Scars

God and I have been in a squabble lately.

I have been reading a book called  The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown–a really good book, but no thank you. One of the chapters began talking about the power of love and belonging. I happened to underline every word. Kidding, but it was an abnormal amount. Here is a quote from this chapter:

“When we can let go of what other people think and own our story we gain access to our worthiness… When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving.”

*nervous laughter* @ me next time Brené, JEEZ. I think I have told y’all before, but I’m the broken girl. A lot of people put their identity into sports, school, family, etc.–positive things. I, however, feel like I am the person who has been through so much and you can just see it written on my forehead. I don’t know if I think that is weak or empowering, but it is confusing that’s for sure. I don’t know if I am distancing myself from my brokenness, or the fact that I don’t think I am able to be healed, or… wait. Yep, that’s it.

Can I be healed? The Lord often asks me if I want to be healed and of course, I say yes, but deep down I don’t think I can be. How can I be healed without forgetting my whole past? How can I not forget my past and not feel pain? Is the state of ~healed~ painful too?

I was praying with all of these questions and Dad (God) just goes, “Scars”. It was so sarcastic and I was so annoyed because it was one word and I didn’t know what He meant. And guess what? He said it again, “Scars”.

“When you get cut that deep you will heal, but it is still noticeably there. And you are remembering it because it matters, not because it shouldn’t. It should.”

Ok, I understand a little bit more now, but now what? How can I know when I am healed?

“This is your life. These memories and moments will not go away because they are a part of your story and I have allowed you to experience them to make you into the daughter you are today. Your worth has never, is, and will never be in your brokenness. You will still feel pain because you love. You will feel pain because your story CANNOT be separated from you no matter how hard you try. Stop trying and you will be healed. I gave you a promise of healing. It may be on this side of Heaven or the next, but I will heal you. In healing you will feel to the fullest whether good or bad, you will acknowledge your scars, and you will rest in the assurance that there is hope.”

{oh}

I think this will be an ongoing conversation for quite a while. I know healing is different for everyone, but the Lord doesn’t see the ‘difficult’ parts of your life as obstacles. We might think He does, but in reality, that is where He desires to sit. He wants to dig out these painful parts of our lives and fill them with grace. Not so we may be painless or brainwashed, but so that we may own the story He has blessed us with and use it to guide others to Him.

This is going to HURT!! However, I encourage you to seek out who you think you are supposed to be, who you want to be, and who the Lord is calling you to be. Do they align? What are you distancing yourself from that is making you hustle for your worthiness? What is healing to you?

He wants to heal you. Let Him.

 

Amor Vincit Omnia|Love Conquers All

Devyn

 

 

 

He Calls Us To Ask BIG

I have been trying out this new thing lately…it’s called hope–have y’all heard of it? Oh, you have. This is something common. Ok. Well, apparently I have been unable to hope for a long time. To put it simply, I’m hopeless.

So, recently I have been diving into the hard parts of my life, into my sins and addictions, and trying to get them rooted out this Advent season. I have gotten caught up in the fact that I don’t want to be my sin, that it’s not my identity. I am a beloved child of God, as are you. So I have been going to confession, promising never to do it again, I’ll fall, then repeat. It is a discouraging cycle, and all I can ask is why? Why am I seemingly unable to be healed by the man who healed the blind, the sick, and rose from the dead.

It’s because I never really believed I could. I was too afraid of having expectations. In Matthew 9:27-31, Jesus has an encounter with two blind men. They ask to be healed, but before He takes action, Jesus asks one simple question, “do you believe that I can do this?” I think we should all be asking ourselves this question.

Guys, I have been asking God for unrealistic things: I don’t mean things that are too big, but things that are too small. We are talking about the man Who created EVERYTHING, Who is EVERYTHING, Who does EVERYTHING. I haven’t hoped to the capacity in which He is capable due to my fear of getting hurt. It hurts to believe that things will get better just to be proven wrong, but that is the faith in which we believe in. We hope to grow just to encounter the storm, but in the end, we come out fulfilled because we asked and we believed.

During this Advent season, we are not called to be self-reliant. The Lord calls us to ask BIG, and we will receive BIG. You are not your sin. I know you may be afraid to hope, but the graces you receive are so far greater.

When you ask of the Lord, do you believe He can do it?

-Devyn

Faithfulness

I often tell people, “I’m not in desolation. I think I am just confused and my mind won’t stop doing somersaults. It can be hard for me to focus on what God is telling me.”

Recently, I have discovered that there’s a probability that I have been in desolation for a big part of my life. I thought what I was feeling was the same as everyone else around me, but now I am not sure. I hear stories about how people can truly feel Jesus’s presence in their lives, and I just can’t relate. Sure, I have had the spiritual high of a speaker at school or going to camp, but after that, it isn’t the same.

Many times recently I have known I need to pray, so I do it. I know it is important for me to have a relationship with God and talk to Him about the different areas of my life. I know I should crave this. However, I go into the chapel and sit in my usual spot and just stare. I have nothing to say–but I am confident He can hear me. Then I find myself asking, “if I know He hears me, why isn’t He doing anything, and why can’t I feel Him?”

Often times I look around when I am in adoration and I see people fully engulfed in the spirit. Fully knowing, feeling, loving Him–I just don’t know how they got there.

My prayer today (and what I think all ours should be in difficult times like these), as I look at the Blessed Sacrament is, “Lord, I am looking straight at you and I feel nothing. I have not felt your consolation in a very long time, but I will go to my death believing and sharing that you are here. You are present in the Eucharist. You are present in my life, no matter how hard it is to believe that sometimes. I believe you are by my side to save me from my wretchedness until the end.”

I think this is what FAITH is. Not running when things get hard. Diving deeper into your conviction. Not knowing when you will feel Him again; wondering if you ever will. At the same time, trusting that this is the true religion. This is what we were made for.

Amor Vincit Omnia|Love Conquers All

Devyn

Christ-filled Summer

We are back!! Here is a glimpse into our summers:


Devyn’s Summer

To describe my summer in one word: goodness. The summer started off with one of my best friends passing away. Of course, I was upset he was gone, but all I could feel was peace. He finally got to be with the one person who would never let him down. He could show off his goofy smile for all of eternity… with Jesus; how cool is that?

So the transition into camp was difficult, I wanted him to be there; however, it was so good to be surrounded by all of the people who know him and love him as much as I do. The first few weeks were random crying spells, a lot of stress, and wanting to quit. I almost went home. Leah told me that Dylan believed in me and I knew I did too. I wanted to stick this out, if not for me, for him.

It was the best decision. Once we got in the swing of things, I had more trouble staying away from camp. I didn’t want to leave the people that pushed me to work harder every day, the people that picked me up when I was down, and in all seriousness the people who bring me the most joy in the world.

This summer was all about sainthood for me. The theme of camp was The Way of a Saint: Prayer, Care, Share, and with Dylan’s example, it seemed so much more attainable. Like, yeah, I heard it over and over that, I could be on an icon and hold a staff or a bouquet of flowers and change the world, but then again, I don’t know if I ever believed it. Getting to open these kids’ hearts to the joy that Dylan had and to his mission we all shared, to form a unique bond with Jesus was such a great blessing to me and all of the staff. I couldn’t have done it without him honestly. This was definitely a summer for the books.


Leah’s Summer

Last summer at Camp Tekakwitha was a beautiful catalyst for my journey with Christ. After a year of immense growth and conviction, I was excited to share what I learned with the staff and my campers during my second summer at my favorite place.

The beginning came with a lot of challenges and adjustments. Last summer, I became good friends with a guy named Dylan. He passed away a week before we were both supposed to return to camp. While this was incredibly hard to go through, it was such a gift to be surrounded by people who knew and loved him well. It fostered a very special bond for those of us affected by this loss.

As a returning staff member, it was so good to continue growing relationships that began last summer. In general, I just felt more comfortable and confident in my role as a counselor. The theme “The Way of a Saint” had a major impact on me. I realized that the call to sainthood is now and is for everyone! Shoutout to my girl Blessed Chiara Corbella Petrillo for helping me share this realization with my campers. (For context, she died in 2012 and her son isn’t even 10 yet and she is well on her way to becoming a Saint.) Saints are still being made every single day, people!!

I was carried by God’s grace. With exhausting long days and homesick campers and a heavy heart, I would not have made it through this summer without the Father’s abounding grace. He wants to make every single one of us into a great Saint. We just have to be open.


Ava’s Summer

This Summer I had the amazing privilege of spending the entire summer in the heart of beautiful Colorado with FOCUS. I was very scared at first to spend my entire summer in a completely different place with people who I have never met before. But I also knew that God had a plan for me in Colorado so I laid my trust in that. 

The beginning of my summer was actually really difficult. Not only did I have mass, talks to attend, fellowship activities, adoration, bible study, and discipleship but I also had to work 40 hours a week. And I tried to do it all and let me tell you, it was hard. I quickly became exhausted and was not finding joy in anything I was doing because I was so tired and caught up on what I needed to do next. By the middle of the summer, I became very frustrated with God. Why would he let my summer go like this? I thought he had great plans for me here and yet I felt farther away from him than before I came to Colorado.

