Find Your Inner Iggy



by Samantha Yanity

I relate to St. Ignatius of Loyola. I had spent my twenties consumed by vanity with the aim of charming the socks off every, single, man I met. As a result, I dated a string of men who did not challenge me to chase after God, but rather, ending up driving me away from God. Caught up with the lies of world, I stopped going to mass.

One day my life completely unraveled. I had lost my apartment and had less than 24 hours to move out. The only one who could help me was my family who lived three hours away. I ended up resigning from my job and giving up most of my earthly possessions. I had nothing left but a suitcase of clothes.

I knelt on the floor of my parents basement alone and prayed, “OK. God, I have nothing left. Do with me as you wish.” As I prayed I heard “San Francisco” in my head. A week later, I flew to San Francisco with nothing but a suitcase, a few hundred bucks, and faith. What happened once I got to the City of San Francis was radical transformation.

e-Yanity-2Conversion means to turn something on its head and that is exactly what happened in my life. One morning, I had stepped out onto my balcony to hear church bells ringing. Curious about the bells, I Googled, “Catholic churches near the Haight,” and found a Jesuit parish a half mile from my place. The next day, thinking I was late to mass, I ran to the Jesuit church on the hill. I had discovered that this Church was offering a RCIA class. By rite of my baptism, I had been Catholic my entire life, but I never received the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation. I had been running from the Church for so long that I knew it was time to come back.

In RCIA we learned about Ignatian Spirituality and about St. Ignatius of Loyola. I did not know much about St. Ignatius or the Jesuits before I came to San Francisco, but it did not take long to fall in love with this Spanish saint, his order, and the Church. Through a Spanish saint, I found my way back to God. Sometimes, the only way to see God fully in all things, is to surrender everything.

Samantha Yanity: sparked by Ignatian spirituality

Samantha Yanity: sparked by Ignatian spirituality

Samantha Yanity has a BA in English and a MS in psychology. Currently, she resides in San Francisco where she provides job support and coaching to young interns with developmental and intellectual disabilities at UCSF Medical Center. She is an active parishioner at St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco where her love of Ignatius first sparked.

5 thoughts on “Surrender

  1. Conchita

    Beautiful story!
    Thanks for sharing it!
    I find Ignatian faith and thinking (spirituality!) very appealing too.
    Though my “turning around” happened in through a conversation with a priest from Verbum Dei missionaries (a 60s Spanish order) and a retreat.
    They are as interesting!

  2. Thaeda

    I recently had a conversation with my husband about surrender. “Surrender what and to whom?’ I asked him. Despite knowing God since I could form words, i have yet to ever for any length of time find myself in any kind of close relationship with Him/Her/?. Everytime I think I get just close enough to reach the Divine, it moves. My SIL refers to this as “the dance”- and that is what it seems like. In all of my years of faith I have never stopped asking questions– oh sure, in my pilgrimage from one denomination to the next I have had periods of “knowing”, of contentment. But invaribaly, the itch of more questions comes- like a rash that just won’t clear up completely–and I find the “box” of whatever denomination I landed in this time is too small for the God of my understanding. It is kind of sad, actually. Each time I went to a new denomination I thought “This is IT! My home FOREVER!” And then the inevitable happens…I encounter new information, have new experiences that while they bring me closer to God, push me to color outside the denominational lines. So here I am– again– perpetual pilgrim. Spiritual refugee of sorts- asking the same questions I have been asking all my life. I want nothing more than union with Source- and still my question persists- I ask God/Spirit/Source for the 11234th time… “Who are you?”.

    1. shela

      I hope I am not the first to respond to your comment. My first question to you is “could you feel like your dancing in the denominations because of your belief?” You refer to a “source/spirit/God, as well as God as him/her” Most importantly you need to determine whether you believe in God or something other than. If you believe in God, the gender should not be questionable. If that is where you stand, research those denominations of the christian faith. Since you have a spouse, is he willing to take that journey with you? What an awesome way to strengthen your marriage!!!
      Personally I am hooked on the catholic faith, the one of truth. If you have access to EWTN (tv, internet, app) try to find the program “Journey Home” hosted by Marcus Grodi. This is a program of individuals who are interviewed through their “journey” Keep digging deeper.
      If you find your belief is not in God, research those ideas. Hopefully you will find your dance is over and you can fully surrender to God. Awesome if your husband joins you.

  3. Pingback: Day 31 With Iggy: A Feast Day and Everything In Between | Not By Sight

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