Renee in New Zealand
Tell us your name, age and your state-in-life!
Renee Allison, 25 years old and dating long distance!
Are you a cradle Catholic, convert or revert?
I would class myself as a cradle Catholic, but I definitely strayed for a few years and had to recommit to my faith nearly two years ago now.
I was living fiercely independently but found this was a losing battle. I thought I could write my own story and create my own happiness, but without my faith front and center, I was doing the opposite. When I started leaning into God and giving up control, did everything fall into place. My entire life has changed since then!
What’s been the biggest game changer in your Catholic faith?
Two things: learning to surrender and letting go of perfect! Not just once, but over and over again. The more I let go of my own plans and the need to have it all together all the time, the more connected I am to my faith. And also learning to give myself grace has been difficult but so key to living with more vibrance and joy.
Name a saint you identify with and share why.
Saint Faustina. I think her messages of Mercy are absolutely beautiful. And I love how bold and willing she was - she believed in what God was speaking to her heart and didn’t let any skepticism or judgment interfere. That’s always something I lean into and always hope to walk out myself.
When have you felt most valued as a woman in the Church?
I have felt most valued when a part of community and serving as much as I can. Without actively putting effort into this, it's easy to slip into the background. But in my experience, the more I pour into others, this is actually equally returned. Its beautiful.
What’s your favorite way to pray?
My favourite way to pray is worshipping with music, or finding a quiet space to chat to God. Sometimes I feel as though my prayer is “too casual”, but I’m always consciously seeking (and needing) to converse and offer all that's on my mind - especially when my mind is busy and things get overwhelming. I’ve even snuck into meeting rooms at work on occasion just to have quiet moment!
Favorite liturgical holiday?
Definitely Christmas! I love everything about it.
What do you do for fun?
I love to write, design little graphics, curl up in a cafe with coffee and my laptop and read! And also love outdoor walks - they're always a favourite! I’m definitely blessed for choice in this beautiful wee country.
Three words that describe you — go!
Loyal, easily-excitable & empathetic