It wasn’t until I went to spiritual direction for the first time, that I realized my point of being at Summer projects. I had come to Colorado with a lot of baggage, and overall there were just a lot of people I needed to forgive in my life. The biggest one being myself. I will go to confession and “accept” the Lord’s forgiveness but I will never let myself dwell in his mercy because I never forgive myself. This priest made me realize that I was at Summer projects for all the things that I desired to do but I was mainly there to be given the freedom to begin again. I was in a new place, with new people and new experiences and the Lord wanted this all for me so that I can begin a new life with him. Lay down my baggage and begin a new. St. Bernadette once said, “Begin again. That’s the beauty of being alive… We can always start all over again.” And that’s what I need to do.

After that point, I prioritized God, dwelled in his Mercy, and left Colorado with a new life in Christ. Realizing that HEsus is above all in his MErcy, including myself, so if he can forgive me, I have no reason not to forgive myself. I miss Colorado and those people of Summer Projects more and more, but we are all connected in the Eucharist, and I pray that our paths will meet again. If I ahd to describe my summer briefly, I would simply say, Jesus is my Lord.

 

HUMBLED & Transformed

As you may know, I spent my Spring Break in the Holy Land–CRAZY right?? Funny thing is, I didn’t even want to go there in the first place. My first pick was Haiti and I was just scrolling through the other missions and I was like, “sure.. the Holy Land seems rad.” Going on this was a whole new experience for me–I knew no one going on this trip and that is SOOOOOO not me. But God still got me there and I am so glad he did.

When I first got to Nazareth I straight up asked,

“Why me? Why here? I really don’t get it, Lord. You 80% got me here because I am NOT someone who just does this stuff. So, why am I here with this exact group of people, (who I don’t know by the way) on this exact mission–am I meant to know? Of course, I feel like you wanted me to see your home, but something is telling me there is more. I feel like I have been going on these missions, retreats, conferences, etc., and I come back feeling great, but a part of me is still missing. Please help me understand.

He ended up showing me some of the greatest places, greatest people and led me to make some of the greatest memories I will ever have.

As the trip continued, the Lord wrecked my heart even more. As Fr. Jacques Felipe would say, He wounded me with love… A LOT! A major moment on my trip was at the Garden of Gethsemane. We had mass directly around the rock of the Agony. After mass I was talking to a missionary on the trip, John. He said, “y’ all, isn’t it crazy that on that rock, Jesus saw every one of our faces and wept and prayed because he knew we would be here.” I got upset because I was like are you really trying to make me cry right now? I went to pray:

“Jesus, you sat there and asked me to keep watch, and I didn’t care enough to stay awake when you were hurting. How can you still look at me with so much joy and love when I continually fall asleep. You sat on that rock, saw my face flash before your eyes, and you cried and prayed for me. You knew I would make it here so far before I did. I thought I never would. You willingly and joyfully died for me knowing I might never love you back– Lord, give me that type of strength and forgiveness and love.”

So, I realized I am a lot more like Peter than I thought. Thinking about all of this gave me a huge sense of shame. I went back to John and told him that I was feeling really guilty because, why would someone die for me when I fail them so much? He looked into my eyes and said, without hesitation, “because Dev, you are so worth it.” Ok TEARS. I am not a person who is good at receiving things, and him saying this to me made me think and pray a lot for many days to come. I did not realize that I was pushing away the crucifixion. I had been rejecting the humility of the cross and God’s exalting grace for so long. How selfish is that? Praying, the Lord said to me, “I sent my son to be tortured and murdered all because I knew that would mean you would be here.” That is how much we matter y’ all–accept that love He so much longs to give us.

Amor Vincit Omni|Love Conquers All

Devyn

Masks

“Pride keeps [the soul] in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is it willing, to probe with precision the depths of its own misery. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery.” -St. Faustina

I am currently reading St. Faustina’s diary, and when I read these lines my mind completely froze, because this is my soul. These past couple of weeks have really taken a toll on my soul. The Lord has slowly (and painfully) been peeling these masks off of my soul that I hold on to so tightly. I am the type of person who would rather suppress certain miseries and cover them with a mask rather than show my true feelings. I do all of this and tell myself that I am happy even when it’s not true. I cover my soul with layers of masks that are prohibiting me from being authentically loved by others and ultimately by God.

