Oh, man – how the Lord knows what He’s doing.

Coming to a close on my first semester finals week of my senior year, I am finally getting a second to stop, to reflect and reminisce on the craziness and beauty that has ensued in my life over the past several months. Unfortunately, this also gives me time to look ahead to the very uncertain future that awaits me after graduation – paired with plenty of time to stress myself out.

If I’m completely honest, I’m terrified of what is to come when next August rolls around. Every time I hear the dreaded, “What are your plans for next year?” question, I am just reminded of all of the decisions I have yet to make – knowing that all of my friends have made their college choices and feeling very much behind the curve. I’m simultaneously intimidated by the fact that the colleges that my closest friends have decided to attend next year aren’t on my short list, so I’m already preparing myself to say those hard goodbyes and go to a place without the people I love so dearly, even though that is 3/4 of a year away.

Now, this is totally new for me. I’m the girl that has been planning her college path since seventh grade, putting a lot of pressure on myself to be the perfect college applicant.

So, why is God allowing me to be paralyzed by this fear? I’ve been preparing for this decision for years? Why can’t He just help me and give me the clean and clear answer to my future path like He has with my friends? This is SO unfair. 

After several weeks of bitterness and pouting, our Mater Dei Week at our school was in full swing. During this week, all teachers and student leaders give witness to the students in classes and community groups – both on large and small scales. As a student leader, I was expected to give a witness about my relationship with the Blessed Mother, which was a LITTLE bit of a problem, considering I didn’t have one with her. I racked my brain to find what I was going to say to a room of my peers, and decided to sit with our Lord in the chapel and get His input.

He put one idea on my heart: Share of My faithfulness. 

So, I said “Okay, Lord”, and I walked into that classroom and told my classmates about one of the bleakest times in my life, and how betrayed I felt by God. I felt like I knew better than He did, and I didn’t believe my life would get any better until God decided to give in and let me get my way. I told them that I did not want to abandon my heart to the hands of the Father I know to be most loving. And as I began to share Mary’s story, I realized God has given me that clean and clear answer to my future path that I so desperately desire, even if it’s not the exact answer I want.

In Luke 1, recounting the Annunciation:

“The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.'”

Huh. 

“The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…'”

Okay that’s nice and all, but trust me, God. I know what’s best for me. I’ve known myself for 18 years now, and I promise I will be so much happier if you just tell me where I need to go.

“Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.'”

This stopped me in my tracks. Here is a young Mary, about 14 years old, being told she is to carry, care for, and protect the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Despite the scruples that would inevitably come from carrying a child that is not the child of her betrothed, Mary takes the Lord at His word brought to her by the message of an angel, and she surrenders her everything to His most perfect plan. She does not allow herself to be paralyzed by fear.

God does not want us to be anxious. He does not want us to be scared. He does not want us to be overwhelmed with doubt. God does not want us to feel worthless. He desires so deeply our true and total happiness, and he knows how to give it to us.

God has a beautiful and perfect plan for each of us. This plan might be terrifying because God knows we don’t have room to grow and flourish in our comfort zone. So we can choose to sit in our pride and stubbornness and insist that we know best, or like Mary, we can take the Lord at His word. We can put our trust in Him, choose to not be afraid, and give Him our “Yes” as Mary did because He will bring us to the highest goodness through this journey.

He is faithful to those He loves, and He loves you more than you can know.

Always in love,

Elise Nicole

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