I have a hard time with change. In the past year, I’ve gone through more changes than I ever have had to at once. It’s been challenging, to say the least. I graduated from Michigan State University in December, my fiance proposed in January, I accepted a full-time job in February, moved out of my apartment in April and returned to Ss. Peter & Paul as Digital Communications Coordinator on August 16.
Something I try to do — and I’ll admit that I am not always successful — is notice where God is in these changes. I’ve come to the realization that not only is God perhaps the impetus for these transitions in my life, but that God is also holding my hand through each one, whether I am aware of it or not. I feel better when I slow down and make myself pay attention to my relationship with God. It makes the scary parts of each change more manageable. It helps me breathe, hydrate, sleep and go to therapy even when I don’t feel up to it. I get through each day because God is at my side — just like He’s at all of our sides — rooting for us to be who we are meant to be.
There are scarier changes than just those of typical young adulthood happening all around us. I’ve been having trouble sleeping because of images in the news of dried up rivers in Europe as a result of a historic drought. Many of us have grown up with the knowledge that climate change would impact our futures. I wasn’t ready for the future to arrive. I ask God how I am supposed to find joy, to start a family, to live a good life when creation is suffering and I fear what will come next. I’ll get back to you if He answers.
If we listen carefully, though, we do have an answer about how to move forward. One of my favorite quotes from Pope Francis is, “You pray for the hungry, and then you feed them. That’s how prayer works.”
The Season of Creation begins this month, and it is the perfect opportunity to put our faith into action and to turn our prayers into good works. The burning bush is the official symbol of this Season of Creation because it calls on us to recognize God’s presence and to know that He is with those suffering the consequences of climate injustice. If we can keep our faith strong as we take action to protect the environment, whether that be through changing our lifestyles, engaging with climate-advocacy organizations like the Laudato Si’ Movement, or completing projects with the SSPP Green Team as we announce our own Season of Creation activities, we can make a difference.
God empowers us to take action during these pivotal moments of change — both societally and in our personal lives — so we can be active participants in transformation rather than passive bystanders. I don’t know what changes the future holds, and I’d be lying if I said I weren’t anxious about them, but I know God is with me.