By Katherine Hayes, Colorado Vincentian Volunteers
Anxiety runs deep in our generation. We are always being told that perfection is what we should be striving towards. It’s said the only way to achieve that is to work harder and longer than anyone else and to have control over everything we do. But I believe that God does not want our lives to be full of this anxiety and emptiness. He wants us to be happy in Him instead of trying to find that fullness of perfection in the world.
My life has been far from perfect and full of anxiety. Anxiety really showed its face when I left college; not because I graduated but because I dropped out. This act of admitting to myself that I was not in love with what I was doing was filled with fear; fear that others would look down on me because of my lack of education and fear that I would never be able to pick up my life and move on from that. I allowed the world to take away my peace because I was listening to the expectations that people put upon us from made-up standards.
I worked for about 2 years doing jobs here and there, making enough money to pay back my student loans, but I was not fulfilled and I was still seeking something else in my life. Throughout those years of working, I looked at many different programs which offered full time volunteer work. Nothing came of this looking until a year later when I got a call while I was in a grocery store from a man named RJ. He said he was with this program called “Colorado Vincentian Volunteers” and they wanted to know if I was still interested in applying. Someone had just dropped out and they had an open spot for their program that started in August (it was July 15th at the time). I said “Why not? Send me an application.” And the rest is history. In that moment I witnessed God working in mysterious ways. Through this simple call, God allowed me to clearly see that we plan and work so hard to control our lives and make sure everything goes according to our plan, that we push aside the One who wants the best for us. Through surrendering ourselves to Him we can grow into the best version of our selves without anxiety.
Being in a community has opened me up to so many different people and different experiences that enable my anxiety and stress about what lies ahead to melt down. Now I can freely say, “God, you got me, right?” Coming to Denver last August was the best decision I’ve made since deciding to drop out of college. My community and my worksite have made me realize that no one has their life totally together, but through trust in God and those around you, you can start living your life to the fullest.
To learn more about service opportunities through Colorado Vincentian Volunteers, please click here.