I served my first three years at the University of Cincinnati, and have been called to serve my fourth year at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota. Being from Minnesota, this is an exciting transition, as I love the state, the seasons, and I will have family within a few hours of me. Warm weather will put me in a hammock or out on the lake, and snowy weather will get me out on the cross-country ski trails.
I encountered the love of Jesus during Adoration at my fourth Steubenville Conference about a month or so before I left for college in July 2017. The knowledge that I was loved by God Himself radically hit me and shattered my heart of stone. In its place, God gave me a heart full of faith, hope, and love and invited me to love and trust Him in return. Up until then, I had thrown myself into academics, sports, and leadership opportunities in extracurriculars throughout my high school career. As I wandered away from the Lord after I was confirmed earlier in high school, I started to feel a heavy weight upon me. I was coming face-to-face with 1) my own failures and limits both in my scholastic efforts and in virtue and love, and 2) my alone-ness in all of it. I felt paralyzed beneath this heavy load, and I’d been dragging it around with me for years, thinking I could deal with it all on my own. When Jesus poured His mercy out on me that night in July, I was overwhelmed by how much He loved me, despite all my sins and failings. Without the pressure to live up to the what perfectionism told me I should be, I felt free. This was the freedom I found as I discovered that my identity was who God my Father told me I was, which is ultimately that I am His beloved daughter.
“The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life.”
– Pope Benedict XVI
With a renewed heart, I headed into my first of three years at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, go Braves! A new boldness within me had me saying yes to anything I could at our St. Joseph Newman Center next to campus–Sunday Mass, Bible study, a few daily Masses, weekly Adoration, a retreat, and fellowship unlike I’d ever experienced before. Through the invitations of so many people to continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus, I quickly began making changes and sacrifices in my life to live out the habits of a disciple of the Lord.
Throughout my years in college, I fell deeper in love with Jesus than I ever could have imagined prior. Moreover, I found myself coming alive as I walked alongside other women as they navigated life in college and their own relationships with the Lord. No matter what it cost me–hours spent with someone to help them in their journey with a virtue, saying no to a certain club so I could have time to lead Bible Study and discipleships, etc.–I always found myself more joyful when I was encouraging others in their walk with God.
This led me to an easy ‘yes’ to being a FOCUS missionary my senior year. The desire to continue living out mission with other women my age in a college setting grew more and more, and I was eager to accept when I was given an offer. Thus far, it is the best thing I’ve done in my life.
When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. I’ve been blessed with an amazing support team the last three years, who have allowed for me to give three years of my life to serving the students at the University of Cincinnati, and who are continuing to support me as I serve my fourth year at Bemidji State. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know of the best way to reach you, and I will schedule an appointment. I’d be honored to share this mission with you in whatever capacity you are able.
Feel free to reach out to me via email, text, or phone call: [email protected] | 612-750-6085