My college years were anything but pleasant. I often felt like I was on a journey leading into a dark tunnel of despair. Thankfully, I was able to graduate early last year. When I left campus, I thought that the struggles I had over the past three years would leave my life; I believed the lie that I could just leave my problems and begin to live in freedom. I was wrong. The Lord had so much work to do in my very broken self. I thought that I could just forget the hurt that happened there. I thought I could just listen to society and suck everything up. I thought I could cover up the hurt by pretending to be happy all of the time…These are lies. I was broken and the Lord wanted my heart. Yet, I continued to fight the light that He wanted to shed upon it.
Since graduation, I have continued to live the nightmares that happened on campus. I felt like I was being haunted by the pain everyday. During our Holy Hours, I would constantly try to pray this anguish away, but I scarcely found freedom.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go back and visit my alma mater. I felt like the Lord had called me on a mission to go there and find freedom for my soul. As soon as I walked on campus, I visited the church where I once attended Mass. I saw the building and my heart sunk as painful memories flooded my mind. I knew that the Lord was calling me to give all of the hurt to Him. Even though many hurtful things happened at that location, I knew that Jesus was still present in the Eucharist. As I walked into the Church, I stared at the Crucifix. I looked at the image of our Lord in all of His suffering and began to cry. I went up to the first pew, knelt down, and just looked at Him. It was there that the Lord took everything. He took the hurt and pain that others put on me, and most importantly, He helped me to know His mercy and forgiveness for my own sinfulness. It was a powerful and beautiful moment.
I have been back in Mesa for about two weeks. I feel like my soul has been refreshed. I never understood the importance of going back to my college and giving everything to the Lord. The things that I once struggled with are now completely out of my life. I feel like a new person or perhaps, more of myself.
In today’s Holy Hour, I was giving praise to the Lord for the gift of this new freedom. As I was praying, Galations 6:17 came to me. It says, “From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.” This verse is so powerful because it shows that when we are united with Christ, nothing can harm us. I feel like there is so much freedom in knowing that no matter what happens, if I am obedient to God, darkness cannot overcome me. This verse confirms that we belong to Christ. When I was in college, I allowed fear to overcome me and I was obedient to man. Now, the Lord has given me the grace to see beyond that fear and to realize the importance of just remaining in His loving embrace. There is so much freedom when living into His will and His love. I don’t care what He calls me to do, where He calls me to go, as I now walk in the freedom of knowing that I belong to Him and have a deeper understanding that in Jesus Christ, God’s providence is more than enough.