By Catalina Morales

This week is week five of quarantine for me. These past weeks have been a time of reflection and drawing closer to the Lord and hearing what it is He is asking of me. Part of that has been asking myself the simple questions of “Who am I? Who do I want to be? and Who does God call me to be?” 

If you ask me who I am right now, I would answer “I’m Cat, I’m 22 years old, I’m an ABA therapist, and I’m a psychology student.” But if you asked me this same question in high school I would’ve identified myself by my depression and anxiety. As I started dating, I was defined by how guys treated me and in there lied my self-worth. My identity was my trauma, my mistakes, my mental health, and the men I associated with. God reached out for me in my darkest hour and it was when I allowed Him to come close to me, I found who I am- a child of God. God was always with me and He loved me at my worst. He picked me up like a parent picks up and comforts their child who has fallen, no questions asked. 

I had always been His child no matter the struggles I faced; He calls us to remember that we’re His children. As a woman, we were the last thing He created, the missing piece to this beautiful world He made. I once heard Catholic speaker and author Emily Wilson say, “We were taken from the rib of Adam. While men were created from the outside, women were created from the inside- from the rib, which guards the heart. That can explain why a lot of women are givers, caretakers, nurturers and sensitive.” God created us this way for a reason. We are all called to greatness and yet we are all created so beautifully different. I look at the sunset, flowers, waterfalls and how they are all so beautiful and yet, they look nothing alike. It is the same way we are all different, yet each one of us is so beautiful because we were made in His image. In fact, God doesn’t call us to be the same, He calls us to be a woman of God. 

What does this mean? Well, look at the Blessed Mother of God, Mary. She is the most amazing example of a woman and who God calls us to be. She had total trust in the Lord, as we should too. One thing that fascinates me about her is that, with the exception of many saints, none of us have seen her. Yet, we all look at her as beautiful even though we haven’t seen her. 

So what makes her beautiful? Her dignity, her strength, her courage. She was pure in heart and flesh, she was kind, honest and without sin. Are we not called to be the same? We, as women, are so special. He gave us this gift to create life and to be nurturers in our families and in our world, and He wants us to use this for His plan and glory. And when we think of women being nurturers we usually think of mothers nurturing their children. Of course, that’s how those who are called to the vocation of marriage use their ability to nurture, but what about the single life, or religious life, or someone like me who is only 22? 

Well, we are nurturers by nature, meaning we should nurture EACH OTHER. Pick each other up when we fall, guide each other to heaven, love each other, teach each other… This is how we use His gifts that He has given us as women of God, regardless of our vocation. Some of you reading this are probably thinking “But I’m a ‘tomboy,” or “I’m not really the nurturing type.” There are saints (like Saint Joan of Arc, a warrior) who have a fire in their soul and are a great example of courage and strength, all the while still living out their true femininity. 

We all have been given courage, even if it’s not called to be used in the same way Mary did when she said “yes” to God. When you think of the Blessed Mother, you think of a nurturing, caring mother and when you look at Saint Joan of Arc, you think of a warrior. However, they both used the gift of COURAGE, because, though different, they were women of God. In the end, they both used their courage to live out their mission as a woman of God. No two women are the same but we are called to the same mission- to lead others to Christ by being the woman He calls us to be. No matter where you are in your faith life, you have the strength that God gave you to turn away from who you think you are and who the world wants you to be, and become who God created you to be.