God didn’t just want half of me. He was getting my attention and saying, “If you want to live for me it’s got to be all or nothing – no in between.” – Anthony Muhs.
This past summer, I went to a Lifeteen camp. One of our speakers was Anthony Muhs – he said many eye opening things, but this one really… well, blew my mind. It was as if he was talking about me. I was in that in between, and am still kind of there – granted, I’m working on it now. But it wasn’t until I heard Anthony put what I was feeling into words that I actually tried to make this change. I found myself constantly claiming to be a person of faith, and I did (do) believe, but I was messing up – constantly, and on purpose.
I learned that there’s a difference between saying you’re a good and faithful person and actually trying to be a good and faithful person.
It is so easy to fall into temptation, it’s in our human nature. God granted us free will, so, naturally, we find ourselves in the face of temptation. It’s how we handle this that makes us who we are. Until recently, I so easily, without a second thought – until after this eye opening moment – would give in to temptation. I find myself actually considering my options, weighing the pros and cons, before falling into temptation now. So I am working on the “in between-ness” in my life. And that’s the point I am trying to get across. In order to get out of that in between state, all you have to do is honestly give it your best effort – and know that when you do fall into temptation’s path you are forgiven.
This year’s theme was ‘Inspire[d]’ – we go to camp to get inspired, and we leave camp to inspire. I hope that someday my story will inspire someone the way Anthony’s inspired me.
Lady Antebellum may not have meant to portray this meaning to their song Compass, but the first time I heard it I thought of God as our compass.
The chorus alone mentions going through a hard time and wanting to give up, but instead of giving up you should let your heart be your compass when you’re lost. A huge part of your heart guiding you through those rough patches, is God leading you. Last year, I went to a camp with my school, and one of the themes was that God is our compass.
Compasses always point to North, and Heaven is portrayed as being ‘up.’ If we think of North as being the place that will shed light on us when we’re lost, it will become true for a real compass and for the compass that is God. We all have moments where we would like to give up because it’s dark, but letting out hearts, or God, be our compass can and will get us out of those situations.
At the end of their chorus, they say, “No matter what you’ll never be alone.” This kind of speaks for itself. God is always with us, even though sometimes it feels as though things have become too much to handle and He has forgotten us, He is always there. So no matter how hard a situation may seem, you’ll never be alone in your struggles because God is always there for you.
I don’t know if this song portrayed the same message to you upon first hearing it, but this is the message I got out of Lady A’s song Compass.
A little over a year ago, I decided that being a Catholic means more than just going to church every Sunday. There are even people I know who rarely go to church who are better Christians than some people who go to church every week. Being a Christian means participating, whether it be through the church or simply through acts of kindness.
As I went through the process of Confirmation, I realized that I really and truly wanted to make a difference. I knew that I wasn’t being confirmed simply because my parents wanted me to, but because it was the right thing for me. A lot of this has to do with the friends I made at my new school, and the way they lived their life. When I realized that my friends were shaping who I was as a Catholic, as I mentioned in my last blog, I came to the conclusion that being a Christian is partially about helping those you care for to stay on the path intended for them in order to get to Heaven.
Last year was the first year I ever attended a Catholic Youth camp, such as DYC. I went to two during the school year and one during the summer, and these camps helped me to realize one of my life goals: I want to help children. At DYC, one of the speakers we had was a man named Sean Forrest, who has an orphanage in Haiti. He spoke to us about the children, and hearing that made me realize just how compassionate I am towards children. As I thought about it more and more, it became evident that as I grow up I would like to travel to Haiti (or another third world country) to help children, and when I told some of my friends this they not only accepted it, but encouraged me.
I believe that encouraging your friends to do the right things and helping them not stray from the path made for them is a huge part of being a Christian, which is why it is so important that we help each other in these things so that we may move toward Heaven together.
The people you associate yourself with help to form who you will become as an adult, whether it be friends, family, significant others, or just peers. Having relationships with people who have the same faith and same beliefs as you is important.
As teenagers, it is easy to fall into the habits of those around us, so surrounding ourselves with people of similar faith can help us to stay on the path intended for us. I have seen myself go down the wrong path because of the people I decided to befriend, and I have seen myself completely turn my life around by choosing better friends. As I’ve grown in my faith in the past year, I’ve done my best to associate myself with people that I believe will help me to stay on the right path. I can honestly say that in the past year I have seen myself grow into a young women of faith because of the people I met when I began going to a Catholic school. These people have helped to shape who I am today, and I am so glad I chose to surround myself with such amazing friends.
When I first moved here, I was the new girl. A few of these people accepted me right away. One in particular helped me to find my faith once again, and if it weren’t for that friend I probably wouldn’t be who I am today. The boy in the far right picture on the top row was a huge part of getting me out of my faith crisis. He helped me to find what it truly means to be a Catholic, and he is just an all around good friend. All of these people have helped me in some way or another, but he is the one who truly opened my eyes to my faith.
These friends of mine are proof that the people you surround yourself with help to form who you become, and, although I haven’t finished growing up, I can honestly say that how they have shaped my life in the past year is amazing.