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Question: When was the Moment I said Yes?

In a comment on the last post, a question was asked of me and I have decided to address it in a post. IT is something that I have not thought too much about, but rather but too consumed by so many other things.

What was the moment when you said, “okay God, that’s what I’ll do?”

The past day, since I read that question, I have thought up and down my whole life to find that moment.  Now, one may think that would be an easy thing, but I can not find a single “ah ha!” moment that rings true in me.  Instead, there are just all these little things that have come together slowly for me.  There is the feeling that there is so much more for me, the love of working with youth at camp, the passion for retreat work, the longing to find ways to make my faith really strong, wanting to help people, being there for my friends whenever they need someone, finding God in abstract ways, and so many other things.

For most my life, I always remember wanting to be outside, and just be.  There was something amazing and wonderful about being outside.  As time went on, especially when I hit college and got to go in the bluffs on hikes, I realized being outside was one of the places that I found God the most.  I wanted to make my faith stronger and understand why I continued to stay Catholic rather than stray elsewhere.

The pull for something more was there in high school, but when I hit college, it really yanked on me.  I wrote before about the struggles between the awesome points, as well as the difficulties I had with finding a major that I really felt I was supposed to do.  All of it was important, but through it all, I wanted more and to do something unique to reach out.  When I first asked myself what it would be like as a religious sister during my sophomore year, I had no idea it would stick this far.

Looking now to all that has happened since I met the Salesians for the first time, as much as I freaked out on the outside, I have done nothing but smile about the whole thing.  Sure, there are those questioning moments that I mentioned previously.  Even in that, I found myself smiling.  When I went to do my interview this past Monday, I was beaming.  Something has felt right the entire time, even though I have never been able to 100% admit it yet.

Basically, I have said yes over and over, but have said no a few times too in between.  I have been telling myself and preparing myself for a long time now, to be open to whatever God may call me to do.  It was this path, religious life, that I had never expected to come to me.  Now, I just need to continue to accept it.  I am happy to thinking of my life this way and I smile unable to stop smiling even when I try hard.  What I have found helps is knowing that many people are following in the journey, one of the reasons I want this blog out there.

I hope this answers that question, even though straightforward it is not.  Thanks for following.  Peace and Prayers!

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Posted by on February 13, 2010 in Inner Reflection

 

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How in the World?

There are a lot of people in the world who figure out where they are going next in a normal obvious way.  They apply to a place they have known about or heard of, get a response and boom they are in.  They have an “in” to some location that gets them where they want to go with little look at their actual abilities.  They know what the want to do and there are actually options out there.  Whatever have you, they can do it.  Me on the other hand, it goes another way.  It is in the odd unusual ways that I have figured my path in life.  Some of this semi-quick storyline you have heard, the end you have not.

(work with me here…imagine sarcastic, fast paced, funny, yet serious).  So I am trying to pick my school right?  There was no way I was coming to any darn conclusion, takes a friend to be like, dude, you know where you are going!  Now I am at Saint Mary’s with the strange idea that biology was what I am going to studying.  Next thing you know, I am smacked over the head with an F in the first basic course.  I am left with a theology minor that because of having the head of the theology department as my advisor, it has become a Pastoral and Youth Ministry major (PYM).  Sounds good, right? Well…I don’t want to work in a parish setting, and am struggling in classes; I lean towards retreat work.  This is based off my love of TEC.  Let me tell you, resources for volunteers wanting to work in retreat work is limited.  Google saves the day!  Type in “long-term volunteering Catholic retreat house.”  Search for 11 pages, and little did I know that the link I looked at on that page would send me from the midwest to the east.  Needless to say, it was unusual for the volunteer intern to be someone who has never been to the retreat center before.  Next, now that I am out in lovely Jersey missing my Minnesota weather, we go to NCYC.  During the course of that trip, religious life came up three times, but perhaps the second time came unexpected.  I met two aspirants from the Salesian Sisters of Saint John Bosco, formally called Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), in the bathroom! The bathroom mind you.

Before you know it, I have visited them twice, been visited once by the vocations director, I have an application half filled out, my immediate and extended family know, and my life seems to be following the track of religious life.  As well, here I sit having de ja vu as I type this.  It is a crazy thing, of which I will tell more about when I have more time!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2010 in Retreat Experience

 

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Four Days, One Misson, It All Starts…

Perhaps this was the first time religious life has popped up in my mind, or the first time I acknowledged it, or maybe it is when I finally voiced what is in my hear.  Oddly enough I do not recall exactly when God started calling to me in a unique way, but this is the earliest specific memory that I have of any conversation of any sort, with myself or with others.

We were hanging out after the day of service.  There had been a sister who was visiting the place we were at and she was hanging out with us for a little before bed.  I remember thinking, I wonder what it would be like to be a sister.  Once she left, and it was just me and couple friends, I did something I hardly did then.  I opened myself up.  To my friends there, I voiced my question out loud, wondering what they thought on it.  The thoughts of this seemed to have stuck through my mind, though I payed little attention to them roaming around.

Now there is this friend of mine, and she had been very interesting in the religious life.  As a leader of the Women of Faith club that I was in, she would  invite the order that she was looking at to come and visit.  It was truly an inspiration!  Now that I think back , maybe this thought had processed before my sophomore year.  I am going to take a gander it was in my mind my freshman year, at least half.  Anyways, back to the topic.  It turns out that this her junior year (she was a year older), would be her last at Saint Mary’s and then the next year she would be entering.  I was in such awe of her call in life.  It made me really smile!

Was that mission trip a gateway to opening the conversation?  How was I inspired my my friend Josie, now called Sr. Rita Marie?  Where does this story go next!?

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2010 in Retreat Experience

 

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The Beginnings

It always interested me.  Who was this Jesus person that made my family go to mass each Sunday?  We got dressed in nice clothes and rushed out the door to make it on time.  I was drawn, though I did not completely see why, to figuring out what made this faith so important to so many people.  Thus in seventh grade, I followed in the footsteps of my dad and started to help teach religious education classes at my parish.  The kids, though annoying at times, held this simple faith that I wanted to help nourish.  Sure, my struggles were still with me, but there was something special in that at seventh grade, I was was willing to give a night to teaching young minds.   I continued as an assistant to a fellow parishioner through the tenth grade.  Thus the beginnings were and have been and are a part of my life.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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