Carolina Martinez – Administrative Assistant

Navigating high school was difficult; eating disorders and insecurities filled my day, and I mostly kept to myself. As a result, stepping out of my comfort zone to join campus ministry was a huge deal for me, I was shy and reserved and I wasn’t one to put myself “out there”. I didn’t get chosen to help out in the retreats, despite how badly wanted and prayed for it.

This left me feeling more alone than ever, and it left me feeding my insecurities.

“I’m not good for anything or anyone…” “No one will ever love me…” “I will never be happy…” These thoughts followed me and left me more devasted than ever. I didn’t want to live in a world in which I hated what I saw every time I looked in the mirror, where I felt unloved and unwanted. I hated myself, both inside and out. I didn’t want to be here.

I didn’t realize that at the time, God was leading me in a different direction.

God had different plans for me. After being pushed to face a place of rejection, eventually, I found a safe haven within my high school — ministry. Going to morning mass with my cousin and friends became my routine. I could see the difference the days I went to mass were filled with peace, and the days I didn’t go were more chaotic and stressful.

Inevitably, it was time to graduate. Going to college alone, managing a busy schedule, trying to find my place, it seemed to take me back to square one — loneliness. It brought back a world which I hated. A lonely and empty world in which I was numb, sick of fighting, sick of being a reject. Again, I was back in a world that I didn’t want to be in. Thoughts of self-harm filled my head more and more each day, and I knew I had to do something about it. I found a therapist and learned to fight, and with her support and my family’s I grew.

I had a hard time trusting God, but I knew he had a plan for me, although I couldn’t see where he was taking me. He saw the big picture despite the fact that I lacked his vision. 

Prayer. We always seem to pray when there is nothing left to do. At that point, praying seemed like the hardest thing to do when I was numb and helpless. But it was the only thing left to do, when I was left on my knees broken and exhausted.

Prayer lead me to Betsy. After days in a chapel not knowing what to do or say to God, I decide to keep going. I found a new home, a home in which I can see the hand of God everywhere I turn.

My hope for working in the office is to help others understand that if you keep going, if you just show up to fight — even if you don’t know what to do — if you don’t give up,  you’ll find the love and joy that God has designed for you in this world.