Faced with myself

Article Published in “ Farol da Ameixoeira” nº 35, December 2015

Nothing to fear when He who awaits us is God Himself.

My name is Andreia I was born into a Christian family which was not of regular practice. However,
I always felt the need to be a part of catechism and the parish community, even though towards the
end of catechism deep down I felt that Confirmation was just one more feast day. Yet, on the day of my
Confirmation, strangely enough, I was conscious that that day was not just another “feast day”, but a
sacrament through which I would receive the Holy Spirit. At that moment I began yearning to become a
good Christian and deepen my faith.

From then onwards I started searching for all sorts of Christian meetings. But at the same time I lived
the banality offered me by our culture: a love of parties, and of the seeming freedom that I felt going out
with my friends. I was looking for something that gave my life meaning, but I couldn´t find it, so I
would fill my time meeting friends and going out. 

It was then I had a deep experience of God in Taizé, and it renewed the need to be an authentic Christian,
with no deception. From that moment on I decided to worry more aboutbeing  than “having things” or
“doing things”. Around that time I was invited to go on retreat at the Congregation of the Aliança de Santa Maria where for the first time I heard the term vocation. I understood deep down that to be a good Christian I had to find out what my vocation was. Faced with myself and the incoherence of my life I understood that the life I was leading was creating in me dissatisfaction and emptiness. Everything began to slip through my fingers!  

The question of vocation assailed my thoughts, and in a moment of courage I asked God what He wanted of me and the answer was clear to me. Even so, despite clearly seeing the calling, this radical way of life was still unthinkable. I knew my life would only be meaningful with Jesus, but at the same time I didn’t want to give up all I had lived. 

But the joy of the Sisters outdid my many fears and slowly I allowed myself to be seduced by Jesus. I asked for spiritual direction and started praying, and a new image began to unfold: the Face of someone who already knew me and loved me as I was, one who had always followed my steps and closely touched my life. That Face was Jesus, who satisfied all my heart’s desires. And so the certainty that God chose me to follow Him with “an undivided heart” is the greatest joy for me, and that which makes me say YES to my calling. 

It’s worth saying YES to God. There is nothing to fear when He who awaits us is God Himself. A God of mercy, a God who only knows how to love and allows Himself to be loved! I surrendered to this God and it is this God that I joyfully speak of and share with you.