I saw this quote recently on a friends Facebook timeline and it just spoke to me...
"Many are called to do great things, but few do great things. Why? Because very few will take the responsibility for the call. It doesn't end with a call... First comes the call, then comes the work, then comes the sacrifice, then comes the never giving up, then comes the going all the way through."
- Joyce Meyer
Y'all, I left my job with the church three weeks ago and in those 21 days I have never worked harder in my life. Since we are now living on one income again, my family continues to sacrifice so that I can follow this calling. I have felt like giving up every single day as I struggle to find the words to complete future talks and two books I am currently working on. I continue to be amazed at God's daily provision. Truly, He is so very good.
This past weekend, I spoke to a large group of high school students at our Diocesan Youth Rally. My talk was called "What is a Life Worth?". It addressed not only the scourge of abortion but also the new horror of legalized Physician-Assisted Suicide. I spoke of my life with Courtney and how we must care for and protect our most vulnerable citizens.
I felt like Courtney was smiling down on her Mama while I spoke. There were a few emotional moments for myself and those who attended as I spoke of my daughter's last days here on earth. Even the boys had tears. I couldn't make eye contact at that point or I would have lost it.
Afterward there were hugs and words of encouragement given to these young warriors who are on the front lines everyday, fighting to defend their faith and what it teaches. It's hard to be a teenager today in this culture that values instant celebrity over authentic friendships, death over life, and skepticism over faith.
The Diocesan Youth Ministry theme for this coming year is "I will love" a direct quote from Mother Teresa (now St.Teresa of Calcutta). Bishop Loverde gave beautiful homily at Mass about taking up this challenge, one day at a time. It's a challenge he himself has taken and his personal encouragement to 600 plus teenagers was incredibly moving and I have no doubt it landed on very fertile soil.
As I looked around that auditorium, I was struck by the joy and openness on the faces of the teens. They are so hungry for the truth and I was incredibly humbled to be a very small part of the truth telling experience that afternoon. Let not your hearts be troubled my friends. I have seen the future of the church and it is beautiful my friends.
It made all the hard work of prayerfully finding the words and crafting the talk worth it. Every moment of doubt, gone in 20 minutes. Thank the good Lord for his bountiful mercy and grace these past few weeks and for your prayers as well my friends. I don't know where I would be without either.
There are more talks to write and more truth to speak my friends. This new career path is not going to be easy but God is good ALL the time.
Labels: abortion, physician-assisted suicide, public speaking, youth ministry