My first semester of college was difficult for multiple reasons. I think the main reason was that God was slowly showing me how wounded I really was. There were wounds that I didn’t even know existed because I am that good at pushing down these miseries. I had some wounds that I caused myself, but a majority of the wounds were caused by other people. I like to think of myself as a strong independent person who a) doesn’t really need other people’s help with my problems and b) won’t let anyone get to me. So, this means if someone hurts me, I will ignore it, cover it up with a mask, and pretend that I am alright. However, this lie can’t last forever. Eventually, this pain grows to the point where I can’t ignore it anymore.

I completely ignored these wounds and I was doing a good job of it—then SEEK happened. I went to this talk called “Seeking Healing Through Forgiveness” by Sr. Miriam James Heidland. She said, “You can’t ignore a wound.” And at that moment, I felt the weight of all my miseries on my soul. I felt my heart physically ache to the point where I couldn’t even pay attention to the talk anymore. I knew that not letting myself face these pains had taken a toll on me and that it was time to start healing them. The problem was that I had been suppressing and masking so many wounds that I didn’t know what to do or where to begin.

I began by inviting God into my healing and asking him to show me which masks he wanted me to deal with first and so on. The first couple were little baby wounds and I dealt with them fairly easily. However, this past week, God started to slowly peel off a mask that was covering a gigantic wound that someone had caused me. This was not a particularly fun wound to deal with because it involves me forgiving someone who will probably never know how much pain they caused me. I asked God to fill the depths of this wound with His light and give me the grace to forgive the one who hurt me. By inviting God into this act of forgiveness, I am truly letting go of this wound and letting God begin to refill this space in my soul with His love.

I don’t know what wounds you have and how many masks are covering your soul, but I can tell you that you will never regret asking God to take them off. You were not called to live a life covering your soul in masks. You were made to live a life where your soul can be completely engulfed in God’s love. How is he supposed to do that when we are constantly putting masks in between us and Him? The process of taking the masks off can be painful and long but in the end, your soul will finally be freed. I am not even close to having my soul completely unmasked, but I can’t wait to be loved the way that God created me to be loved.

In Christ,
Ava

 

You Will Never See the Way He Looks at Me

A dating fast for 6 months. Why the HECK would anyone do that to themselves? What even is that? Out of your own free will? Yes—it’s me, Devyn. I did do this to myself, and all of this will be answered.

Like most people, I am my own worst critic. In July, I had a conversation with my friend Dylan that led me to an existential crisis. Apparently, I didn’t let people love me—YIKES. I knew I mildly disliked myself, but I never thought I didn’t let people love me because I LOVE love!!

Around the end of July, I was feeling really overwhelmed, lost, and broken. It felt like all of the busyness and worrying about things that didn’t matter finally caught up to me. I never really took the time to take care of myself and the important things like mental and physical health. If I’m being completely honest, I relied solely on other worldly people for my happiness—often boys. It got to the point (and I hate to say it now) where these boys were my God. I looked to these boys as my Savior when I knew deep down, they would fail me—only God can give me what I need. My priorities were completely out of WACK and I knew that needed to change.

I went into adoration one day feeling very uneasy and I asked God for guidance. I had been thinking about going on a dating fast for a while after hearing about it through FOCUS and other things. I straight up asked Him, “Am I supposed to go on a dating fast?” I immediately felt a wave of relief; I knew this is what I needed to do. I went out and bought books and told friends, so I could be held accountable. I really had no idea how this fast was going to change me, but HOLY MOLY it did. I set goals for myself: be able to love myself, look at men as brothers in Christ rather than possible mates, strengthen my relationship with God, etc.

I could feel myself struggling right off the bat. I met this guy who started pursuing me romantically and I didn’t know what to do. I was honestly talking to God like, “Really? After all of this time where he could have come into my life, now is when you want it? Yeah okay.” After about a week of confusion, I remained determined on my goals for the dating fast and respectively rejected that relationship for the time being. It truly made me so much stronger and helped me see men as my friends and as my brothers in Christ from the very beginning. Before the fast started I would see a man and talk to him for maybe two seconds and think to myself, “DANG would he look nice in a charcoal tuxedo?” Like what the HECK is wrong with you Dev??? I could not control my emotional chastity by any means–I saw every guy as possibly ‘the one’.

The greatest impact, the thing that truly changed me the most, was a health class—weird, right? We did an exercise on happiness. At the end of the exercise, our professor had us write down something we were ashamed of, and she told us to fold it up and put it in our pocket. After that she told us we needed to write a letter, forgiving ourselves for what we did on that little scrap of paper because we cannot change the past. I took this assignment to adoration and once I started writing I had tears rolling down my face. I was able to write down the words, “I’m proud to be myself.” I cannot tell y’all how hard that would have been for me a couple of months ago. I had no idea how much I despised myself and it broke me. As a child of God, an image-bearer of our creator, how can I hate myself? If I truly love God… there is no possible way not to love ME. That realization came to me a couple of months later, but it was truly mind-blowing to me.

