It Was Never About That

Do you ever get the feeling you are missing something? Do you ever feel gnawing within your soul? A deep want, a deep need. It’s something that words can't fully grasp, and I go to bed so many nights with a feeling that the day has not quite filled this hole in my heart. There are so many times that I sum it up to loneliness in my head. Yes, I did just get out of a two year relationship that leaves me wondering “where it all went” but I honestly think I may be lonely in a different way.

And through my own fault.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

I was in the middle of finals. I had spun myself into a whirlwind of four anatomy exams, one phlebotomy final and an essay on the arguments for the Traditional Rite of the Mass. The late afternoon latte had done no good either, and I felt rather crazy. I went outside and ran barefoot through the grass, hoping it would grant me a sense of freedom from the chains of my notes. But this in turn made everything spin faster. I had too much to do, so little time. I don’t own the grace of being able to attend a Catholic University and the two things my college town entails is the culture of drugs and farming.

This environment proves to be difficult on a daily basis. I was walking home at the end of the day, and I stopped and looked up at the sky. Where are you, oh God? I have faith you are here, but I still swim in this eternal mist! I cannot find you here!

Where is God among social media, among everyone telling me to live for myself, to get a degree, to be the best, to stop caring about people, especially when you can’t relate to them.

Who am I? Who do I want to be? I now have the chance to become who I want, but I don’t even know myself. People around me always define me. I am too sensitive, I care too much. I thought I was okay like that.

Let me find you, oh God. I cannot find myself.

Even when I go to Mass I have such difficulty connecting to the Eucharist. Why can’t I be at a holy, nurturing parish? Here the priest is 95 years old, shouts at you to speak up in the confessional, and there is no adult education for strengthening you in the faith. How am I to become a strong Catholic when I have no support? What does Catholic fortitude and example mean anymore?

I got home and I tried something I haven’t done in a long time. I listened to Gregorian Chant. Almost immediately I was taken back to one of the most memorable masses in my life, a high mass for the solemn vows of a Benedictine monk. I could almost smell the incense in the chapel. I suddenly felt raw, stripped to my very core by the Ancient One. Here was a memory long hidden away and no one around me could even fathom what it did to my soul.  God was the only one who could share in my bittersweet recollection, for none of my closest friends would understand. Then I understood why I felt lost.

The goal in life, especially in a life full of moral obstacles, is to become who God wants us to become. The world tells us to become who we want to be and to hell with any advice. God tells us that He will mold us into something greater than everything earth could ever give. I have no idea who I want to be. Nothing of my choice feels correct.

We may not always be able to find other men and women around us who are really strong in the faith and help us on our journey in the Church. We may have friends who are kind of Catholic, non-Catholic, or even anti-Catholic. We may even have people in our lives that do not reflect any kind of Godliness. It is our only duty to have faith that God will find us and touch our hearts wherever we are. If we hold the desire to find Him, He will reveal Himself to us in even the lowliest places. Isn’t that what our Father loves best? To come to the places of grime and poorness?

So then, my sweet Creator, find me in my places of shadow. Make me into the woman You want me to be.  Because by becoming that woman, I know that I will be complete in the gifts of my Confirmation. I will be wise, understanding, strong, holy, and in awe of You at every moment in my life. I will walk through many spiritual deserts and dark valleys; yet I will look at the stars every night and find You. And I will be complete.

Larabeth Vanek's (otherwise known as LB) three favorite things are the Mass, tea, and science. She is studying Medical Laboratory Science and loves to visit the Little Sisters of the Poor on her breaks. She enjoys finding like minded people and having delicious conversations.