Erika Parks

Embracing Poverty

In the last few months my life has changed radically.

I graduated from Arizona State University in May. I moved out of the comfort of my parents' home in Arizona to my own apartment in Northern Colorado in June. Now I get these things in the mail called 'bills' and find myself getting excited when I save fifty cents on frozen chicken at the grocery store. It's official my friends, I've become a real, live adult!

This transition has been a journey filled with distractions and obstacles and I've learned just how fragile my life actually is on my own.

God's Divine Providence

Last year I began discerning what I would do after graduating from college and that eventually led me to understand God was calling me to leave Arizona and come to Colorado. As joyful as I was about my post-college plans, I instantly began to stress over all of the details.

Where would I live? What would I do? And most importantly, how on earth would I afford it all?

I immediately made a 'living on my own' budget and began looking for a job so I could start saving up enough money for the move.

After taking every cost into consideration, from apartment rent to packing tape, I figured out I would need to work full time from the beginning of January until the end of May in order to have enough money to start off my life in Colorado. I was determined but after multiple interviews and no job offers throughout last December, I started off the New Year highly discouraged.

From Doubt to Hope

As the new year began, I was still jobless and doubting that it was God's plan for me to make such a big move in just a few months. However, I went to daily Mass one day and found myself begging God to help me understand what He had planned for me. I remember praying over and over, 'Lord, give me the grace to follow you, even unto death.'

God must have been waiting to hear those words because as soon as I left Mass, I received an email about a full time job from January to May! The next day, I went to the interview and was hired on the spot.

Lord, Hear Our Prayer

Since moving to Colorado (and becoming a real adult), I've come to realize that I can plan out my future and stress about money until the end of my life, but nothing will ever go the way it needs to until I actually give it all over to God. It isn't until we are willing to let go of our worries and fully trust in God that He will provide us with the graces we need to fulfill His will.

So let go of your stress, let go of your plans and grab onto something far more important: The Lord has a plan for you far greater than you could ever imagine and He will give you all the grace you need to accomplish it. Just say the words, 'Jesus, give me the grace to follow you, even unto death.' He will definitely hear you.

Erika Parks

About the Author

I joined the Catholic Church in 2006 and have been chasing after sanctity ever since. I've been a nanny for 4 years, which means I can pretty much sing the theme song to every kid show. Also, I really love chewy candy and refuse to eat meat off of a bone.