A couple weeks ago, we, the Atlanta missionaries, were helping out on a retreat called “Cardboard Box City” with a local Atlanta parish. The concept is simple: you sleep in a cardboard box to be in solidarity with the poor, and then at each Mass, you collect money and canned goods for St. Vincent de Paul.
The weekend was absolutely amazing, and I actually really enjoyed sleeping outside. We were also asked to give some talks for the teens while on retreat. On Sunday afternoon, after only getting four hours of sleep (daylight savings) and after spending all afternoon collecting money, Sara was asked to give a talk on joy. Talking about joy when all the kids want to do is sleep could have been pretty tough, but she did an amazing job!
At the end, she asked everyone to partner up and share a situation in which we were struggling to find joy and then pray over each other. A seventeen year old named Tania asked me to be her partner. She shared first, and I prayed over her. Then it was time for me to share. I shared about how lately I have been feeling very burdened by opposition and relativism in the world. Everyday, I felt more and more weight on my shoulders, and I was tired of feeling so burdened by the problems with all the controversy. Then she prayed the MOST impacting prayer over me, “Lord, Help Kaitlin to remember the JOY IN BELIEVING.” It was so simple, but EXACTLY what I needed to hear.
I had become so “burdened” by knowing the Truth and feeling like I had to save the world, that I had forgotten to just be joyful that I DO KNOW the TRUTH!!! When did I ever get the idea that Truth was a burden? Joy is a gift from God which I receive because I believe! I must remember to be JOYFUL because I BELIEVE, and that will change the world not by my own efforts, but by using EXACTLY what God gives me: my JOY!!!