I feel like my life is coming full circle. I know it is all a part of God’s plan and I have been on a journey. Now, I am looking back and I see the pieces coming together in a way I could never have planned.
I had a great Catholic formation as a teenager going to youth group and it was strengthened when I later was a leader for a youth group. There were a few influential people who gave their lives as youth ministers, who answered a lot of my hard questions, who picked me up when I fell, and who supported me through my successes. I’ve always felt so blessed and thought, “How could I ever say thank you enough for the time they took to pray with me and for me and for the so many others that they helped along the way.” I think the Lord has just given me the opportunity to give back to those who gave so much of their hearts to me and my friends in our younger years.
Four teens whose parents made an imprint in my life have signed up for my new girls’ formation program, Vera Bella. One of these teens I carried in my arms when she was a baby throughout France and Italy as we attended World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II back in 2000. I was a leader for her father who was a youth minister and he and his wife brought their little girl along. Every chance I got, I held her, giggled with her, played peek-a-boo with her, and sang her songs as she nodded off to sleep on bumpy bus rides throughout Europe. I remember thinking, “I can’t wait to be a mom someday.” I was so fond of her because she was so sweet, and now it is 13 years later and she has signed up for Vera Bella.
I feel so honored to be leading the children of those who led me! I am praying that this domino effect continues and that the girls I have lead over the years and that I will lead in this new program will be the girls leading my daughter 13 years from now! It’s a beautiful and rewarding thing to think that these girls holding my daughter in their arms, giggling with her as they play peek-a-boo on days she makes an appearance while I am cleaning up after a formation day ends or as she comes to visit me on a retreat, could be the very ones who may make a deep impact on her life some day.
Only the Lord knows what will come from this program, but every ounce of me believes that this program will help girls feel confident in who God has created them to be and that they will be the future game-changers in a world that desperately needs the youth to rise up and proclaim moral victory.
In a time when it is easy to be discouraged with the rights of Christians being attacked, with lies permeating every television and billboard screen, and most news media programs selling out at every turn, I feel encouraged. I feel encouraged that 60 girls and counting have signed up for a program whose name means “true beauty” and whose tagline says, “seeking truth, beauty, holiness and virtue.” I’m encouraged that this is what girls seek, to know and live in truth, dignity, and reality. I’m encouraged that my daughter may have the chance, like me, to be influenced by people who believe that there is a God and that He is in control and we are not.
Please pray for the program! We have 62 girls registered and I am capping the number of attendees at 70 which means only eight more girls can sign up in AZ. I am so excited about the incredible response! The good news is that those who cannot participate locally, can register virtually and follow along online throughout the year receiving videos of the content from our sessions! Also, I could use some prayers this week for two events I am a part of. The first is a meeting I am having with people who may be able to help me fund scholarships and projects for the girls in Vera Bella. If you know anyone who would like to help fund scholarships, please have them go the “Donate” page at www.verabella.org.
In addition, next week, I will be speaking alongside Lila Rose from Live Action at a “Stop the Killing Rally” in Phoenix. If you are from Phoenix, please consider attending! See flyer below!