They call it a “victory lap” for a reason…
I was so blessed to call SFA my home for five long, hard, joyous years. I
cried here, laughed here, loved here, and found God here. God was able to use
so many wonderful people to break down my walls and help me open up to love
and His divine wisdom. I not only learned how to teach Theatre and Music to
middle school and high school students, but I also learned how to share the love
of Christ with others. I learned that it is ok not to see God’s plan right now, that it
is ok to try new things and also fail at them, and that it is ok to be vulnerable and
not have it “all together”. Most importantly I learned that no matter what I do or
what my major is, I need to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations”
Jesus Christ told all of us to save souls in any way we can. I am so
blessed with the next two years of my life devoting my time radically to lost souls
at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Praise God for allowing FOCUS to
take root at St. Mary’s my first senior year. Flash forward two years and in
imitation of Mother Mary I was able to give my own Fiat to the Lord through my
commitment to FOCUS for the next two years. I honestly cannot wait to see what
else the Lord wants me to say “yes” to.
“Jesus, I trust in you” has been a phrase that I have muttered countless
times during my undergrad. Whether it was to pass a class or discern my
vocation. God has blessed me with beautiful resources throughout my final years
at SFA, he gave me fellow peers who are also discerning their vocation and trips
to visit convents and different religious orders. Although, it’s a very internal battle
when trying to figure out how you want to serve the Lord the rest of your life. My
roommates were finding outfits for dates and I was finding different religious
orders that I could join. But having the resources and people at St. Mary’s was
such a good way for me to find direction for my discernment.
It would be wrong if I did not mention a few people by that have been
instrumental in my formation and discernment at SFA. I came into St. Mary’s
when Fr. Paul was the chaplain. He is such a smart man and I feel so blessed to
have experienced his homilies, notes included. After Fr. Paul came Fr. Rowland
and not only did he have a cool accent, but he is so relatable to the students.
Apparently he called me the “wannabe nun”, and his sharp wit did not stop there.
Another person who became a mother and a friend to me was Mrs. Parr.
She led the choir at St. Mary’s all throughout my time at SFA. The choir was such
a good place to share my talents and grow in ways that I didn’t know I could
grow. One precious memory I have was when the choir went on a Spring Break
trip to Nashville, Tennessee to visit the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia and the
monks at the Trappist Monastery in Kentucky. Our choir turned into a family and I
can only hope that we do not lose touch.
My last person to acknowledge I really got to know my last year at SFA.
Jodi Phillips became our campus minister two years ago and she also became
my friend. On a whim I asked Jodi if I could join the Core Team, knowing I could
only do it for one semester because of student teaching the last semester of my
undergrad. Knowing all this she still allowed me to join the team and for that I am
forever grateful. I had never been too involved at St. Mary’s because my major
was very demanding and I didn’t want to mix my personal life with my church life.
Praise God for Jodi and FOCUS for making me get more involved! I truly believe
I grew the most in my faith life in my last two years of undergrad than I had in my
whole life. My apostolate on Core Team was helping with RCIA and I completely
loved it and wanted to help these students meet Christ. My faith was growing and
the Lord allowed me to see others' faith growing as well.
My God is an awesome God! Never in a million years could I see myself
doing what I am preparing to do. FOCUS has already led me to Christ and taught
me how I can imitate Him. And even though the next couple of years are a
mystery, I know if it was not for my “victory lap” at SFA then I wouldn’t be