Editor’s Note: Former DCSC volunteer Nayeli Garcia reflects on having the courage to recognize your full self, the sum of all that makes up who you are in this moment, and being able to grow in your faith through it. 

As individuals, we strive to be our true selves. We want to feel invincible, undefeated, and to be honest, a perfect version of ourselves.

But how do we do that?

This is such a cliché, but your past has a lot to do with the person that you are today. Despite your past, good or bad, it is hard for anyone to distinguish one thing that makes them the person that they are today.  I can say that it took a lot of courage for me to accept one part of myself that I did not know that I had inside of me: a deep desire to learn and grow in my faith. 

As a young person, there is so much that I am still yearning to know and dive deep into, which is something that has guided me and helped me mentally,  physically, and emotionally. Reflecting on my experience with faith (late high school, college, my year of service, and now), it took that one small yearning/calling from my heart to take my desire and do something with it.

Even when I listened to that calling, I was very hesitant to do anything about it. It felt unrealistic for me to pursue anything, especially if I had no idea where to start. I started with the one thing my mom taught me to communicate with God: prayer. At first I didn’t know where or how God was able to answer my prayers, but for some odd reason, just like that calling I had, I had the same feeling whenever I prayed. 

Out of blue, I knew that prayer was my drive. Through the good and bad, I am glad that prayer has been my go-to tool to learn and journey through my faith. As a learner, the more ways I learned how to connect with God and grow in my faith through prayer, the more ways I was in awe of all the ways He is with me in my everyday life.

There have been setbacks and detours that prevented me to continue my prayer life. There are many excuses and distractions that get in the way, but I can’t let them be the reason that I start from zero again. 

It’s so direct and even hard to say it, but it takes courage for anyone to accept something that helps them or makes them the person that they are today. This is what makes us the best version of ourselves. No matter what, this one trait, attribute, or habit that you inherit will be what makes you YOU!

Reflection question: What is something you cannot admit to yourself that has made you the person that you are today? How does your faith help you to grow?