As I slowly began to reach my goals, taking one tiny step at a time, I could see myself letting people in. I finally began to accept the love I so freely give to others. Once I finally understood that God was within me, I could not deny that love. I had been deprived of it, and I had pushed it away for so long that I did not realize the joy I was longing for.

Sitting in adoration at SEEK2019, I was listening to the worship music. I heard the words, “You will never see the way he looks at me.” I broke down. After six months of ups, downs, strides, and struggles—I finally know who I am. NO, I know whose I am. The Father’s gaze has completely changed the way I see myself. We are all such individualistic and special children to our Savior, and it is such a gift to finally realize that. This fast was the best decision I have ever made, and I cannot thank God enough for setting me on this path.

Amor Vincit Omnia|Love Conquers All

Devyn

Thank you, 2018

2018 will forever be remembered as the year of transformation for me. I’ve been a Catholic my whole life, but for the first time, I decided that I actually wanted it to mean something. I worked at a Catholic summer camp where my heart was truly transformed. By witnessing the vibrant faith of cool, young Catholics and starting to pray daily, I took my faith into my own hands.

I learned so much about forming a prayer life and was excited to put it to the test in my new college life. Keeping up with that desire to pray daily was not easy and took a lot of learning, discipline, and patience. Even though I let myself fall short, and was not be always completely present, that consistency gave me a completely new perspective on my faith.

I learned the importance of accountability. I found friends that asked me about my prayer life and encouraged me to keep it going. I learned the importance of “showing up” for God. Some days were better than others. Some days I felt moved by prayer and others I felt desolate. No matter what I was feeling, I know that God was pleased with me for just being there. I learned that through prayer, I was able to be honest with God about admitting my faults and celebrating my victories.

I continue to struggle to find the time for God every day. But I can promise you that when you intentionally give your time to God, he will bless you immensely. The power of prayer is so real. He wants to talk to you. He wants to hear about everything you’re going through, good or bad. He wants you to sit and listen to Him with your heart in His hands.

This year has taught me a lot and I’m so grateful for the growth I have experienced, especially in my role as a daughter of Christ. Through consistency in prayer, I’ve grown closer to Christ in ways I never could’ve imagined. He is waiting for you to call upon Him. Remind Him of your love for Him and make prayer a part of your routine.

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

-Psalm 145:18

I pray that you have a blessed, faith-filled new year.

With love,

Leah

Why Fearfully Made?

“I will give thanks to you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” | Psalm 139:14

In this Psalm of David, we hear the words and prayers of complete sureness in the Lord. I remember when Ava and I were brainstorming some names for our blog, we were extremely stuck. With this complete and utter confusion AND with the extreme desire to start a blog, I took it to prayer. This verse jumped at me and I was like WOAH. Later, I was like, ok, wait–How can I be Fearfully Made?

I texted TONS of people to get answers because I truly could not understand. Like did God make me out of fear? No, he doesn’t fear. So, I was made full-of-fear, ok, but fear of what? All of these questions were running through my head with no answers in sight.

One of my VERY intelligent friends, Dylan, dumbed it down to my level and explained it to me so I could understand. Fear is not to be taken in the literal sense. We were not created fearing anything in particular, or not that I believe. Being Fearfully Made refers to the concept of Fear of the Lord, one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is also not supposed to be taken literally. God is our friend and our Father and we should not be afraid of Him. The word ‘fear’ should be better interpreted as respect.

We are all in completely different stages of our lives with different stories, different backgrounds, and different perspectives; however, we all have the same God. He created us to be full of reverence and full of wonder so we are all unique in our own image and that is why we praise Him.

Amor Vincit Omnia|Love Conquers All

Devyn

Welcome to Fearfully Made

Hi friends!

Welcome to Fearfully Made! We are three Catholic girls who are striving for sainthood. We want to share with people the beauty that we have encountered through Catholicism. Today, many people our age have a distorted view of the faith. They see it as something old and unattainable when it is simply not. We want to show the true beauty of Catholicism through our own experiences, through pictures, through music and much more. We also want to share our struggles, give advice and truly walk with each other toward our Heavenly Father. Look forward to faith filled motivation, some ‘let’s get real’ moments, prayer tips, saint stories, and earnest growth.

We can’t wait to start this journey and to share our faith with y’all!
Holiness is attainable guys, so let’s be saints!

In Christ,
Ava, Devyn, Leah