By Laura C. Barry
Do you ever hear a song on the radio and it feels as if that song is speaking to you? If you’re happy in love, an oh-so-romantic song will come over the airwaves. If you’re going through heartbreak, just the right words will reach out to you, making you feel like you’re not the only one who’s ever been wounded by love. Maybe it’s because you’re subconsciously listening harder to a song you may have heard many times before, but for whatever reason, the words stick out like they’re written in bold font.
I’ve been going through a soul-searching period, where I’ve really been feeling a call to my faith. I’m lucky to have grown up in a family where being Catholic is more than just going to church on Sundays, but making faith your very own is a personal journey. It’s a journey with highs and lows, going from being ever-so-sure of your faith to sometimes questioning. A learning type of journey, where the process of getting to where you end up is what makes you stronger. It makes you feel sure that you’ve made the right choice and, though there will be a continued need for growth, you feel good about the road you’re on.
After spending eight months volunteering abroad in a poor community, I returned home to find home the same but that I’d changed. How could I have taken all that I’d been given in my life for granted? I’ve never worried about whether or not I could go to school because I didn’t have the tuition payment. My family never had to struggle to put food on the table. But still, this community was one of devout faith, of thanks and appreciation. Suddenly, my view of life was from a different perspective and it was hard stepping back into life in New England.
On one particular day, I was completely overwhelmed with my “re-entry” woes and with trying to find a job, struggling to find self-worth when mine is one of hundreds of applications on a manager’s desk. I was completely in limbo, sitting alone in my parked car and unsure of what to do next. I had the radio on, searching for some meaning behind the notes, thinking of just how alone I felt – and then I had a “God moment.” A song came blaring over the radio, one that I’d never heard before but was released years ago. Carrie Underwood sang about a single mom going through a tough time herself, driving to her parents’ house on a stormy night. When her car hits black ice and spins out of control, she says to the Lord: “Jesus, take the wheel. Take it from my hands, ‘cause I can’t do this on my own. I’m letting go.” When her car comes safely to a stop, she tells the Lord that she’s been out of touch with who she needs to be, she vows to return to prayer and to lean on God.
Whatever our black ice might be that causes us to spin out of control, that moment helps put things in perspective and can make us realize just how great our need for faith is. We were created to be people of faith – we are God’s children. I was finally at that point – ready to let the Lord guide me, knowing full well that He would look out for me because He knows me better than anyone else. He is my Creator and my Father. And I can’t do this on my own.