Posts Tagged With: prayer life

How to Walk on Water

Dear Pope Francis,

It is no secret that the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water is one of my favourites, and that I find myself returning to it over and over again. Every time, I see myself in a different part of the story.

This time however, I’m struck by what is missing from the story: after Peter sinks and Jesus catches him, the author simply writes: “when they got back in the boat, the wind ceased” (Mt 14:31). Did Jesus catch Peter and then they got back in the boat right away? Or did Peter try again to see if he could do better the second time? Did Peter give up, and that’s why they got back in the boat?

While I’ll never know that part of Peter’s story, it’s the part I am living right now.

For three years I felt Jesus inviting me to step out of the boat and into the storm of big city living, loneliness, and school stress. The final invitation was to move even further across the country. But since arriving, things have been different.

I no longer feel like I’m being invited somewhere new; I feel like I am exactly where I’m supposed to be: I am standing on the water with Jesus. I can see the waves (the physical differences and distance) and feel the wind (the loneliness), and sometimes they get to me. But for the most part there is peace, and I stay on top of the water.

But now that I’m here, how do I walk on the water? Standing here is great, but I didn’t come all this way just to stand on it.

Unfortunately, Google can’t answer that question (but it can tell me how to walk in heels). The only way to answer the question is to take a step, maybe just a little one, but I need to move forward. Then I need to take another one, maybe a little bigger this time. The answer is to just keep taking steps forward, and as I do, without realizing it, I am walking on the water. I am gaining momentum to keep going.

This is a nice picture, painted with figurative language. But what have the steps actually been? Some of them are quite practical, like getting a desk for my room so I have a comfortable place to work at home. Others are more focused on self-care, like making my days off a priority (a big accomplishment for me), and making new friends. In some cases, I have no idea why I’m taking the step, but it feels right, like making blogging a priority again, and starting some other writing projects.

As with most other steps in my life, I don’t know exactly where these will take me, but as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, it gets easier to trust the process and to keep the momentum going. Patience on the other hand, isn’t always easy, but practice makes perfect (eventually).

Skipping on the waves,

Lauren

PS: These are my steps on the water. Have you been taking steps on the water? Share in the comments!

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Settling into Ordinary

Dear Pope Francis,

The last few weeks have been very energetic, with the holidays, travelling, seeing my friends again and starting new classes. It’s now almost the middle of January. School is back in full swing, complete with reading to do, papers to write, and extra-curricular meetings and events to attend. I have swapped holiday stories with my friends, and now the opening question is ‘how are your classes?’ or ‘did you finish the reading?’Ordinary Time

While school can be stressful, and there are a lot of different tasks to get done, there is something comforting about being back in my routine. As much as the break I had during the holidays was much needed and relaxing, I began to miss the ordinary things in my regular life, like my friends, my apartment and – to some degree – the structure that school gives my week.

This time at the beginning of the semester is what I consider ‘ordinary’. It is the quiet period after the busyness of the holidays, but before the stressful times of the semester. It’s the time when I can work at my own pace, or linger in a conversation without feeling guilty. It’s also the time when I forget to pay attention because everything seems so far away. The paper isn’t due until February, and from here, that seems like an eon, so I don’t start it right away, even though I have the time now.

It’s not just school where lack of attention can be problematic. This is often the reality in my faith life.

There is no big feast or liturgical season coming right away; we’re in ordinary time. I attend the regular liturgies, I pray in the evening like I usually do, and, as terrible as it sounds, I can forget to look for God in my life. As a professor once reminded me, this ordinary time, both in the liturgical sense and in day to day life, is time that is meant for God, just as much as any liturgical season, feast day, or exam period. God will come and be with me just as much in this time of low-stress school work and socializing, as He is when I am on edge with deadlines.

Finding Him now is no different than finding him in those big moments; I need to be quiet and attuned to the Spirit, perhaps even quieter and more attuned, because God will speak, I need to be paying attention.

Enjoying the ordinary,

Lauren

Seek Kingdom

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Faith Seeds and Hope Dirt

Dear Pope Francis,

I was really excited to hear my hands-down-favourite bible verse in the readings at Church on Sunday: the Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32)Mustard Seed Faith. Usually when I think of people who love a bible verse, they quote it a lot, or perhaps they have it tattooed somewhere, or written all over their daybooks, notebooks and cellphone case. I have written down lots of bible verses, especially on the inside covers of my prayer journals, but each of those quotes spoke to me in a specific time, while I was going through a particular set of spiritual events in my life.

