The Lord has called me to serve the students at South Dakota State University! I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to work with the students at SDSU. In the past few years, Jesus has radically changed my life in so many ways–Praise Him! I would love to share my story with you, but I would love even more to hear your story!
Going into my first year at Benedictine College, I was pretty solid in my faith–or so I thought. I had learned much about Catholic beliefs and had already begun practicing a decent prayer life, but my faith had hit a plateau. When we go through life convincing ourselves that we are “fine,” we eventually hit a point that we truly believe it. That was where I was and trust me, I was definitely not fine. I wouldn’t admit to myself that I was suffering from the wounds of my past. Instead, I continued to pretend that I was just fine and I built walls around my heart to ensure that I would stay that way. While I was still pursuing a relationship with the Lord, I could only go so far because of this denial. The walls I had built to protect my heart kept me from being able to receive God’s love and mercy, and I couldn’t see the healing of which my heart was in deep need.
It wasn’t until I crossed paths with a teammate at Benedictine (I played volleyball there) that this block started to shift. This teammate pursued my friendship from the very first day of pre-season workouts and I hated it. I can look back now and realize it was Jesus in her that I was really running from, but at the time I just thought she was annoying :). Eventually, I gave in and we became best friends almost immediately. There was something special about her ability to love others and I was incredibly drawn to that. As she walked with me in friendship and mentorship, I figured out that it was a Divine Presence that allowed her to love the way she loved. When I learned that, I knew something in me needed to change. I could see the plateau I was on and I wanted more.
Thanks to that friend’s invitation, I encountered the Lord’s mercy in a very radical way at a FOCUS conference and then again at a FOCUS retreat. Through a series of events that would take too much space on this page, I began an incredible journey of healing and forgiveness that I continue to walk to this day. It’s through this healing that I am able to love in a way I had never been able to love before. It also allowed me to look outside of myself and see the hurt around me a little more clearly. The Lord used my friend as an instrument to bring me back to Him, and now I need to be that person for others. He has given me a burning desire to use my testimony of faith and freedom to help bring his children back into his loving embrace. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to do just that as His missionary through FOCUS!
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 the most amazing people who have journeyed with me as I serve on campus. If you are interested in joining me in mission in this way, 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!