OYP Away in a Manger Challenge: HOPE

 Since last year, I have been distant from Jesus, constantly afraid to face Him, feeling lost and confused about who I am and my identity in Christ. I placed my identity in my relationships, what I could or could not do, how others perceived me, and in my emotions and passions.

However, after receiving truths from God during the Empower retreat and even after, one big truth remains. I cannot place my happiness on something I may lose. And so, I have been receiving and growing in hope through learning to trust in God more, to listen and look out for God at the end of each day. And the more hope there is, the more I find my true identity in God, which in turns spurs me on to share His love with everyone.

A practice that I decided to take up is to read one chapter of the book “The Inner Voice of Love” by Henri Nouwen every one to two days. After reading each chapter, I would turn on virtual Eucharistic Adoration and reflect on the truths that I received through my reading. In my time of reflection, I asked myself  how these truths had been lived out in my day, through God’s comforting yet also challenging presence. Through the truths revealed to me, I was challenged to let God move in certain areas of my life, so as to slowly centre my life in Him.

I choose to believe that there is growth even on the days that I do not feel it, on the days that I am indifferent, cold, or tired, and even when I am happy or excited. Through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I have experienced a slow but certain growth in prudence and trust in God. And the more that I learn to trust in God, the more I am learning to sit in the discomfort of loneliness, fear, insecurity and inferiority.

Through the discomfort, God has been slowly transforming these struggles into solitude and love. And each time I trust in God, the less tired I feel, and the more truths I receive through daily reflections and lessons in life. Life is slowly becoming more like living a prayer. And the more my faith in God is rebuilding, the more firm my true identity is in God and His love.


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