Jesus Knows the Way

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By: Amanda Roughton.

If someone told me last Fall that in a years’ time I would quit my job working for the lead agency in Canada for Autism, give up all of the things I used to live for (and think important): success, money, prestige, and worldly gain, to become a missionary, I would’ve flat out said “no”. I was just starting to trust God again… there was just no way. But Jesus knows the way when you can’t see it. My “no” turned into a resounding “yes” at CCO’s annual Rise Up Conference in 2013, but there is a bit more to the story than that.

2012-2013 was really tough in all respects for me. In April 2012 -after 3 years of discernment I discovered that the religious order I planned to enter was not God’s plan for my life. In retrospect this was both a blessing and an answered prayer, but at the time I didn’t see it as such. I was completely devastated. How could God take this away from me? What did He want from me? I was angry and heartbroken; did Jesus not want me as a spouse? Did He want me at all? In a matter of weeks I began to question my belief in Jesus. I became physically and emotionally sick. I didn’t know what to do; Jesus was there but I was afraid to reach out to Him once more. It took me until the summer to start trusting again. After a night of Eucharistic Adoration and Reconciliation my desire to seek after the Lords truth and knowledge returned; my heart longed to bring souls to Christ once more.

By Fall I was itching to fully serve Christ and His Church again. The only problem: I had no clue how to go about this. Education had always been important to me so I thought I could work towards my Master’s in Theology with the intent of one day working for the Church, but God had more immediate plans for my gifts.

One day my spiritual director asked if I had ever considered applied learning. He challenged me to look into CCO before proceeding with my master’s application.  My knowledge of the movement was minimal at best; I had a few friends on staff but really didn’t know what they ‘did’.  The Human Resource Department was immensely helpful in answering my myriad of questions before I finally felt called to fill out the preliminary application. My aspirations for a Master’s were pushed aside and my application to staff was at the forefront…until work got busy and I got distracted by clients, friends and life.

Amanda with friends at Rise Up

Rise Up 2014

I soon found myself attending Rise Up 2013 with my younger cousin who didn’t want to go alone. I agreed to go in an effort to help her journey closer to Christ. Who knew it would be the answer that I had been praying for. On Monday evening at Rise Up I told my spiritual director that I had put my application on hold and wasn’t sure about it. Later, that same evening, I knelt in prayer and asked Jesus to really speak to my heart. My next move was crucial; I would either go to the front of the room and give my yes to Christ or remain in my seat. I remember telling Jesus “Okay, I’ve given you my yes in the past, but it came with reservations, conditions, rules and an expiry date. This time I want to give you my full yes, unconditional and totally free, I want to give you my life. Whatever you want Jesus, I’ll do.” With that I got up and walked to the front.  It was here that Jesus confirmed my call to staff as I signed a letter addressed to Pope Francis. When I returned Toronto I finished my application- this time, hitting the ‘send’ button felt right.

Since then Jesus has done more than I could ever hope for or imagine. All He needed was my unreserved and freely given YES. God works in amazing ways. Last April I never would’ve guessed that in removing one vocation from my heart, He would offer another tailor-made for me.

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