This month, I am excited to feature Nelly Sosa, the creative content director and writer for El Árbol Menta. A proud wife and mother, in her own words she shares, “I am a Brave and Bold Catholic. I love Jesus, the Mass and the sacraments. And I simply can not picture daily life without God’s friendship and the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Our Blessed Mother.” I am thrilled to introduce you, dear reader, to her story below!
To me, being a Bold and Brave Catholic means embracing God and His ultimate mission of love for you.
For some of us, it takes time to wake up, but when it happens, when you finally surrender to His grace and open the door… He invades your soul with a feeling that you can not contain. You want to share God’s love with everybody!
Your perspective of joy changes radically from living for you, to living with the intention to love and serve God, and striving to follow His call to love like He loves us every single day.
I am a blessed wife and mom of one boy and one girl. Being bold in my vocation means to get closer to God with them, in prayer and action, to fight daily to bring us all to heaven.
I have been part of the Music Ministry for twenty years. Singing to the Lord is a great honor! And it has brought me many beautiful gifts, like my husband (I met him at the Church Choir).
I am also a blogger at El Árbol Menta, a ministry I started 3+ years ago after attending a Women’s Conference. One of the speakers explained what the New Evangelization was and why we needed to jump on the boat and I felt called to do it. But at the same time, I was so afraid!
I didn’t feel I was ready. I had just felt the nudge to get closer to the Lord a few months ago, I had so many things to learn…
After a few months of prayer, I invited some friends to join me in my attempt to build a community of catholic women who grow together in joy and faith.
Being brave and bold by saying yes to the blog has brought me huge blessings like loving the Lord -even more- and making new friends on fire for their faith at Catholics Online.
But this is only “the new me”.
I was not this Brave and Bold Catholic all my life. Even though I am a cradle Catholic and I went to catholic school, it’s been a long journey.
Growing up, like many kids, I had this strong need to fit in, to be recognized for my worldly achievements, to be popular and affirmed in terms of beauty and success. I never felt enough.
My faith was something that I had, but not something that I deeply lived. My head and heart were somewhere else.
One summer, when I was 17, I started to pray the Rosary. I just felt the need to do it. I was starting to feel closer to God… but a few weeks after that, my Dad passed away. (Twenty years later… I know that Mary was always by my side!)
My heart and my new relationship with God started from zero again… so that wake-up call to live my faith deeper was not immediately answered.
A year later, my best friend invited me to join the church choir. This apostolate became the thin thread that kept me going to Mass during a difficult and confusing time in my life.
Whenever I was at a party, if anyone asked me: “So you sing at the church choir,” I would either be embarrassed, skip the question, or said something like: “once in a while”.
I was so afraid of not being accepted, of not being loved… Meanwhile The One who loves me the most waited patiently for me to surrender my plans to Him!
I was 27 and single when I started to realize that my very own plans were not working at all. I had envisioned myself happily married with kids, having the best job in the world by 25 and I was not getting closer to my dream putting God behind me, instead of letting Him direct me.
So I started to pray the Rosary again. And little by little, I started to let go of my attachments and my very specific dreams to God. Prayer is so important in order to be Brave and Bold in your faith!
When I met my husband, a cradle-Catholic man, amazing musician, with so much deeper faith than mine, I knew what God meant with His apparent silence.
We started to pray together, to sing at Eucharist Vigils, during Holy Week, and he helped me to start rebuilding my faith and to be proud of it.
I am not going to lie, everyday I found things that I could have done or said better. We all have moments of hesitancy and sin. But God provides His mercy and strength to start all over again. And that is the secret: to trust entirely in Him. To make Him part of your trials and joys.
Being a Brave and Bold Catholic will not make you the most popular person in town and the fear of rejection is always there. But having an active prayer and an apostolic life, attending to Mass, staying close to the sacraments and getting to know our friends, the saints, are the best remedies for that.
There is so much to learn of our Catholic faith, so much to love and so many aspects where we -as lay people- need to help to rebuild the Church, too.
I invite you to pray and ask the Holy Spirit and Mama Mary for guidance. They will move you little by little to the devotions, the books, the apostolates and the people that will help you to become the best version of yourself for the glory of God: a Bold and Brave Catholic.