by Tayla Bennett
I was born in 1997, so in 2018, I will be 21 years of age, and I couldn’t be happier with that. I don’t look at my life and wish I was born in a different time and I’m pretty satisfied with the world. Sure, they are many things that could be better, but there are also so many great things about 2018 that we get to live for and live with!
Technically speaking, my faith journey started in 1998 when I was baptised at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Casino, but, my relationship with God didn’t begin to develop until 2013 when I was in my year 10 CSYMA class, but from there, my life was forever changed. Looking back now, I realise that God was with me every step of my journey, and over the next 5 years, he has come closer and closer, as I opened my heart to him more and more.
Sitting here, now in 2018, I’m beginning my third year of working as a Youth Minister and through this job, I have undoubtedly grown within myself and with my relationship with God, because without Him, this job is impossible. I have to trust in His plan, I have to pray to Him to guide me in what He wants me to do, and without Him, I couldn’t be authentic in my witness to the thousands of students I have been lucky enough to minister too.
I truly believe that I cannot minister if my bucket, my heart, is empty. I cannot give what I don’t have, so it’s up to me to continuously refill my bucket, because if I let it get empty, I not only let my students and God down, but I’m letting myself down because having an empty bucket means that I’m starting to doubt my faith in God.
For me, this Lent is all about getting bad habits out of the way and starting and continuing good habits to lead me closer to God and to fill my bucket up a little bit every day, so I never run dry. This Lent, I have been attending daily mass in the Cathedral every Thursday morning at 8:10am before work, reading scripture, even if it’s just a few minutes daily, I’ve given up social media so that I can focus more on God and those around me and I’m donating plasma every 2 weeks, because I have more than enough!
These little things are so simple, and they are exactly what suit me, but also what challenge me. For example, only yesterday did I donate plasma and the nurse missed my vein the first time, so I had to get two needles, and for some reason, my skin was REALLY sensitive yesterday so, OUCH! But two needles means two milkshakes, so hey, I say it was worth it.
As a young adult, it can be hard to find opportunities to fill my bucket, but, I’m fortunate enough to live in the heart of our Diocese and in that heart is our Bishop who is dedicated to forming young people like me. This week I attended one of his young adult formation sessions where he talked about why we are Catholic’s and what this means, why we need our relationship with God and about our Church and its teachings. Through this formation, I’ve found that by learning more about our religion, I’m realising more and more why I’m so glad that I am a young person who is faithful to the Lord.
It is so important to fill our buckets, whatever your age. If you’re a high school student, you’re lucky that you have a YMO in your school – use them! You have countless opportunities within our diocese to attending events and fill your bucket. But regardless of who you are, you always have your bible and you always have God.