Find Your Inner Iggy

Iggy’s Big Decision

Question 2: When have you felt God’s love?


IggyHaloMy Leap of Faith: The Diving Board

by Sr. Julie Vieira, IHM

I expected God would show up at my retreat. What I didn’t expect was the leap of faith I would be invited to take.

It was the summer before I became a novice with the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan. Nothing earth-shattering was going on in my life; I had tangled with God enough and was finally at a place of peace as I realized that I really was being called to be an IHM Sister. I was ready to settle into a quiet week of hiking in the woods, praying, and chatting with my spiritual director.

That’s when I discovered the pool behind the retreat house. I had to pass it every day on my way to hike. The pool scared me. It had a diving board. And water. I wasn’t much of a swimmer and was terrified of climbing up a slippery ladder just to bounce uncontrollably on a slab of plastic before plunging into unknown waters.

I somehow got it in my head that I had to go to the pool and jump off that diving board. But I was too scared, and had lots of excellent reasons why I shouldn’t.

The idea wouldn’t let go of me, though. My retreat was almost over, and I knew it was incomplete. So I marched to the pool in a T-shirt and shorts, armed with a nun-embroidered beach towel. My legs shook as I climbed the ladder and tiptoed to the edge of the board. I let my mind go blank, and I jumped.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was one of the most beautiful leaps I’ve ever made. God’s call to the pool transformed me. The event is still a guiding metaphor for me, especially in those times when I sense God’s call to something that feels way over my head. Even when I am scared, unsure, and faltering, the very next step always has the potential to be a leap of faith!

On the air with Sr. Julie and Iggy

On the air with Sr. Julie and Iggy


Sister Julie Vieira, IHM, is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan. She is co-founder of the popular website A Nun’s Life, an online ministry that utilizes Internet technology and social media to connect people with Catholic sisters and the rich tradition of religious life. She holds a master’s degree in theology from Regis College, the Jesuit School of Theology at the University of Toronto. 

13 thoughts on “Iggy’s Big Decision

  1. paulite florino

    its nice to have this in online… it is a big help for those who are wanted to experience ignatian spirituality

  2. Mary Askren

    I had moved over 300 miles to start a new job only to discover my fundamental value system conflicted significantly with the organizational culture. When my supervisor gave me an ultimatum — get on board or get out, I opted to get out. Unfortunately, I had used up my savings to move and was not able to collect unemployment because I had left the position voluntarily. With no income & no cash reserves, I was more than a little afraid of what the future held. My parish priest gifted me with a weekend retreat, Living in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” On the first night, retreatants sat in a darkened conference room where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. I sat without words & wondered whether I’d been foolish in quitting a job when I had nothing to live on. Suddenly, and unexpectedly, my heart opened and I surrendered completely to God & his will for my life. I knew without question that I was loved beyond anything I could imagine and all would be well. #FindIggy

  3. Sara Damewood

    Well, I feel God’s love all the time! However, going with the bed theme… I’ll share that occasionally I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and am wide awake. It occurred to me recently that God was wanting to talk. “Sara, Sara, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.”

  4. Sara Damewood

    Oops I forgot to add #FindIggy

    Well, I feel God’s love all the time! However, going with the bed theme… I’ll share that occasionally I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and am wide awake. It occurred to me recently that God was wanting to talk. “Sara, Sara, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.”

  5. Tom

    Hoping for more insights into Ignatian spirituality. I remember feeling God’s love strongest in my life when I was 20 and a new believer feeling a strong call to work with the poor in developing countries. 30 years later, I’m still working overseas in mission and I still feel encouraged and strengthened by that powerful feeling of love back then.

