Remember that time when it was super easy to be Catholic on a college campus? Yea, me neither! The struggle is real guys, but I guess that’s where I’ll start! My name is Ana Perez and I am a missionary with FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students) at Baylor University. You may read the word “missionary” and have one of two reactions: either “wow, she must be super holy!” or “wow, she must be pretty crazy!” If you thought the first, although I appreciate it very much I can tell you how untrue that is in a bit. And if you thought of the second I will probably agree with you on most days! 🙂
I am from Eagle Pass, Tx, a small town on the border and I graduated this past May from Texas State University with a degree in Mass Communications and a minor in Spanish. During my 3 years at Texas State (shout out to high school dual credits!) I figured out a lot about myself and my purpose in life.
Let me start off by saying that the term “rock bottom” comes in different levels and situations for different people. My own personal rock bottom came at the beginning of my second year at Texas State. I was in a “high school sweetheart” relationship of about 2 years that wasn’t the best for me at the time. This guy, who had great qualities to him, had become my obsession and identity. I became so involved with what he was doing because I thought that was my role as his girlfriend. Soon after, I lost control of all things in my own life. I started drinking, partying, engaging in impure relations and being disrespectful to those around me. My grades dropped and I lost my faith in myself and most importantly in the Lord. I was living the quintessential college life to the best of my abilities!
At that moment in my life the only thing that would relax me was to drink with some friends. One night, my emotions, along with the alcohol, took over and I did things to people that I shouldn’t have done. I passed out pretty early in the night and as soon as I woke up I threw a massive temper tantrum. What on the surface looked like an explosion of anger was actually a desperate cry for help. I remember feeling defeated and destroyed. I was a fake, broken image of the real Ana that longed to be healed and heard. I left my friends and turned to the one Person I thought could help me. GOD BECAME REAL TO ME AT THAT MOMENT! I talked to Him like never before and He totally came to my rescue. I quickly went back to church and I found opportunities there to reestablish my identity in Him.
Through the rest of my time at Texas State I figured out what my purpose was. I saw how other students lived out their faith and I decided to challenge myself to do the same. I met wonderful people through bible studies, church events and retreats, who kept investing time in me and helped me go deeper than ever before.
So how did I get here as one of your FOCUS missionaries? Well, after seeing the missionaries at Texas State find the true beauty of their life in Christ I wanted to do the same. I wanted to help a girl who was just like me feel the same love I was shown and find Jesus in her own life. I love seeing the lives He impacts and being an instrument in His works.
I would’ve never imagined God would plan out my life the way He has so far but it’s definitely a lot better than with anything I could’ve planned for myself. I still struggle with questions and doubts and temptations but I have something bigger to hold on to now. I know Christ can inspire us to go forward and be courageous. There’s no other place I’d rather be right now and I can’t wait to see what else He has in store this year.
Anyhoo, I love meeting new people so if you’re around feel free to come up and say hello! I’m also available for hugs, funny jokes/Youtube videos and pretty much anything random! 🙂 God bless you always!