BIBLICAL POINT OF REFERENCE:
"Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to go unfulfilled. Thus all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba came to know that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the LORD."
~1 Samuel 3:19-20
I arrived at Mass early yesterday to go to Confession, and once I was done and was praying in front of Jesus, I thought about all the suffering and growing up I have had to do in the last couple of years. I'm not saying my life has been horrible, but like pretty much everyone, I have had to go through trials and challenges to get to where I am now. That is when I found myself thinking, "But Jesus and Mary and Joseph and all the saints had to go through a lot more suffering than that."
Do you ever stop and think about what it was like to grow up in Jesus' time? Or what growing up must have been like for Mary and Joseph? It can't have been easy, and yet they handled it with grace and perseverance.
Now I'm sure you've thought about what it's been like to grow up in today's day and age; we struggle a little more with spirituality than we ever have with getting enough food or having a roof over our heads at night. So why do we feel like we have such a burden on our hearts about growing up in this era? Why do we imagine our lives to be at a level of difficulty that we simply cannot move forward without great struggle?
Here's what I've discovered: We put pressure on ourselves to be the best and do the best job and live the best lives, but we forget to connect with the best person who can alleviate our fears, struggles, and worries: Jesus. This is such a crucial step in growing up, and yet so many people never reach it or just pass it by. If we are not taking the time to grow in Jesus and in His love, we aren't going to find fulfillment in overcoming those obstacles that make us who we are. We are going to continue to be lost until we let Him in.
I need Jesus desperately. I need His guidance, His care, His comfort, His graciousness, and His ever-saving love. And I didn't just need Him when I was first going to elementary school or going through puberty or walking blindly in high school - I need Him now more than ever, because it is now that I am truly growing up and making myself into someone my family, my friends, Jesus, and me can be proud of.
So I'm begging you my sisters: come and gather at His feet so that He may help you through your struggles as you grow up in the faith. Let Him guide you, and let Him love you.
Your Laughing Sister,