Our Youth

Let Them Speak: Facing the Unknown: How Faith Will Help Us Overcome Fear

By Isabella Wagner

“Instead of us being weary about our futures, God wants us to be hopeful, gaining faith and trust in Him.”

This past June, I officially became a high school graduate. All of the exams I took, all of the homework I completed and all of the sleepless nights became worth the hardship.

I accomplished something that my family and I had dreamed of since childhood. Graduation is one of the many milestones we look forward to in life. It is the culmination of hard work that will prepare you for future endeavors.


Throughout my high school years, I was always encouraged to look towards the next step. When I was an underclassmen, I needed to start preparing for my Regents exams and for graduating high school.

When I was an upperclassman, I needed to figure out where I was going to college and what career path I wanted to take. Truly, during anything in life, we are always advised to keep moving forward, encouraged to prepare for the next step. Throughout the years, something that I have found is that no matter how much you prepare, you never seem to be ready.

By the end of August, I officially became a college student. My whole academic career had been centered on performing well and getting admitted to a top college, just as many of you can relate to. All of the preparation that was done over the past 17 years for this very moment should be reassuring, right? Absolutely not.

That notion is misleading. As move-in day was approaching, I found that I could never have been fully prepared for that jump: leaving home for the first time, moving away from the safe haven of my childhood home, my friends and a loving family.

As I was preparing for this entirely new journey, I found myself weary of what was to come. It seemed as if all of those years of anticipation were pointless. The more I thought of the future, the more overwhelmed I became.

In all of this uncertainty and anxiety, there was a beam of hope. One day while I was scouring the internet for college advice and dorm room inspiration, I came across this quotation: “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you – oracle of the Lord – plans for your welfare and not for your woe, so as to give you a future of hope (Jeremiah 29:11).”

It was one of those moments where I felt that I, alone, was being spoken to. I was meant to read that verse at such a vulnerable time in my life.

God’s Plan

In a time when I was feeling so uncertain about what my future held, something that I had never encountered before, that little piece of hope was dropped into my life unexpectedly.

God has a plan for each of us, specifically catered to our mind, heart and soul. In times where we feel most lost and confused, God’s preparations for us are always absolute. Even our faults and failings are apart of what He has in store for us.

Wherever life takes you is all a part of the blueprint of our lives. We, as His faithful followers, need to trust that what is ahead can only help us, not hinder us.

Change is inevitable in life, but it is how we react to those changes that we experience growth. Instead of us being weary about our futures, God wants us to be hopeful, gaining in faith and trust in Him.

Everyday, we are given an opportunity to choose. We either decide to take our lives into our own hands or submit to the fears that hold us back.

Our faith plays significantly into our willingness to stand up for ourselves in the face of our fears. If we trust in our faith, we feel a sense of security throughout all of the risks we take.

Breaking our personal boundaries is our chance at growth. Change is not supposed to hinder us, but help us.

As the preparations continue for my farewell, faith has reassured me that no matter which path I choose to take, there is always someone there willing to support me.

In any risk, there is always a chance of failure, but also, success. There is always something valuable to come out of those opportunities, a lesson to be learned, a sense of satisfaction.

For any of you who are experiencing the same uncertainties, whether it be beginning a new school year, starting a new job, or making new friends, you are not alone.

It is scary, but it is necessary. Make choices that help you become wiser and a well-rounded individual. Be a person who you can be proud of. Take the leap and break your personal boundaries. In the end, your faith is always there to catch you if you fall.

Wagner is a recent graduate from St. Saviour H.S., Park Slope. She will be attending Catholic University in Washington D.C. this fall.