“How Much Do You Trust Me?”
This summer I had the incredible blessing of walking the Camino de Santiago along the Northern Coast of Spain. I traveled with 31 individuals, ages 17-77, from St. Patrick’s in Elkhorn. Our past chaplain of YCP, Fr. John Norman, pitched the idea of the trip last fall. Father had a profound experience on the Camino ten years ago. Over Thanksgiving, I was discerning whether this trip would be feasible. I shared my interest of going on the trip with a life-long friend, Tessa. Much to my surprise, two weeks after sharing my interest in going, Tessa asked when the deposit was due for the pilgrimage. I was overjoyed by her interest in joining the group! We committed to traveling additional weeks beyond the Camino, including a trip to Fatima for the 100th year celebration of Apparitions. I could hardly wait to embark on this adventure!
My most profound “take away” from the Camino was Jesus gently asking me to give over control. There were multiple instances where this message was made clear. A few examples include: my flight being delayed out of Omaha, causing us to arrive in Spain later than the group; the co-ed sleeping arrangements, especially with camping bunks and snoring throughout the night; and eating warm canned tuna and white carbs multiple times a day. I had to learn to be grateful for these moments when God tested my trust in Him! It was through being uncomfortable that I was reminded to give over control and allow the Father to lead me.
During the pilgrimage, I was dating someone and often thought about this man throughout the trip. I grew immensely in my desire for holiness and knowledge of being vulnerable throughout our time of dating. After dating long distance and making a few visits back and forth, it was made evident that our relationship was not supposed to continue. It was painful to close this chapter of my life, but again I heard Christ state, “Trust me, I want to give you what will make you the happiest”. It was my experience on the Camino that allowed my heart to have certainty in Christ’s timing.
Growing in my trust of the Father led me to a deeper docility to the Holy Spirit. This became more evident to me a few weeks ago during the visit of YCP’s founder, Jennifer Baugh, to Omaha. Jenn has become a dear friend of mine over the last few years. I admire her devotion to the mission and trust in times of adversity. Just before her stay, I purchased an icon of Our Lady of Fatima as a gift from our Leadership team. I wasn’t sure what to purchase, so I called upon the Holy Spirit for guidance. Jenn adored the image. The next morning, she spoke about the image with our team at brunch. Jenn stated, “Rachel knows me so well, buying a Fatima image. Cody and I were married on May 13th!” My jaw dropped. I hadn’t made the connection that her wedding day was on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Naturally, Our Lady would be pulling on our hearts to draw closer to her through one another!
Young Catholic Professionals has helped me gain a new confidence in my abilities. After all, it was through Fr. John Norman’s invitation to go on the Camino pilgrimage that I began to develop a deeper trust in the Father, open my heart to the Holy Spirit, allow the Lord to strengthen me, and encounter Our Lady in such a personal way. Through my prayer life, friendships, and occasional discomfort, I can see that allowing Christ to lead my life is far more rewarding. My “yes” to bringing the mission to Omaha has resulted in life-long friendships and hundreds of lives being touched by the work of the Holy Spirit. I encourage each of you to trust that Christ’s plans will ALWAYS turn out better than yours! Trust that He will always have more for you to experience! St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us.
Written by: Rachel Toner, Vice-President of YCP Omaha Outreach