  6. Aibeth Christy Baylin

    when my father died last 2005, i have cursed God for many years. i have never believe in him, though i thought of him, but i never thought of having him into my life. i have abandoned everything that i have learned about him from my father. so many things that happened last 2005, before my dad died, my mom and dad got separated. it was really a tremendous experience. i hate God for giving those hard times to me. i was 12 years old when i experienced those and keep asking him why?? God?? why??. day by day, i have wasted my life since the death of my father. i experienced smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages. i have do a lot of things that i have not experience before. that time, i became violent. i used to fight back with my “own” mother, nagging back to my mother.

    after 4 years of wasting my time and life, i have met someone, a guy, a strange guy to me. i have experience his deep-felt concern towards me. when he knew about everything about to me after having meetings that we have been through, he introduced back my God to me. It was a hard time to me because, i have already attached my self to earthly desire. it was hard for me to turn back but then he continue to push me to God. he never abandoned me. he let me experience how God loves me through his divine love and mercy. since then, we go together to the church and made promise that we will continue to serve god the best we can. after these happenings in my life, i have acknowledge God in everyday of having waking up in the morning and acknowledge his loving presence and abundant love.

    last may 2014, opportunity have come. i have experience An 8 day ignatian retreat. that retreat was a memorable one. Ignatius showed to me the mysterious works of God. he perfectly presented how marvel the works of God are. Ignatius help me identified more about God. now, that i have gone all through this, in deed, i can find God in all things- a loving God, A forgiving God and a waiting God. and yes indeed, I can feel his Love day by day. :))

  7. Yvonne

    I have been privileged to grow up within a supportive community in my parish. So although the journey has been rough, I have been challenged, have struggled, fallen, been picked up, comforted, and very much loved. Because of this, I’ve always felt this calling to mission work, to journey with other people full-time. I want to give them what I have been given. But I am also very much attracted to the vocation of marriage. I used to think I had to choose either one, but it seems that God is saying it is possible, even advantageous, to have both. Two years ago, He presented me the opportunity for pastoral work but I turned it down because I was stubbornly clinging to my own expectations and dreams of getting married first, before committing to something outside my parish. Two years later, after much frustration and heartbreak, He is presenting me the same opportunity now, asking me to prioritise, to answer this call, and to trust that He will continue to give me good things. And that if He has placed this dream within my heart, He will fulfill it for me beautifully. I realised He has been so generous to provide me this opportunity locally, because I am unable to travel overseas to do mission work due to some circumstance I am in. He has been faithful and so very patient with me. And right now, it is my turn to respond, to surrender all my fears and doubts, to submit to love in freedom and abandonment. I will be trembling yes, but I will also be laughing, and I will be leaping off ‘the diving board’ straight into God’s deep pool of graces. :D

    #FindIggy #magis

  8. Isabelsjourney

    Iggy has always been a part of me, but I have been recently reunited with him again! Having been educated in a Jesuit university in the Philippines, Iggys values and teaching led me to desire for and pursue my work in uplifting the lives of families living in rural communities through education. When my family and I migrated to Australia with our four children, we felt we needed to give everything up for the cause of our family and our future – in The Lord, with each other… and in any way He wished to use us here. Four years later, having built our home and starting to I put our roots down into this new land, I now find myself without work. During this time of waiting, I began the Ignatian Prayer adventure, an on line retreat and am constantly touched and blessed by the comments and reflections of dot Magis. I have found The Lord again, in this silence, and Iggy has let me to I Him. I know all is well, and our Lord has something beautiful in store for me, and my family, on this wonderful feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola #iggy


    I was at the bottom of my rope when my pregnant daughter was very seriously ill and in ICU. I was walking in the city, feeling despondent when a stranger, an ordinary man, came up to me and randomly said ‘you are forgetting the blessings you’ve had in your life. Don’t forget your blessings’…then he walked away. I felt like this was my Iggy moment. My daughter survived her ordeal, the baby made it too. I will never forget how blessed we have been.

  10. Bobby Gothong

    Almost 3 years ago, I felt I was living ontop of the world. Having been promoted to run out family business managing over 600 personnel, I was living a Worldy life and accumulating cars which my life was centered on. Then one day, one a sunny summer day, during a one on one session with our manager, I was asked the most thought provoking question, how is your relationship in God? The seed was planted. I became thirsty. Curious. I realized I climbed the wrong mountain. The mountain of Worldy desires. I reached the top. It was lonely. It was only after 6monthsnthe question was asked typhoon Yolanda struck our beloved country the Philippines. It was only then I started to climb down the mountain of material desires. Sold my cars and took a sabbatical for a year to find God in all things. Starting with the public schools in our community. It os in the peripharies that inbound him. I found my mission and purpose. In the peripharies love abound.

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