College, Jesus, & barcrawls
“Whoever wishes to come after me, must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” -Matthew 16:24
College, for me, was one giant struggle between trying to be a good Catholic, while trying not to fall into typical college life. I tried to open my heart up to God’s will, but very frequently would close doors and not let Him into certain areas.
Well, this was an ongoing struggle, and it all boiled down to senior year, in my last month before graduation, there was one pinnacle decision that seemed to be the final test of all this back and forth… a nursing bar crawl or helping out at a retreat.
I know this sounds pathetic, but it was a lot harder for me than it should have been, I’ll admit.
The bar crawl was something my nursing friends and I had talked about probably for months, and I was so excited to have fun with the people I wouldn’t normally hang out with and celebrate that we survived nursing school! They even made t-shirts for it, which I don’t know why seemed like such a big deal at the time.
Then, I got a call a few weeks before to ask if I would help out at the Veritas retreat. And, of course, it was the same weekend of the bar crawl.
My first instinct was to say to no, honestly, because I set aside that weekend to have fun, and it was something I really wanted to do. But deep down, it felt wrong. I felt like I knew what I should do, but I was so reluctant to admit it.
Like every big decision, I called some life-advisors (aka- my siblings) to see their opinion and I just wanted someone to tell me I should go on this bar crawl. Well, being the good people that they are, they left it open ended, leaving me feeling like I know what I should do, but knowing what I wanted to do was opposite.
Seems obvious, and it took longer than it should have, but eventually I got the courage to officially agree to the retreat and miss the bar crawl.
It was not easy, as it was something my friends talked about for weeks after, and of course wore their cool t-shirts…. But looking back, that decision changed a lot for me.
It was one of the first times I truly, intentionally chose what God was leading me to, and instead, putting aside my own wants. One thing one of my life advisors said, was “what will matter in 10 years?” and that helped me see the big picture… what is my purpose here? Oh yeah, get to Heaven. Okay, what will help me get there, Jesus or beer?
It sounds terrible, but let’s be real, these decisions are hard in real life.
Let me tell you, though, God blessed me abundantly for saying yes to Him. In choosing to serve Him rather than be a slave to myself, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
That retreat was much needed for my soul, and even when I got back and heard all the stories from the bar crawl, I had no regrets. God used me that weekend in the way that He needed to, not in the way I wanted to Him to, and it was a turning point for me.
It has helped me say no to myself, and yes to Him more times in the past year than ever before. It’s a beautiful thing, and it is so rewarding.
Sister, if you are stuck in the indecision and living a divided life (although I can still be guilty of this) say yes to what God is calling you to. He taught me that I am only a vessel for Him to use and accepting that has been life changing.
It brings so much joy, growing closer to Jesus and seeing Him work through my very imperfect, human self. And just like the bible verse at the top says, “whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,” I found this to be absolutely true. Giving up on grasping on to what I want my life to be and instead letting go to what God has planned, has fulfilled me.
Your challenge this week is to trust in Him, ladies, and say yes to whatever he is calling you to. Remember the big picture and don’t get caught up in what your friends or others will think. We are here for one thing only: to return one day to Christ in Heaven, and we must follow Him and deny ourselves to do that.
Have a beautiful Friday! From the bottom of our hearts, thanks for reading & God bless you, ladies!