What makes the Parable of the Mustard Seed different? Well, it’s one of the very few bible passages that pop up randomly, but I immediately connect with it. The first time I heard it was during prayer about four years ago. I was just finishing my first summer working as a camp councillor and realizing that I may be called to ministry. However, at the time I had no idea how that would happen. The response to my prayer was almost immediate: “mustard seed” and, turning to my friends, I quoted that verse almost verbatim, except that I hadn’t thought of it at any recent point before that moment. Since then, it continues to pop up over and over. Most recently it was on Sunday, when I really needed some peace for confusion I’d been feeling.

Another reason why I love this bible verse is that it doesn’t matter when it pops up in my life, it is always relevant. If there is one thing I really struggle with, it’s having faith; it’s the reason why I most frequently relate to Peter when he questions Jesus and Thomas when he asks for proof of the resurrection. This verse always reminds me that having faith isn’t a weakness; it is because of faith that God will do great things through me. It also reassures me that it doesn’t take a lot of faith. When I’ve been feeling unfaithful, it’s really nice to know that I don’t have to come back with a ten-page essay explaining why I doubted and a fifty point action plan for how I will avoid doubt in the future.

SproutFinally, I love this passage because it reminds me that what seems small to me in this moment, can grow into something massive. In that moment four years ago when I first heard this passage in prayer I was teetering on the cusp of where God was calling me. I had ben profoundly impacted by the events of that summer, and knew that God had something in store for me. In the weeks and months that followed, I started my third year of undergrad, switched friend groups, got involved at the UPEI Chaplaincy Centre and began to seriously consider doing my M.Div. Four years later, that little tiny seed of faith that got planted has grown. I moved to go to school, and I’m almost finished of my M.Div. I have done a lot of things that four years ago sounded absolutely impossible – and all because of one little seed of faith.
The most exciting part is that I have a new seed of faith. I have been praying about next steps and discerning where I might be called. This was really stressful for a while. Not that I have any sort of definitive plan or clear knowledge of what is next, but I have hope that God is going to come through, and do something awesome. Now, I need to plant this faith seed, as tiny as it is, in hope, water it with prayer and let it grow, because I know that as it grows it will surprise and challenge me, but when it’s fully grown, it will be beautiful.

Getting my hands dirty,

Lauren

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Hope in the Christian Life

apples and oranges Dear Pope Francis,
I’m always intrigued when people tell me that life with Christ is easier than life without Christ. In fact, I’ve been hearing it a lot lately, and it really started to irritate me. I don’t want to compare which one is easier or harder, because I think that it’s like comparing apples and oranges, each have their highs and their lows. I do think it’s a mistake to say that a Christian life is flat out easier.

Believe it or not, there was a period of about two years during my BA when I more or less fell away from the Church. The fact that I didn’t turn into a wild party girl during that time probably had a lot more to do with my personality rather than the unconscious presence of Catholic guilt. By pop culture standards, I was still pretty tame, but I was decidedly not practicing my faith. I wasn’t going to Mass at all, and not really praying. I wouldn’t say that I felt lost or unsure about what I was doing with my life. Sure, I was a little self-conscious and unsure of myself, but who isn’t at twenty-years-old. I worried about boys, how I looked and my plans for the upcoming weekend. For the most part, I thought I knew exactly who I was and where I was going with my life, and things were good. Based on the conversations I’ve had with other people around the same age, I was pretty normal. Then, the summer between my second and third year of my BA, I had a bumpy patch in my life. I realized that the things that I thought were making me happy, weren’t actually helpful, and I needed to fix it. It was at this point that I realized that I needed my faith in God.

