Many different people have spoke to me about perseverance. It’s a word that is tossed around a lot. I hear it referenced when people are struggling with a variety of issues. I’ve been encouraged to persevere in my vocation by my youth minister. The first time I heard it I don’t think I really understood what the word meant. I mean I knew the meaning, to stick it through during difficult times, but I didn’t really understand what it meant for me in this situation. The definition of perseverance is “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”
Over the past couple month I’ve really been struggling with spiritual desolation, feeling distant from God. And in the midst of that, I’ve been confronted with a lot of questions about my plans for my future. I wake up in the morning and I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t feel like going to Mass, I even think about walking out in the middle sometimes. I go to work and I’m not motivated. I spend time in prayer but really just write complaints in my prayer journal about all that’s going on and get no real response.
What I’ve been realizing more and more is how important it is that I persevere. It would be MUCH easier to give up. I trick myself into thinking sometimes that I would even be happier if I just gave up on this path and lived my life as society is telling me to. But, I know that isn’t true. I know that to find true happiness I have to give of myself, totally and completely. I know that even though I don’t always feel like getting out of bed or going to work or praying, it is still important that I do it.
Part of living the Christian life is dealing with difficulty and what defines us is not that we struggle but how we deal with that struggle. Love isn’t about a feeling, even though that’s what we’re tricked into thinking. Love is a choice. Perseverance is also about a choice. It’s the choice not to give up when things get rough. When you know something is really important, when you love someone, you don’t give up just because things get tough. Perseverance is the key to this journey.
It’s hard, but I’m not going to give up. I am going to keep fighting the good fight. I’m not always sure that religious life is where the Lord wants me, but I know that I have to try it. I know that the Lord wouldn’t have brought me this far to leave me in the dust all by myself. I know that He is with me even when I can’t feel Him. I know that His love for me is immeasurable. I know that because of these truths I must persevere. I will not give up.