By Sarah Hicks
Hi! My name is Sarah and I love my Catholic faith, a good cup of tea, travelling, teaching, baking and whiskey (in that order). I was raised a Catholic but decided to take on the Catholic faith as my own at sixteen. Eight years later, in which there have been many challenges, but just as many (if not more!) faith-affirming experiences, I find myself in a season of transition (quite literally – I’m currently writing this from the top bunk of my 14-year-old cousin’s room in the North Midlands region of WA and will be heading up to my Aunt and Uncle’s soon, before flying over east).
Change and transition can be challenging. In fact, it’s never really easy. I’ve recently seen the end of my first relationship and have come to the end of my two and a half year’s master’s degree. I’ve felt sad, stressed, purposeless and vulnerable with the end of both these life chapters. While I know many see these closing doors as windows to new opportunities, my confidence really took a knock when the security of educational institutions and the joy of a good relationship both ended.
Questions like ‘what am I meant to do with my life now?’ and ‘what is my purpose?’ have been running around in my head causing anxiety and tears of frustration. However, I’ve found consolation in recognising God’s infinite wisdom, and in the knowledge that Jesus, if I let him, will walk beside me in this time of transition. As Jesus himself says in the Gospel of John “In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33)
This persecution may take many forms, and for me, it has come in the form of temptation to become hopeless in the face of disappointment and uncertainty. To know that Jesus has already overcome all trials for me, has given me great comfort and has restored my foundation of hope. I’ve also found solace in spending time in nature and with good friends. I’ve been shown so much love and kindness from friends who knew me when I had glasses and braces, friends who’ve been able to pray for me, and family whose support has been unconditional and laughter (and that glass of wine or two) wonderfully timely.
While still very much in the midst of transition and uncertainty, I’ve come to realise that as a Catholic I’m given such great sources of consolation and strength. I’m offered continual forgiveness in the form of God’s mercy and the sacrament of reconciliation; and continual hope in Jesus’ resurrection and the Eucharist.
I’ve also come to learn that being Christian in suffering doesn’t mean you pretend you’re ok (trust me, I tried this and I don’t recommend it!), but it means taking up your cross, and with courage trusting these challenges to God. I have regained so much peace by sharing my struggles with others, in serving those around me and in entrusting my fears to Jesus and his Blessed Mother.
I trust that God, who knows me so well, has a plan for me that is more wonderful than I could ever imagine and I strive to take courage with the knowledge that the heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask (Matthew 7: 10 – 11).