Fast-forward four years, as I finish up the second year of my M.Div. I am practicing my faith more regularly than I ever have in my life. I go to Mass at least once a week, and usually twice per week. I pray almost daily, and get spiritual direction monthly. For the most part, I still enjoy the same genres of movies, books, jokes and music that I did four years ago. I still worry about mostly the same things: boys, how I look and what my plans are for the weekend. I have more confidence in myself. While that confidence could arguably come from an increase in maturity, there are still many days when I am self-conscious. And despite actively practicing my faith, the last few months have been very rocky, comparable to the summer between my second and third year of my BA. I am realizing that there are things in my life that simply aren’t life-giving anymore, and they need to be pruned, either cut back or dropped entirely, in order to make space for new things in my life.Don't let go

I still struggle with very much the same problems now that I am practicing my faith again as I did when I wasn’t really practicing. The key difference is how I talk about and handle the problems. Four years ago, I didn’t have a faith language that let me really get at the heart of what was going on in my life, that God was pruning the things that were no longer giving me life. I also didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it either. As a result of my faith, I am using that language to describe the events of the last two months, and I have several trusted people who I talk to about it regularly. But being able to name what’s happening doesn’t make the process any easier! It still hurts (a lot!) and there are many days when I’m anxious and worried because I don’t know what’s coming next. The emotional highs and lows are comparable. Surprisingly, how I deal with them is about the same as well: I dig deep inside myself to find inner strength, while simultaneously reaching out for support. Now that support comes from prayer and spiritual conversations with friends and my spiritual director. Before, it came from venting and camaraderie with my friends.

So, my problems aren’t necessarily any easier, and how I cope isn’t much different, which begs the question: what does faith have to do with any of this? Aside from the fact that it gives me a way to make sense of and talk about my struggles, the most important thing my faith gives me is hope. I cling to hope for dear life sometimes, as it sputters and flickers and slips through my fingers. Sometimes, I can’t explain how I manage to hang on, except that it is pure grace. It never fixes the problems or any easier to bear, but it helps me make sense of them.

Hanging on to hope,
Lauren

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(Spiritual) Mother-Daughter Time

Dear Pope Francis,

It’s hard to believe that this is my last letter for the month of May! Where has the time gone? I would be remiss if I had let the entire month pass and didn’t write a post about Mary, since this is a Marian month and all. When Meredith and I first talked about what we wanted to write about this month, Mary was one of the first, and most obvious, ideas.

My relationship to Mary has been mostly non-existent for the bulk of my life. I never really understood why she was so central to the faith when we had the Trinity already. I would prayer the “Hail Mary” when my catechism class or youth group did so, but the Rosary was not an integral part of my prayer life. However, over the last couple of years, primarily since I moved, I have found myself turning to Mary more often in my prayer.

I began to relate more readily to her Fiat in Luke’s Gospel, when, at Gabriel’s news that she would bear a son, she says “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). In this moment, Mary was confused. Mary's FiatShe didn’t understand what exactly was going to happen, other than God wanted her to bear His son, and she still said yes. This idea of saying yes resonated with me, because I spent much of my first year of the M.Div. not really understanding why God wanted me to study. I knew that he had led me to this school and more specifically this program, but I couldn’t (and still can’t) see exactly what He’s got planned for me. In those moments of doubt, I tried to have the simple faith of Mary, the faith that could be content in saying ‘yes’ to God, and then letting His will be done. I am far from exercising this simplicity regularly in my faith. I question God all the time, but Mary continues to be a role model for me.

In the last few months, when I have been really stressed or upset, I have found myself turning to Mary in prayer as often as I have been turning to God. It’s not that I worship Mary, it’s more that I have a conversation with her, very much like the kinds of conversations I would have with my own mom. The conversations are telling Mary what’s going on, what’s stressing me out or why I’m feeling terrible, and then I ask her to pray for me, in much the same way I would ask my mom, or any of my other close friends to pray for me. It is interesting that in the moments when God seems furthest away, I turn to Mary. There is something about her, I think of it as her gentle presence, which allows me to open up and let her in when praying to God just isn’t working for me.

Does this mean that I’m going to start praying the Rosary every single day? I don’t really know. I appreciate the prayers of the Rosary, especially the “Hail Mary”, when I don’t have my own words for prayer, but I still need to pray in my own way. My prayer life tends to grow and develop spontaneously. It’s one of the few places in my life that I don’t have strict goals that I try to meet. If at some point, praying the Rosary becomes something I need to do on a regular basis, then I will pick up then. Until that point, I will continue to relish in the wonderful mother-daughter time I have with my Spiritual Mother now.

Enjoying the (Spiritual) Mother-daughter time

Lauren

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Discernment: Am I Waiting or Doing?

