Welcome to The Ask – a series devoted to taking your questions rooted in Catholic living and providing solid, orthodox advice you can use in your everyday. We will take questions from readers and share some practical ways to apply the advice given to help you walk with Christ. Now let’s hear from columnist Krista!
So, I’m writing an advice column. This is funny to me for two reasons. First of all, the one thing that was hammered into my head over and over as a grad student, was that therapists don’t give advice. For the most part, that’s true. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I’m not the expert on anyone’s life. Heck, I’ve hardly got a handle on my own. When friends come to me and open a conversation with “treat me like one of your clients”, the first thing I say to them is “Great! I’m not going to give you any advice.”
The other thing I find funny is that a few letters after my name give me the authority to dish out wisdom like bowls of hot soup to all of those who are cold and hungry in their souls. I’m 28 years old, married for just under two years, pregnant with my first baby without a clue how to balance marriage, motherhood, dreams and a career. When it comes to expertise, the diploma on the wall and credentials at the end of my name aren’t what make me right for this job.
What makes me right for this job are the two listening ears attached to my head, the beating heart in my chest that feels for you, breaks for you and reaches out to you in your everyday struggles and suffering.
Sometimes all we need is to get the words on paper or out in the open to realize the answer was right in front of us the whole time.
This is for all the questions that are simple to understand in the hypothetical but get tricky when they get personal. I mean, I understand why the Church teaches what she teaches in general, but there are certainly times when I wonder if and how it applies to my actual life here on the ground. I know the commandments and I know that I should respect my mother and father, but what does that mean for mothers in-law? The Beatitudes say “blessed are the meek”, but can I still stand up for myself when friends disrespect my boundaries?
If you ask me, it’s a tough and important time to be a woman in the Church. We’re speaking up and taking the lead more than ever before. The women of the Church are rising up to do what we do best — build up, bring healing, and restore what was broken. And we’re doing all this while making dinner and making babies, sending emails and birthday cards.
What Women Want
I think a lot of times when we’re seeking advice, what we’re really seeking is counsel, another voice to validate and challenge what we already know, an unbiased third party to help us separate the truth from everything else, to sit next to us as we sort through the clutter of our assumptions and expectations.
Here’s what I hope this column will be for you. I hope that it’s a place where you feel safe to ask the questions that are heavy on your heart without the fear of judgment. I hope you know and believe that this will never be a place of persecution but of encouragement and empowerment to be the woman God created you to be. I hope you find through the questions and answers of our sisters in Christ that you, my dear, are not alone in your wrestling.
My goal is that this column, this tiny little corner of the internet will be a place where you can be reminded of who you are and whose you are, a place where your burden can be shared, your yoke a little lighter than before. Here you will never find condemnation. What you will find is understanding, practical advice and some humor. I promise to hold your questions tenderly and answer them prayerfully with my whole heart. I can’t promise you that I’ll be perfect, after all I’m human, but I do promise to give you all the love, knowledge and wisdom I have to offer.
Have a question?
Send your inquiry to Krista Steele at Advice@CatholicSistas.com
Krista is a licensed social worker living in Columbus, Ohio with her husband, Jeff and their dog, Hank. She believes the best moments in life happen around the table, there’s always room for one more book in your Amazon cart/suitcase/purse, and that every load of laundry folded is an hour out of purgatory. You can find her on the trails with her boys, on the couch with a novel, or on her knees in front of the blessed sacrament.