A dear reader asked me to write a post about the things I, if given the opportunity, would tell my college-age self. I came up with a bunch of ideas yet with each nugget of wisdom, I realized that it would have been very difficult for the college-age me to accept and apply.
Wisdom is something that we obtain over time and can often only be applied after we are healed from the things that make us unwise. The readings from Sunday’s Mass about the wheat and the weeds reminded me of the other parable in the Gospel of Matthew about the importance of sowing seeds on healthy soil:
“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matthew 13:23
My soil was not fruitful. It needed to be cultivated and plowed. The stones had to be removed. Good seed had to be planted. Then, truth, hope and peace could grow and dwell.
While in college, I was away from God and His grace. I was not participating in the Sacramental life because I had no idea what that meant and why it would make a difference. It was the exact prescription I needed but I just didn’t know it. While I was away from Him, my soil became dry and full of rocks and weeds. These rocks and weeds led me to compare myself to others and sell out for something less that what my heart needed.
I thought that I could heal myself and I strove for a perfectionism which I hoped would get me what I wanted. But, the Lord knew that I was on the false path and, out of love, He allowed me to suffer defeat and heartache so that I would turn to Him and “yield the peaceful fruit.”
“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Heb. 12:11
There were, however, people in my life whose words of encouragement caused me to question my unhealthy way of thinking. Like a lighthouse of truth, their words and perspective were a waypoint leading me toward hope and healing. Therefore, I will share with you the things that I wish I would have known and I pray that the Lord uses it for His glory:
Dear College-Age Cindy,
- God is alive and intimately involved in every action of your life. Although He seems like a distant and uncaring God, you will look back and see His merciful and mysterious hand in your life.
- That guy that you are crushing on is not the one and there is nothing you can do to make him the one.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. The things you desire are in the Supernatural realm and cannot be obtained without God.
- That other guy is also not the one. Although it feels amazing to have his attention and affection, it is not enough. It is not love and you know this. Enjoy your time with him but don’t be so hard on yourself when it ends.
- You are covered by a veil. You can try as hard as you want to but no one except for Gregg will see you. And, that is going to take a while.
- The phone does not have any magical powers. You can’t make it ring. Also, the ring of the phone does not increase your worth and the lack of ringing does not decrease your worth.
- You are going to have a child and it will not be scary. Instead, you will be healed through the process. Your body will recover and you will see that your body and its design is awe-inspiring.
- Look at you becoming a runner! So out of your comfort zone. It seems like a lot of hard work with little pay off but over the years, this will prove to be a very valuable skill that teaches you perseverance.
- Go to Mass. Go to Confession. Read God’s word. Pray and believe. Live a Sacramental Life in Christ.
- Be patient with yourself and with the process. It is going to be alright. Actually, more than alright. It is going to be amazing.
God love and bless you!
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Thank you Cindy for sharing. This was really good and encouraging.
Thank you, Bri! Praying for you!
“You are going to have a child and it will not be scary. Instead, you will be healed through the process. Your body will recover and you will see that your body and its design is awe-inspiring.”
Cindy, I’m really interested in this and I wonder if you might expand upon it a little?
On blogs by Catholic women, I often see them write that they can’t wait to be mothers and that they’ve always been sure that they wanted to have children. I’m troubled a little because…I feel really ambivalent about the idea of becoming a mother. At best I feel indifferent, and at worst I feel as if it’s something I never ever want to be. If I ever get married I will have children if I’m still fertile, and I will follow ‘Humane Vitae’. I will never be in a deliberately sterile marriage. Of that I’m sure. I will not disobey Church teaching. But the knowledge that marriage will almost certainly mean having children is enough to make me thankful that I’m not married, and hopeful that I never marry. For context, I turned 24 today.
I love children, but I suffer from anxiety and mild depression. I have for all my life, and I probably will for the rest of my life. I’m functional and I’ve never been hospitalised. I know how to manage my condition. However, I’m fearful that pregnancy and postpartum hormones will result in postnatal depression for me. I tire very easily and I have weak nerves. It is not a stretch to say that it’s possible that if I reach my stress threshold, I might have a nervous breakdown, and I can think of few things more stressful than parenting. It. Doesn’t. Stop. As a parent, you’re always “on”, or so I believe. I’ve seen both my parents nearly reach breaking point due to the demands of children and extended family, and I just think, “No. Can’t do it.” And combined with all the financial stresses, interpersonal dramas and random disasters that beset even good, stable marriages (not to mention the bad marriages!), I’m very fearful of
marriage. Very few women seem to be this way, or at least they won’t admit it.
Do you (or anyone else) have any insights?
Hi Julia! I am so sorry that you are suffering from this condition which is very complex and I am sure, frustrating. I do not have any insights from a medical point of view but I do understand the fear that you describe of both marriage and child bearing. I am praying for you. Write to me anytime. Love and healing, Cindy
Agreed 🙂 The phone part made me laugh
I know! That stupid phone. 😉 Praying for you, Christina. Love, Cindy
Great post!!! I agree with you!!! I would also add, just because I personally struggle with this… SLOW DOWN and ENJOY your life in each season! Finding the joy through each season of your life is so important. Side note: we are missing you all!!
Yes! slowwww down. We miss you all dearly too! Love to all, C, G and J