Dear Pope Francis,

I have been noticing a distinct trend in my conversations with people and many of the posts on LTP lately: discernment keeps popping up. Discernment is a bit of a buzz word right now; it seems like everyone is using it! I shouldn’t be surprised by this, since discernment is a big component of Ignatian spirituality (which is a big part of my prayer life and time at school), and many of my friends are trying to sort out their next steps. They are seeking to do God’s will as they go forward with their lives.

Using discernment as a buzz word poses a big challenge for me because I fall into the trap of using it as an excuse to not do anything. I have discerned decisions before and in that process God gave me affirmation by providing what I needed to make the transitions and lots of consolation when I needed it most – He gave me a lot of very clear yeses. However, as I wrote before, God has been giving me (and Meredith too) lots of no’s recently. Given these no’s, my instinct is to retreat, thinking: well, God’s not calling me there, so I guess I’d better sit and wait Waitingpatiently until He tells me what’s next. But that’s not necessarily the answer.

Each discernment process is different, presenting its own challenges and difficult parts. Perhaps most importantly, it requires ongoing work. In earlier times of discernment, I was anxious and impatient as I waited for God’s answer. I wanted to know exactly what he wanted from me, so that I could jump right in and do it. This time, I’m having the opposite problem, I’m having a difficult time figuring out what to do, although I have a very clear sense that I need to do something. Instead of eagerly trying things out, I’m waiting (…and waiting) for God to deliver the answer on a silver platter.

This time, my discernment has led me to re-evaluating my priorities and goals, and trying to sort out my own next steps. Not surprisingly, this requires me to make some changes, like letting go of some activities that aren’t life-giving any more, or trying to be flexible with the changes that are happening in my life. Not surprisingly making these changes also requires some work: I need to talk to some people about scaling back my involvement, or looking for different ways to spend my time which are life-giving. This has involved meeting people, and learning new things, which, even though I love these things, is work. Even though I know that I need to do it, I would much rather hide behind my ‘discernment process’ and wait for God to deliver.

But hiding and waiting isn’t helpful this time; in fact they are almost as treacherous as my yes, but…” statements. Instead of activecountering my urge to rush into action with patience, I need to channel even a spark of that enthusiasm I had so that I can get moving. It’s not that my earlier discernment process was wrong; it’s just that I need something different in this discernment process. This time, I’ve got the waiting part down, it’s the doing part that I’m struggling with. Instead of just talking about discernment, it’s time to start doing something about what I’m discovering, especially since I would much rather sit and wait.

 

Starting to move,

Lauren

 

Prayer for Fervour in Thinking of God

O Lord, give us a mind that is humble, quiet, peaceable, patient and charitable, and a taste of your Holy Spirit in all our thoughts, words, and deeds.

O Lord, give us a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervant charity, a love of you.

Take from us all lukewarmness in meditation and all dullness in prayer. Give us fervor and delight in thinking of you, your grace, and your tender compassion toward us.

Give us, good Lord, the grace to work for the things we pray for.

-St. Thomas More

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Waiting for Yes

Dear Pope Francis,

There are so many quotes about waiting and having hope. These are just the ones I have hanging on my wall:

  • “When God closes a door he opens a window” (and the alternate: “When God closes the door, praise Him in thhallway”)
  • “There is a season for everything… a time to grow and a time to reap” (Ecclesiastes 3)
  • “Consult not your fears, but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with your failures, but with all that is still possible for you to do” (Bl. John XXIII)
  • “Seek God in all you do and he will show you the path to take” (Proverbs 3:6)

Sometimes, like right now, I get very hung up on the waiting. I impatiently wait for the reaping time and anxiously search for the window.

As I was reflecting on the (many) times that God has been saying ‘no’ to me lately, I remembered something that one of my professors tells the class frequently. She tells us that very often people caught up on all of the areas where the moral teachings say ‘no’: no abortion, no contraception, no premarital sex. She challenges us to find the ‘yes’ in the moral teachings: yes to life, yes to the total gift of yourself, yes to the dignity of your future spouse.

What I find interesting in these, is that the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are simultaneous: a pregnant woman can’t really say ‘yes’ to the life of her baby without saying ‘no’ to an abortion. The difference is where the emphasis is. It seems like a glass half full, as opposed to a glass half empty situation; will I emphasize what I’m affirming (life) or what I’m ‘losing’ (abortion)?

