Jessica Zarik Student Columnist

Leading a meaningful life – living out God’s plan for you


Hearing the word “vocation” as a teenager can invoke a daunting connotation. Choosing a path to stick with for the rest of your life is no easy task. However, taking the time to listen to God’s call right now can help teenagers and even adults still searching for that true meaning in life to decipher and follow God’s ultimate plan.

      Teens are at a stage in our lives where God is so present. We just have to make the choice to listen. Take every opportunity handed to you to try something new or go against the grain. God might be leading you down the path to discovering your true meaning. We have so many chances to explore different career paths now. Our community of support within the Catholic Church should not be taken for granted.   I chose to listen to God’s call when I was 15. He was pulling me toward Guatemala through St. Mary in Crown Point. Little did I know that this one trip would turn my life upside down forever. I was at a point in my life where I had no idea what I would be doing as I grew up, and God showed his plan for me loud and clear.

      I guess I’m lucky to figure out my calling at such a young age by stopping to listen to what God had to say, even though it seemed strange to me at first. I chose to go off the beaten path to follow God’s plan into this third world country that I never thought I would find myself in. Now I consider Guatemala my second home.

      God showed me that I am called to do his work in this country so poor yet where he is so present through the people and landscape. I am meant to help those who need it most, especially the children at and around the orphanage I stay at while I’m there. I hope to continue to volunteer there for at least a year when I finish college, but God might even have a plan for me to stay much longer.

      God gave me a chance to explore something I had never considered before. He opened my eyes to this entirely different world and way of life that I fit into so much better than the life I was living prior to this trip.

      Choosing to listen to God’s call, no matter how different or scary it can seem, will absolutely pay off in the end. Living a life through God that is full of meaning because you are doing what you love is so much more fulfilling than living just to get to the next day. I figured out something on that trip that will resonate with me the rest of my life: success is not measured by how much money you make, but how happy you are with what you are doing. To me, success would mean living a meaningful life through God while living out His plan.

      Take a minute as this new year begins to determine if you are truly happy. If not, open yourself up to God and just listen to what he has to say. Maybe God has been showing you your meaning for years and he is just waiting for you to slow down and listen.  



      Jessica Zarik is a senior at Andrean High School in Merrillville. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .