Hello my lovely readers! I am pleased to announce that I survived finals week! It’s been a while since my last blog post (this is my subtle way of saying “I’m sorry” for not posting in the past eight weeks), and it’s been an interesting two months to say the least. Honestly, I’ve strayed away from God recently, but thankfully, I feel myself slowly letting Him back into my life. I’ve learned that He is so present in our daily lives, and here’s a story to prove that to you.
About a month ago, I received an email from the Walt Disney Company. Last August, I applied for the Disney College Program (Disnerds like myself refer to it as the DCP). if I was lucky enough to get in, I would work in Disneyland for one magical semester. I made it through all three rounds of the application process, but spoiler alert, I didn’t get in. I was crushed. Doing the program had been my dream for six years; realizing that my dream wasn’t coming true was heartbreaking. But being the positive thinker that I am, I quickly dried my tears and reassured myself that I had many more semesters to apply, and I was bound to get in at least once.
Two weeks after receiving the email from Disney, my family and I took our annual vacation to Disneyland. Unlike previous trips, we weren’t on a mission to check off all the attractions from a “to do” list. We were just happy to be there. We relaxed at the hub, listening to the Disneyland band perform in front of the castle, and my sister and I reclined in rocking chairs on Main Street, watching park goers hustle to be first in line to ride Space Mountain.
Although the trip was practically perfect in every way, it did nothing whatsoever for my relationship with God. I tend to stray away from the faith whenever I’m at Disneyland. Instead of talking to Him daily like I normally do, I push Him away. I act as if I only need Him whenever my life isn’t perfect, when really talking to Him should be a daily activity, even if I am in The Happiest Place on Earth.
So yes, going to Disneyland derailed my faith. After returning from California, I stopped going to the chapel, and I didn't write in my prayer journal. It became a bad habit that I couldn't break for weeks. The first day of Advent, I started fresh. I talked to God in the chapel, confessing that I had idolized Disneyland so much that I pushed Him away in the process. I told Him the desires of my heart. I had never talked to God about my desires, because I assumed that He knew them, which is true. But, a relationship grows by communicating. Until now, I never understand that I had to communicate everything with Him to have an authentic relationship.
One of my desires was to someday do the DCP. But since my last Disneyland trip, I’d had second thoughts about the program. If I couldn’t keep a growing relationship with Him during my Disneyland vacation, how would it be for a whole semester if I worked there? After that conversation with God, I felt pretty certain that I wasn’t called to do the DCP anytime soon.
The next day, I attended Sunday mass. Imagine my excitement when the homily was all about talking to Him, specifically, sharing the desires of our heart to Him! It was one of those homilies that you know God planted in the priest’s heart just so you could hear it.
That night, I was watching a YouTube video before hitting the hay. The video referenced the annual candlelight procession in Disneyland that takes place during Christmastime. I always knew of the event but I didn’t know what it entailed. My curiosity got to me and I ended up watching a video of the procession.
It began with a huge choir processing down Main Street to the train station as they sang popular Christmas songs. Not going to lie, the calming music was putting me to sleep, and I felt like staying up a little later than normal (I normally go to bed early, so I was feeling rebellious this night, wanting to stay up past eleven, gasp!). I clicked out of the video and started watching something more lively to keep me awake, but I couldn’t focus on the new video I was watching because all I could think about was the procession. I don’t know what prompted me to switch back to the candlelight video, but I did. The guest reader, Chris Hemsworth, appeared at the podium, and before I knew what was happening, he spoke, “The angel, Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth…the angel said to Mary, ‘You will conceive and bring forth a son, and His name will be Jesus”.
I couldn’t hide the smile enveloping my face as happy tears started streaming down my cheeks. Jesus has become the most important part of my life, so to see His story being told at my favorite place on Earth was mind blowing.
I suddenly thought back to my most recent conversation with Him about my desire to do the DCP. More tears streamed down my cheeks as I realized without a shadow of a doubt that this was an act of the Holy Spirit. I knew that God was speaking to me. He told me that night to apply to the college program. He told me that He’ll be with me no matter where I go. And if I do get in, He’ll help me stay focused on what’s really important: my relationship with Him. I know that the only reason why I clicked on the video was because it was the Holy Spirit guiding me.
I shared this story to show you that He hears us. He listens to the desires of our hearts. He speaks to us in so many different ways, in ways that we can best understand Him.
Try to be more attentive this Christmas season, listening for His voice in this busy world. Remember to slow down, spend quality time with those you love, share with Him the desires of your heart, and cling to the true reason for the season. I wish you the merriest and most magical Christmas.
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