I used to live a very comfortable SoCal life where I could not imagine my days without constant sunshine, driving without constant traffic, and being surrounded constantly by great friends and family. But as the saying goes, “The only constant in the world is change.” Working in the fast-paced world of media and advertising for nearly 10 years, it dawned upon me one day that I have been running circles around my career. I was not quite sure where I was heading or if I even wanted to keep moving forward. My heart quit but my body stayed as I was not dissatisfied enough to not collect a paycheck. I accomplished my day-to-day tasks with mediocrity and believed I was doing the best I could.

Then one night, I attended a Dynamic Catholic event titled, “Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose,” where I encountered the Thomas Merton prayer. The first few lines stirred something in me: “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me.” The Holy Spirit moved my heart, but I was not open until I left the event. At this particular point in my life, I was passively searching for a new job. I had this urge to work in a mission role for the Catholic Church, but I was not sold on the idea of selling everything to go live in another country. I felt called to serve Jesus but was trying to figure out how. So I prayed:

“Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord? I have heard You calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart.”

Not long after the prayer, I came across an email with the subject heading, “Dynamic Catholic is hiring!” Out of curiosity of what kind of positions a small non-profit could offer, I opened up the email. And although I had no intention to apply for a job located in northern Kentucky, I was intrigued when I saw a Marketing position available in the department creating sacramental prep programs to help re-energize the Catholic Church of America. I figured it would not hurt to submit my resume, but was I ready to give up my corporate life and start all over again? My mind was flooded with questions. Do I want to leave sunny LA especially for Ohio or Kentucky? What if everyone there is boring? What is there to do in Cincinnati? Can I survive on a pay cut since I’ll be working for a non-profit?

There was a need for prayers and it became a big opportunity to trust in God’s plan for me. Surrendering my situation to the Lord, I let the process flow naturally. Nearly a dozen of interviews later and a year and a half working with the organization, I now ask: “How did I not know about this place sooner!?” Do I miss LA and all of the friends I left behind? Of course! However, when God calls, I am grateful that I took the chance to trust and respond. He took care of the logistics and there are plenty of things to do in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. I live a simple and comfortable life and found a beautiful family in my colleagues. We are building a community of life-giving friendships and attend daily mass together. Some evenings, we go out for happy hour and other nights, holy hour. I feel blessed to work and serve with authentic, faithful, talented, and hardworking individuals!

Today, I help re-energize the Catholic Church by sharing with parishes around the country about resources such as our brand new, world-class First Communion and First Reconciliation programs. I hope to help kids enjoy their journey to learning about the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist and receiving Jesus for the first time. I would like for them to deeply understand the mercy of our loving Father and to be Catholic forever! Where else would I have came across this opportunity? Every day I am grateful for the inspiration Jesus planted in my heart to make moves in my life. By His grace, I had strength and courage to say, “Here I am, Lord.  I will go, if you lead me. Amen.”

Maricris Dizon