Now, I’m not necessarily saying that this shift in perspective is going to solve all of the moral debates that are plaguing North American culture, nor am I trying to downplay or trivialize these important ethical issues, but it was a revelation for me that maybe there are ‘yes-es’ co-existing with the ‘no-s’ I’ve been receiving lately. Being single means that I don’t have a boyfriend, but that also means that I have more time to cultivate meaningful friendships (or write, or exercise, or cook, or do school work).

As this school year winds down, I am beginning to look ahead to the summer and to some extent, the next academic year. I have been discerning, and receiving ‘no-s’: jobs that I will likely not continue and volunteering that will need to be significantly reduced. Right now it’s hard for me to think that I will give these up in the future, especially because I don’t know what window God is going to open, and I don’t know when the reaping season will be coming. I need to acknowledge these things that I will let go of, but I also need to be aware of the areas where He’s saying ‘yes’ right now: blogging for LTP, some other volunteer positions, having time for self-development, finishing up my degree.

It’s not always easy to focus on these ‘yes-es’, even though they are very life giving. Letting go is hard, even when I know that I am letting go of something that isn’t necessarily helpful or life giving. It is even harder when I feel that I need to be accountable to other people about why I am saying no. However, this is one of those times I feel like I need to hang on to hope even tighter while I search for the window and sing praises in the hallway

Singing loudly in the hallway,

Lauren

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Trying to See Clearly

Dear Pope Francis,

Lately, I’ve been struggling to see. My eyes get dry and irritated by the cold wind and dry winter air. I wear glasses and they get dirty, smudged with fingerprints, dust, and dried snowflakes. These things can make reading and writing for long periods of time challenging. This is problematic as a student, since I spend a good portion of everyday reading and writing, not to mention when I do it for fun. However, there are ways to fix this problem. Whenever my eyes get irritated I put in tear drops. If my glasses are dirty, I clean them.

In many ways, this has become an appropriate image for my spiritual life. My soul longs to see God, to know and understand His will for me so I can go and do it. I want to truly experience His love for me, and be able to love Him like that in return. Those are very tall orders, taller than the stack of readings to do and papers to write.

Sin, like the dry air and wind, irritates my soul, while the skewed perceptions I have of myself and the world around me are the like smudges on my glasses. On my glasses, they make it difficult to read and write for long periods of time. On my soul, sin and skewed perceptions make it even harder for me to know God and do His will, and give and receive His infinite love.

Like my eyes, there is a solution for preparing my soul. Prayer, especially intentional daily prayer, reading scripture and receiving the sacraments, especially attending Mass, help me to clear some of the grime from my soul and sooth the aches and wounds. This is an imperfect process, because I am imperfect, but it certainly helps.

For the last six weeks or so, I’ve been making excuses for not praying daily and not really opening up at Mass. I’ve been closing off bits and pieces of my soul from God, and not letting it get cleaned and healed. Last Sunday a friend told me exactly what I needed to hear: “write, it’s what you do… write to God; tell’em why life sucks and see what happens.” I did exactly what he said, I wrote in my prayer journal for the first time in almost a month, and I wrote with reckless abandon. I put it all out there for God to deal with. And, while it didn’t come right away, over the course of the last week, scripture verses popped up that brought me comfort, I had some much needed spiritual conversations with friends, I went to Mass a couple extra times, and slowly the hurt eased away and the wounds began to close. I found it easier to see God’s love coming at me from all sides. It was easier to be open to and love God. And when the time came, it was much easier to be present for others when they needed an ear to listen or to be reassured.

I couldn’t have experience this healing if I hadn’t first let God in to clean and soothe my soul, the way I need to make sure my glasses are clean and that I’ve put drops in my eyes before I sit down to work. Just like taking care of my eyes, taking care of my soul is an ongoing process. It’s a process that I work at daily, because without that daily work, cleaning the accumulated grime is really hard and very painful.

Still cleaning,

Lauren

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Lenten Commitment

Dear Pope Francis,

The last few weeks I’ve been reflecting on what I want to do for Lent. I’ve been tossing around the idea of giving up meat again and being a vegetarian. Except I did that two years ago and I think I learned what I needed to from it.

