I told Jesus I’d see Him in the chapel before bed and forgotten to show up? How many times has he waited for me and then watched me change my mind? If Jesus can be ok during all of those changes and if He can still love and find JOY in me, I should be able to at least have hope that Jesus has love and JOY prepared for me through the change. This year has change in store for me, for everyone, but the difference is my approach to it. I will welcome it and the plans Jesus has for me. I’ll leave you with this quote by St. John Paul II:
“Be not afraid, open wide the doors to Christ.”