What does a life without fear look like? Until this year, I didn’t know. Though I tried to serve God, I did it timidly, afraid of what others might think. Then I went to Winter Conference with SPO, and something changed. God used this inspiring weekend in Ohio to give me a courageous heart to love and a vision for the eternal.
When I began this year as a member of Missionary Corps I had to constantly tell myself to give and to not be afraid. Abbey, I’d remind myself, these gifts are not your own. They belong to the Lord. As I continued to do this it began to get easier to love those I met and share my true self.
The theme of Winter Conference, “Love for the World,” hit my heart in a powerful way. God was speaking to my heart about the great sacrifice of love. He wanted me to be able to give. He wanted me to let my heart be pierced for love of souls and to imitate His love for the world. I needed to realize my nothingness before Him; that even my fear was nothing compared to His greatness and His merciful love. But I also needed to see that God would not let me be broken if I laid down my life for the sake of souls.
The women’s session speaker talked about things that prevent us from loving. One that really hit my heart was “constant thoughts about the future.” Because I was always thinking about what I was doing next I missed the opportunities to love that were right in front of me. God in His great mercy took away my worries about the future and replaced them with a deep trust in His love and perfect plan for my life.
This opened me up to receive the gifts that God wanted to give me to help love His people better. I came back from Winter Conference and wanted nothing but to give my whole self for the sake of love. I saw new opportunities and new people that needed to be loved. My last semester at Benedictine has been so blessed, so filled with the Holy Spirit and His constant direction. How beautiful it is to be free in the love of Christ; to live life and not worry about the unknown, to be able to give and to not be afraid, to love and not count the cost.
Abbey Novak is a junior studying Theology at Benedictine College and a member of the SPO Kansas Missionary Corps.