I write you with the utmost of urgency.
Yesterday a friend sent me a message on Facebook and all the message said was, “Watch God is Not Dead.” I have thought about watching it a few times, but I happen to be a big movie critic and Christian movies tend to have a cheesiness that I can’t stand. But, I thought it was a little strange that this person messaged me, seeing as how we really don’t talk much. So I decided to give it a try. Within 7 minutes I stopped watching. I’m telling you, I’m tough. But, then today I went on a retreat / training day with all the other teachers and the nuns at the school I work with here. It’s a private school run by Catholic nuns. The retreat went well. I didn’t get as much out of it as everyone else…probably because I didn’t understand a word the speaker was talking about. But I pretty much spent the whole day reading my bible, which was great. Also, there was a great sense of community and love the whole day. But anyway, during the retreat one of the speakers played about a 10 minute clip from the movie, God is Not Dead – but it was in Spanish – so again, I barely understood anything. But even without understanding, I felt passion and intensity from the movie. Since my interest was peaked, I decided to give it another shot when I got home. The movie does get better. Throughout the movie I would tear up, a little more at every emotional scene. But then it got to the part where the man gets hit by the car and the preacher just so happened to be there (in good Christian movie fashion), but I couldn’t help but think of all the people I have encountered in my life, and the millions that I haven’t, who don’t know God. This thought all of a sudden consumed me. I thought of the people here whom I have come to know and care for who don’t know God. I thought of friends and family back home who chose not to follow God. I went into a panic attack. I have never experienced this personally before. I was sobbing and hyperventilating, my body started to clench and I got that feeling like when your foot falls asleep…except everywhere. I knew that I needed to stop myself from hyperventilating and to just breath normally. Once I controlled my breathing a bit more I knew I needed to walk around and get my blood flowing. The whole time I was praying and asking for peace and the holy spirit to calm my mind. That was working, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about how alone I felt, so I did what any sound person does when they don’t know what to do. I called my mother. I tried to be as calm as possible because I knew I would scare the living you-know-what out of her. I still could barely control my hands and all the muscles in my body felt extremely clenched, but I couldn’t wait any longer. Fortunately, she was near her phone. I told her what happened. I told her how I felt I had failed so many people here. I felt like so much of the time I had been lazy, and I could have done a much better job. I told her how scared I was for all the people in the world who, for many different reasons, wish to go through life without God. I told her about how afraid and sad and desperate that made me feel. I long so badly for each person to know God each and everyday. Because she is a saint, and is always open to God, He used her to calm me down. She gave me words of affirmation, of course about how proud she was of me and how I was doing a good job, which was nice but not what I needed to hear. What she said that I absolutely needed to hear was that it is not my job to save the world. I am merely an instrument, a voice , a tool that God uses to reach out to other people. She also said that this is not it for me, that I am just getting started and molded into who God is making me to be and to do. Then my dad popped in the Facetime window and ask what was wrong…and my mom kindly explained it to him for me. Then he gave me some extreme kind words of affirmation. Side note: I have the best parents in the world. Anyway, I thanked them and said goodbye. This was a good thing that happened. The devil tried to attack me in a very physical and spiritual and personal way. He said I wasn’t good enough, not strong enough, I was lazy, I was letting God and all the people around me down. But the devil is a moron and should know by now that he may cause me to trip and sometimes even to fall, but I will never lie down. I will never give up. God already has promised victory, and I am with him and he is with me. All the devil has done is fuel my passion for saving souls, and I will not stop until God calls me home. And that is a promise.
My dear friends and family, this is the most important message I have for you. You may not believe in God, or you may be struggling, or you may have a faith but not live it out. I am begging you to talk to God, but more importantly, to listen. Often times we are so busy praying, talking, complaining, and questioning God that we never let Him respond. And when He does respond, we write it off as coincidence, or our own doing or whatever other excuses we make. God hardy answers us in the way we ask because let’s face it, we barely know what we truly want, let alone what is actually best for us.
I didn’t write this for anyone to give me words of comfort or affirmation, I don’t want or need them. I wrote this because I whole-heartedly believe in Jesus Christ and everything He stands for. And because I love you, and want to spend all of eternity with you in paradise. God speaks through ways we each individually understand. For you, it could be the Bible, or a friend, or a song, or a podcast, or through the Eucharist or a hike through nature. I am begging you to try. I promise, it will be worth it.
If there is one thing in this life that I want you to remember, it is what is written above. But know that these aren’t my thoughts; I am only a vehicle. These are the words of the Creator; I am only a voice. Pray hard and love greatly my friends, there is much work to be done.
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