What a year it has been! This time last year I was just returning to the convent after a week home visit. I rang in 2017 with Mass, timing the consecration right at midnight. What a beautiful experience it was! Just a few weeks into the new year I made the decision to leave the convent where I thought I would spend the rest of my life. The Lord was faithful to me through the trials of that decision and the transition. I felt so much peace and consolation in those first few weeks of leaving.
My family went through a lot in those first few months with both of my grandparents going through serious health concerns. It was a gift for me to be home and able to help in whatever way I could.
I ended up working at Old Navy once again, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. I also started working at a nursing home. At the time I thought it was the direction the Lord was calling me to serve long term. However, He was taking me on a journey of trust and helping me grow to accept myself as I am. It was definitely difficult working two jobs and it stretched me a lot. I learned how to find God in the moment instead of focusing so much on what His plans for my future are.
Eventually I felt the Lord calling me back to ministry in the Church and found a job and moved an hour away from my parents. It was a scary step to take and it took a lot of relying on the Lord to come through, but I did it. I experienced a lot of peace in my decision and knew it was where the Lord wanted me to go.
The last six months of this new job have been challenging to say the least with many opportunities to grow and rely on the Lord. Moving to a new place and starting a new job all at once was overwhelming. Through the challenge and being overwhelmed, I’ve learned how to trust not just the Lord but also myself and have confidence to act. And I continue to have opportunities every day to embrace the present and find the Lord in each person and experience.
I’ve gone through so much change and transition in 2017. The word that was constant for me this past year was “arise.” It’s been a year of learning how to listen to the Lord’s promptings and choosing to trust Him even when His plan doesn’t seem to make sense to me. Each and every step, change, and transition has stretched me and helped me to see the Lord’s faithfulness. This year has been all about learning to live in my identity as a daughter of the Father, to accept His love and live in the freedom of a child of God. Each day has been about learning to accept who I am and become the woman that I was created to be.
While it’s been quite a challenging year, I am so grateful for all the experiences and I wouldn’t take any of them back. It’s been an incredible gift to see the Lord working around and through me. The last year was all about action and movement. I’ve been asking the Lord for a sense of what this next year will hold and He gave me the word bloom. While I don’t know what the Lord has in store or what exactly He means by bloom, I know that He is faithful and I trust that whatever it is will bring joy and bring me closer to Him. So here’s to 2018, may each of us take a chance to look back, be grateful, and trust that the Lord will continue to take care of us as He has always.