I am so excited about today’s interview! I have known sweet Issa for quite some time and absolutely love what she is doing! Her heart is so present in everything that she does and it truly inspires me. It’s always amazing to see how different people share their gifts and spread the joy of the gospel with those around them.
Be sure to give her some love on Instagram @gracetothehumble. And enjoy the interview!! It’s a good one!
+ For those who aren’t familiar with you, please introduce yourself and your work.
Hello friends! If we haven’t met yet, my name is Isabella (or Issa) Somera, also known as @gracetothehumble on Instagram! I have just started my sophomore year in college majoring in Biochemistry Pre-Med and minoring in Theology! My current aspirations are to become a doctor (and mother) who provides quality healthcare, ensures the protection of life, and offers both physical and spiritual healing. When I’m not scrolling through my feed, I’m usually practicing calligraphy and making spreads in my bullet journal, out adventuring through nature, or relaxing at home playing video games with friends!! I spend a lot of time with my Youth Ministry, coordinating Praise and Worships, facilitating retreats, and just recently – spearheading an inter-district conference with over 200+ people!
+ When did your relationship with Christ first take root in your life? What encouraged you in striving for a deeper relationship with God?
For starters, I am a Cradle Catholic who was brought up in a religious household with parents who took me to Mass every Sunday and prayed the Rosary together whenever we could. I’ve been in Catholic schooling all my life, even now attending a Catholic university. Being exposed to religion and hearing that God loves me all the time, I guess I didn’t really take it upon myself to truly be invested in and convinced of my faith. It became so ordinarily routine for me that I disconnected the spiritual and physical aspects of worship and prayer.
It wasn’t until my Junior year of high school, the most stressful time in my life, where I attended a Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar which opened my mind and heart to accept a deeper relationship with God. This was the turning point in my life where I began to seek the Truth of Scripture, goodness of the Lord, and beauty of Christ’s Church!
+ You run a beautiful Instagram page called Grace to the Humble. What has been your mission through sharing your heart with your followers?
In the past, Grace to the Humble was a space for me to track my spiritual encounters with God…anonymously. But at the beginning of this year, God called to me, emboldening me to testify of my spiritual revelations and evangelize to His people that you can truly be on fire for your faith and proclaim His Name even at a young age (1 Timothy 4:12, am I right?!). This prompted me to introduce myself and to share my thoughts with others step by step. My mission, through Grace to the Humble, is to be an instrument of Christ to soften the hearts of others through the messages of God. That way, the Holy Spirit can work through them, and ignite a passionate flame of faith and a deep love for Christ.
+ What does the phrase “Grace to the Humble” mean to you in your faith journey? Why is the call to humility so important for all Christians?
A lesson my parents always instilled in me was “when you claim you are humble, you lose all humility.” I always struggled with understanding what this meant, and even still carry the cross of pride. So for me, “Grace to the Humble” means that God gives us His unmerited grace to pursue and truly live the virtue of humility…because on our own, I truly don’t think we could ever fully grasp what humility means.
Saint Augustine (my guy) describes humility as “the foundation of all other virtues hence, there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” Saint Augustine hits the mark. Humility is the foundational virtue, the beginning of our holiness. Humility is so important because it is our innocent obedience to God. Humility is not self-deprecation, but complete confidence and dependency on Christ. The more we practice humility, the closer we grow to God and trust Him. A prayer I encourage you to try is the Litany of Humility. It has knocked down my false pride and has given me strength in my journey to holiness and sainthood. (Fun Fact: this litany was the inspiration for my username!)
+ How has sharing about your faith in this public way helped shape your faith?
It definitely hasn’t been easy sharing my faith publicly. I find myself becoming self-conscious or fearful of the opinions of others about what I share. But, I remember that this isn’t about me, but rather about God and bringing others to His Kingdom. Conversely, sharing my faith publically has helped me to “practice what I preach,” and to really reflect on my own shortcomings and where I need improvement.
+ What is something beautiful that you see in the Catholic world of Instagram? How has building relationships here been a blessing to you?
Through this online community of faith, I have been able to connect with so many great friends who have so much to offer and beauty to share! I’m truly inspired and impressed by everyone’s personal missions, differing opinions, and creativity! Instagram is such a simple platform to use to evangelize, and it is a tool which truly allows for the universality of the Church. I’ve gotten to know so many young disciples of Christ, and I truly believe that these same people will be our future saints one day!
+ You recently finished your first year of college and have talked about your experiences with failure and triumph. How have you experienced a greater sense of communion through your trials, both in life and in school?
At the beginning of my freshman year, I really felt uprooted from the norm. This transitional time in my life brought up a lot of questions about my values, faith, and future. I grasped for a lot of things God was not trying to even offer me. And so, I came head to head with Him more often than I should have. I tried writing my own future for myself, taking control of my life, and pushing aside the plans God had destined for me.
This created a lot of friction with myself, others, and God. It surprisingly caused a lot of pain on my part because I was forcing mismatched pieces of my life together, breaking them, and doing it all over again. I was disappointed, frustrated, and angry when things easily fell apart. It wasn’t until I found the right group of women to humble me, reminding me that I am no match for God. No match for His will for me, no match for his mercy for me, and no match for his love for me.
Through my suffering, I unexpectedly found community with women who helped me foster my best self. How? Through prayer, accountability, and love! They reminded me that I am little before my God, and I should be joyful in my littleness (any St. Thérèse lovers out there?)! My first year taught me all of perspective and how to view situations with trust in God, compassion for others, and wonder in my littleness.
+ Why do you think coming to Christ without failures is so important for a deeper relationship with Him?
Well, honestly…I think we need to come to Christ with our failures, sins, and crosses. We are broken people, desperate for healing, unity, and love. We can present our brokenness to our Savior at the foot of the Cross, and ask Him to transform them with His graces into something beautiful! He gives us a second chance (or as many chances as we need) to pick up our crosses and follow Him. But this all starts with becoming vulnerable with Christ and showing Him our wounds openly and without shame. Trust in Him initiates a deeper relationship with Christ.
+ How would you encourage other students to overcome their failures and strive for deeper relationships with Christ?
First and foremost, be gentle with yourself. We cannot hide from failure, it’s inevitable. However, it doesn’t mean we have to face failure alone! Yes, we have community, but we also have a whole legion of angels and saints to intercede on our behalf for a particular need! (My favorites are Saint Raphael, Saint Augustine, and Saint Rose of Lima). Not to mention, we have our Heavenly Mother always watching over us tenderly. When we call on her for any special intention, she offers our petitions to her Son by hand. Last, but not least…we have God on our side to prove we are victorious. Invite Him into the mess, the sorrow, the chaos. His heart moves, leaps, and even does little back flips when we ask Him to be there with us!
+ If you had a megaphone and a message for all Catholic women to hear, what would it be?
Patience is a beautiful virtue, and continue to pray for it! Whether it be waiting for an answered prayer or discerning the right boy for a relationship, patience connects us to other traits like peace, trust, and love! Patience allows us to receive, rather than to grasp, with open hands.
Have a beautiful day!