It was a beautiful day for the Associate’s orientation. It was a day of prayer. It was a day of sharing our stories. Each person with a different story of how Providence brought them to this place of belonging. It was a day of reflection. It was a day of discomfort.
As an introvert with anxiety issues and social phobias, sharing my story with a group of 60 or so people was terrifying. I was shaking in my shoes as I stood there and held the microphone. I had rehearsed some of what I wanted to say, but it came out so much better than I had hoped. I’m sure they all heard the trembling in my voice and I did tear up once (What can I say, I’m emotional!). This was just the beginning of God pushing me out of my comfort zone on this journey. My companion, Sister Kay, has her work cut out for her. Since Saturday, I have been reflecting on why I want to be an associate and what my expectations are for this candidacy year and going forward.
I want to be an associate, because I want to be a reflection of love, mercy and justice in my sphere of influence. I want to join the Sisters in fighting for justice in the world. The Sisters are living examples of love in action. In many of our stories, we each shared a sense of belonging or being home. This isn’t a coincidence. The Sisters embody a spirit of hospitality and compassion. This campus has become a refuge for many of us. A place of peace in the midst of chaos. A shelter in the storm. We feel the loving presence of our Foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and we know that in this place, we are safe.
I think the key word for this next year is GROW. I want to grow in my relationship with God. I want to grow in my relationship with the sisters. I want to grow in my prayer life. I want to grow as a christian. I want to grow as a writer. I want to take the time to discern God’s will for my life as an associate. My kids are getting to the age where they don’t need me as much and I have more freedom to see where the Holy Spirit is leading me. This will definitely be a year of reflection and discernment.
I want to be able to transition from working in the food service dept. to working with the sisters on social justice issues. This is where my heart is. I have a passion to see justice for the oppressed, the abused, the lost. Oppression has many faces. There are so many people around the world who suffer in silence. They live lives of silent desperation and cry out in their pain. Is anyone listening? I have such a burning desire to join in the fight for these precious souls full-time, that at times, I cry out in frustration because I have bills to pay and money is a necessary evil. For now, I will do my best where God has placed me and trust in His Providence to work out a way that I may have my heart’s desire.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
This is my prayer.
These are some of the things that have been on my mind since the orientation. God is molding my character. I feel it in my spirit. It can be a painful process, but so rewarding. I am a mess, but God is molding me into a vessel that He can use. That is what this process of becoming a Providence Associate is to me. It is the molding process that is needed to make me a scarred, but beautiful vessel that God can use to do His will on this earth. As I said in the orientation, I am where I belong.