Catholic Voices - Solid rock in the storm

Photo: Courtesy Kianna Garmanian Photo: Courtesy Kianna Garmanian

Amid all the confusing changes I encountered at college, one thing remained constant

Arriving at college last fall, I didn’t know what to expect or whether I’d be able to adjust to this new environment. For 18 years, I had always counted on my parents’ help and guidance, and my brother at my side when I was down. I couldn’t imagine my life any different, and so change became my greatest enemy.

Kianna Garmanian
Photo: Courtesy Kianna Garmanian

Move-in day was surreal, a thousand emotions at once. I kept telling myself, “Come on, Kianna … hold it together.” But when I saw the tears in my parents’ eyes, I fell apart. After saying goodbye, I tried to force a smile and wipe away any evidence of crying so I could join my fellow freshmen with some semblance of dignity.

Throughout the evening’s events, all I could think about was visiting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I needed his comfort, support and love more than ever — but I couldn’t leave orientation.

The next day was also booked up with activities. I looked forward to track practice that evening, hoping running would help raise my spirits. But I struggled through my sprint workouts, and my slow times just left me more
frustrated and upset.

Finally, after practice, I ran to the campus church and knelt before the Lord. Nothing felt right. My family was far away, my running was off, I was scared to be on my own. In my distress, all I could say was, “Lord, help me. God, be with me.” And as I looked up at the Blessed Sacrament, tears running down my cheeks, I realized that while my life was changing, one thing remained the same: Jesus Christ.

Kianna Garmanian
Photo: Courtesy Kianna Garmanian

God’s tremendous love and mercy would always be with me, no matter where I went. For the first time all weekend, I felt a deep sense of peace and comfort. I knew that Christ would walk with me through all the new experiences and challenges of college. I could not ultimately rely on other people, or running, or anything else in life to bring me happiness and assurance. But the Lord never fails. It is he who will lift me up when I am down and laugh with me when I rejoice.

I left the church that night feeling calmed, soothed and eager to continue on my college journey with Jesus by my side. I was no longer afraid. The next morning, I woke up with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. I was excited for my new adventure and the changes that came with it, and ready to let go and let God do the steering.

Kianna Garmanian is a freshman at St. Martin’s University in Lacey and a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bothell.

 

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Northwest Catholic - May 2017