A little more than three years ago I had the unexpected opportunity to accept a full-time job leading the children’s catechesis ministry at my parish. This unsolicited offer from my pastor caught me off-guard and definitely by surprise. I hadn’t worked full-time since having my oldest child who was, at that time, 18 years old.
So, with the help of my husband and my spiritual director, I prayed, discussed, thought, and prayed some more about whether this was where God was calling me at this time in my life. After a lot of obsessive thinking and waffling between yes and no, I accepted the position with my husband’s support.
Almost immediately after accepting the job, I started worrying about whether I had made the right choice. I was filled with fear and anxiety. What was I thinking? How could I manage a family and full-time job after all these years? Where did I get off thinking that I could teach anybody about a holy life? After all, I was just little-ole Laura trying my best to be a good wife, mother, and daughter. Most often, though, it felt like I was just trying to survive each day! How could I take on this important task of teaching the children of our parish?
In my panic, I emailed my spiritual advisor and shared my anxieties. His response was exactly what I needed to hear. “You’ve thought and prayed about this and have discerned your decision. Cast out fear! Our God is bigger!” He was right. I needed to trust my discernment process but, more importantly, I needed to trust God. Whatever I couldn’t handle, He would. Besides, especially when you enter ministry, you need to be keenly aware that you are NOT the one who brings forth the fruit of your labors. God is the one doing the heavy lifting.
In my fear, I was putting limits on God that He doesn’t have. It’s so easy to forget that God is truly beyond our understanding. He is so much more than we give Him credit for. By trusting Him, I was following His will for me. Looking back on that time, I see that I answered God’s call with my own “fiat” the day I accepted this job. But, if I had given in to fear, I would have run away from God’s plan (probably while screaming!).
When in your life have you given in to fear rather than trust God and step out in faith? How do you need to “Cast out fear” in your life today?