I learned being a vegetarian is not a deal breaker for me and there’s a lot of really good food that doesn’t have meat. I also learned that unless I plan to be militant about when my meals happen and track my nutrients really well, I should probably not give up food.

st dunstansThis year I’ve been thinking a lot about my prayer life, and about what I do in my spare time. Now that I’m working in banquets instead of housekeeping, a lot of my shifts are probably going to be in the evenings. Without work to go to, a lot of the time I don’t leave the house. I stay in and read and job search online and play video games unless I have plans with friends.

My parish has mass at 12:05 most days. I’ve been thinking about going for a while, but I never seem to get around to it. So this year, my Lenten commitment is going to be to go to mass every day unless I have work when it’s happening.

When I was at the NET interview retreat on the weekend, we talked about how if you do not pray at specific times you cannot pray at all times. Until now, my specific time has been before I go to bed at night. My routine is to say “Now I lay me down to sleep” and then thank God for at least three things in my life that day and ask him for help with something the next day.

rosary

It’s been a really good exercise for me in terms of keeping the conversation going, and in the two years since I started doing it I’ve noticed I say a lot more little prayers during my day; prayers for friends when I hear about difficult situations in their lives, prayers for patience and understanding.

What I’ve skipped out on over the years is conversations with Mary. For the days when I do have work conflicting with mass, or when daily mass isn’t happening, I’m going to commit to praying the rosary.

Lent is a time of preparation for the joy of Easter and the knowledge that Jesus died on the cross for all humanity’s redemption. It’s easy to remember the things we say no to. All the rules saying don’t do this or don’t do that. But I think it’ll be a bigger challenge, for me at least, to remember to say yes. To take that hour of my day to say yes to going to mass, or yes to praying the rosary.

Jesus said yes to death on a cross, I can say yes to more prayer.

Rising again from ashes,

Meredith

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(Un)Answered Prayers

6 hands net ministries of canada

Dear Pope Francis,

I recently went on an interview retreat weekend with NET Ministries of Canada. I put the application in before Christmas and until the last couple of weeks I really wasn’t even sure applying was the right decision.

The last week or so I’ve been praying for an obvious sign pointing me in the right direction.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

There were two interviews to do, one over Skype before I left for Halifax and another in person after I arrived but before the retreat started. Going in to the retreat I was terrified the powers that be at NET would say yes and ask me to go, but coming out I was more worried they would find a reason to tell me no.

The readings for mass this weekend really mirrored where my relationship with God has been of late. First we heard from Isaiah 49:14-15 where the Israelites are feeling as though God has forgotten them, and the reassurance that this is not the case. Then Psalm 62, about waiting for God.

“Therefore do not pronounce judgement before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)

And finally, in the Gospel reading, the reminder not to worry.

One of the themes in my relationship with God that I became aware of this weekend is fear. How it has both pulled me away from God at times and drawn me closer to him at others.

I’ve spent a lot of time being afraid and asking God to take away the things I was afraid of, to fix the situations that were stressing me out so much. Being afraid has helped me develop an absolute trust that whatever happens, it will work out eventually. Somehow, it had never occurred to me to ask God to take away the fear.

As any four year old will tell you, eventually is a long time. God choosing to eventually resolve a problem feels an awful lot like not answering my prayer for everything to be okay.

Going in to the interview retreat, I asked for a sign that this is something I’m called to do or not do – and I got one. When John talked about Les équipes NET, the French language teams working in Quebec I felt a strong pull on my heart. It was the same kind of pull I felt when I was applied for SERVE three years ago, and it’s similar to the tug I often feel during the Gloria and the Eucharistic prayer at mass.

summer exchange 2007The year I turned 17, I spent the summer in Quebec on a language exchange. Before I came to Fredericton, I wanted to become a translator. I’ve lost most of my French because I haven’t used it much since. But I never lost the desire to be in Quebec, and I still enjoy the cadence of French when I hear it in the grocery store or on the radio. I still want to be bilingual.

I want to go on NET. I want to share my story with young Catholics and develop a deeper understanding of what my church believes. I think I can do so much good on NET. But if this isn’t where God wants me to be, or if I need to apply again in a year or two I need to not be afraid of what that means and keep searching for what I’m supposed to be doing right now.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Trusting there’s a plan,

Meredith

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