There are many reasons I haven’t written too much about the project in my life that gets the majority of my free time and mental attention: I’m bad at self-promotion, I’m fearful of rejection, I’m lacking in Faith, and I doubt God’s call at times. Lately, all these reasons have got me thinking quite a bit about pride and purpose and just spiritual warfare in general.
This post is applicable to you, even if you don’t feel like you’re called to a “big” project like mine. We’re all called to Sainthood, therefore we’re all going to be challenged. I want to share with you a little bit about why I sometimes hesitate to talk about The Guiding Star Project and I pray it helps you to recognize the times in your own life that you may shy away from doing the things that will actually bring you peace because they are what God asks of you.
In 2006 God gave me a pretty big dream while in front of the Blessed Sacrament in a beautiful little adoration chapel in Duluth, MN. I knew it was big and I knew it would not be an easy project. After trying to forget about it for a few weeks, I eventually called a good priest friend and went to dinner at his house. I spilled my vision for this Project to him and privately hoped he might say it wasn’t feasible and to just let it go.
This particular priest had previously shot down several of my other ideas in the time I knew and worked with him, so I trusted his judgement about this dream and figured he’d provide the mental “out” I was needing to avoid this work. He did not. His advice was simple and profound and continues to guide me in examining God’s will for my life. He said, “Just start and if it bears fruit, you will know the Holy Spirit is guiding you.”
The Project is growing and now after a few years of pruning and refining, it is beginning to bear fruits. His advice was good and I do know this is a work of the Holy Spirit. So why in the world do I feel so awkward talking about it and sharing it with others???
I think the only encompassing answer is to say that I experience a tremendous amount of spiritual warfare concerning this work. I begin to worry about whether this vision will ever be realized; I worry that it is somehow taking away from my ability to be a good mother; I start to internalize comments or even silence from others and assume it means they think this is all crazy; I get all crazy and caught up in self-examination of motives. In short, I am extremely low on faith and have not put on good spiritual armor for this journey.
I stop talking about and sharing this Project because I hear a little voice inside my head saying that no one cares about this vision. Everything is just fine the way it is, don’t try to change it. I mean, these are great people doing great things, who do you think you are to try to implement a new model? Who do you think YOU are trying to change something like the pro-life movement???
At these times it is extremely important for me to go back to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and just ask once again what He wants of me. I just have to open myself up to the possibility of complete humiliation and then, inevitably, He always tells me I am His beloved daughter, and that He is asking me to do this.
He asks me,”Who gave you your voice? Use it how I ask.” It always brings a sense of relief, immediately followed by prayers for fortitude and perseverance as I again realize that this is going to be a long race riddled with mental and spiritual warfare. I’m always relieved to know I’m on the right road, but cautious because it seems I have a dark shadow chasing me, tempting and taunting me take another route or stop altogether.
Satan is smart. I have learned that over the past six years. He is cunning and he knows my weakness better than I do sometimes. He knows how easy it is to shake my faith and to dishearten me with a snide remark from a passerby. And so I must put on the armor required for this journey.
In order to do anything that God asks of me well I must cling to the Sacraments and find my strength and direction in Him alone. I cannot worry that some mom in my prayer group thinks this is a waste of time and that I should focus more on homeschooling my kids. (They’re doing fine for anyone worried about them. A full grade ahead!) I can’t take it personally when a crisis pregnancy volunteer says he doesn’t think this will work and that I should just volunteer there instead. (I do send money to this and many other groups because they do matter, but I know this model will make them better.) I simply have to trust Jesus on nights when I can’t sleep because I’m worried about websites, and outreach, and needing more help. (For the record, He’s never let me down. I just have a very short memory when tired.)
I’m weak, I’m broken, I’m human. Yet God has asked something of me. I do not and could not ever have enough to make it work on my own. So I will give him my two loaves and five fish and trust in a miracle. I believe He will use my meager offering of my time and talents to create a new model for pro-woman and pro-life collaboration. I feel humbled by this honor, but not so much so that I will stop talking about it.
Fear of being too prideful can actually work against you when God is asking to you to take center stage. In order to complete this work given to me by our Creator I must begin utilizing all opportunities to share this vision.
You also need to take your calling from God to the streets and proudly share it. Don’t let your inabilities stop you from doing what He asks. We need more light in this world. We need more guiding stars.