“We’re trained to be managers, to organize life, to make things happen. That’s what’s built our culture, and it’s not all bad. But if you transfer that to the spiritual life, it’s pure heresy. It doesn’t work.” -Fr. Richard Rohr
This time last year (the spring and summer of 2020), I was just getting used to the idea of the coronavirus sticking around for a lot longer than I had originally thought it would. I was realizing slowly that nothing in life had ever been guaranteed: my grad party had never been guaranteed, being able to freely hang out with the people I loved had never been guaranteed, serving with NET Ministries had never been guaranteed.
I realized as I continued to fundraise for my year that all of these ideas, situations, and plans were simply expected, but never promised to me. People who graduated high school in years prior got grad parties. People could hang out with loved ones with little to no consequences in years prior. Contracted NET missionaries from years prior didn’t have to question too hard what the year would look like. They could go into their year secure that it had been done before. This time last year, I was learning how to live and love through the simple interactions and moments, knowing how they were never guaranteed to me in the first place.
A lot has changed since then for me. Corona shut down the future’s promises prepared me for what would be the hardest year of my life. The changes that senior-in-high school Katherine feared feel so distant and small and worldly now. The summer and school year of 2020 sparked a chain of events that would change me and my family’s lives forever in many painful ways. I now knew in the depths of my soul that nothing in this world was guaranteed.
This year traveling with NET has been crazy. I’ve been to so many places. I’ve met so many people. I’ve heard SO many stories. Stories of incredible, impossible ways that the Lord has worked through the most desolate of situations. He’s always come through. It’s that much more miraculous when he builds something out of nothing.
During the Holy Thursday Mass this year I realized I had experienced my own sort of crucifixion this year. Everything I had thought I wanted my life to look like had been stripped, beaten, and pierced.
Something that all the stories I’ve heard while on the road with NET helped reveal to me is that my HOPE should not be in a situation or a vision of what we THINK God wants our life to look like. My hope should be in our salvation. So when the world tells me that my life has been flipped upside down, I know I can go to the Lord who guides every path and gives hope to every single situation because of what he has done for us. While we were sinners he died for us. We do not need to lose hope. I am learning that I am not less than just because the world says I have less than I did before. I have everything that the Lord has given me, the most important thing being himself in my heart.
“How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3)
Do not let any situation you find yourself in define your state in life. You are saved. You are loved. You are free. You have a heavenly family awaiting you. God bless you.