"God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called."My Great Aunt, Sister Denis O.Carm., told me this on the day of her award ceremony where she won the prestigious honor: Nun of the Year Award for the State of Louisiana. This tiny 86(ish) year old nun all dressed in brown began crying as she spoke of her deep and passionate love of God and the sacrifice she made leaving home at the young age of 15 to enter the Convent.
Now you may ask, "Breana, what in the heck does this have to do with you?" Well, you see... God is not calling me to the Convent, but for some reason he is calling me to something with deep passionate love and the sacrifice of leaving home - Missions.
I have always known Missions was the answer to my prayers, but it was to find the time and the place and the "fit." For a while I have kept this calling to myself, but this Summer I really dived deeper into prayer about mission life and if this is what He is calling me to, then with who? Finding the right mission group is like trying to find a good husband...hard. But with prayer, it is very practical and possible. I wanted to find a mission group that was, of course, Catholic. Some of the other aspects I was hoping to find in a Catholic lay mission group were love of the sacraments, some kind of group that strived for poverty and obedience and sacrifice, and a good community life. Lately I have come to notice that my life is becoming so cluttered and noisy that I get distracted from the bigger picture that is life, love, and serving others for Jesus.
When the call to missions was becoming more and more clear, I began to get nervous. "What if I'm just making these things up in my head and he really isn't calling me?" "What if I hold off on this call and just do what I want to do...which is finish school and live in the comfort of my home with mommy and daddy?" Then I complained, "But I really am attached to my mom and family, I am Vice President of Phi Mu, I have a job, I am a Junior in College, I am an Ambassador for the University...I'm living a pretty decent and comfortable life, can I just be a missionary and serve you later?" Then came the, "What if He really is calling ME? Lord, I am not worthy of such a call!!! ("he doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called.")
After all of these crazy, unrealistic, and fantasy thoughts went in and out of my head, I began to do some research online and tried to open myself up to prayer in a way that I had never prayed before. I said, "Lord, if this is really you, and you are really tugging my heart to missions, please make this clear and obvious to me, your most stubborn daughter." Then I found Family Missions Company...the only website that google made look cool. Their image, my beloved Holy Family and the World and the beginning of their charisms say: "we are Catholic lay missionaries responding to the Lord's call to proclaim the Gospel and serve the poor here, and to the ends of the earth." What?! SO holy!! What I love most - the families!!! These people take not only their spouse, but their babies to the ends of the earth to proclaim the Gospel and serve the poor! Dang.Shoot.
I stalked the entire website and loved every part of it and then I found a Come and See link. I immediately signed up and began to prepare spiritually. I watched videos and prayed about if I could see me there, if I could see myself as a FMC Missionary. I felt peace, but there was that little bit of inner worry of, "what if something happens at home and I have to come back, but they won't let me leave" - low and behold, the Gospel at mass was: "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." ...ruhhroohhh. There it was, a straight up sign from God. Of course, as a stubborn daughter, my eyes got big and I thought, nahhh, He wasn't saying that to me. HA!
Well, a few weeks later I went on a Pilgrimage to Canada and I became close to nearly every single human being on that trip (God Bless 'em). I was speaking to this wonderful couple about my hopes and dreams and prayers of my life and how I felt a call to Missions. They said that God will make it very clear. Immediately after this encounter we went into mass, I read the reading, sat down, and the Gospel was.... "Follow Me now, and let the dead bury their own dead."
God was absolutely not messin around with this call! After this pilgrimage and as time went on, my desire for worldly things decreased, my desire for acceptance decreased, my desire to love increased, my desire to serve increased. God has molded and shaped my heart to prepare for something great.
Even during the entire Come and See for FMC, though I was having an inner battle of sorts, I still felt this overwhelming peace and joy of serving God's poor in Missions.
I am really excited about my journey with FMC. God is teaching me to love in new ways, He is expanding my heart so I can love more, He is taking care of me. He is teaching me how to solely put my trust in Him and how to rely on Him in all my needs, troubles, cares, and worries.
"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the water, where ever you will call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior."