As I told you, I went home last weekend to visit my mom and dad as well as to catch up with college friends! I landed in Manchester at 4:45pm, ate a quick dinner at home, then went to the Spring Break Alternative mass at Saint Anselm College... Little did I know that so many of my friends from college were going to be at the mass! As I looked around the lower church, I saw familiar faces and it felt like the old days! It's so hard to believe that a year ago I was sitting in those pews, anxious for my own trip to... Philly!!! It's kind of funny how life turns out, isn't it?
When I think back to almost two years ago when I was awaiting the verdict of if and where I was going to be leading Spring Break Alternative for my final year at Saint A's. The fateful night when I went into the office and was told that I was going to Philadelphia, I must admit I was a bit disappointed. I was hoping to head to Honduras or South Dakota, after all, I'd already been to Philly on an Urban Immersion (a weekend service trip) and was hoping for a completely different experience. As the year progressed, I got more and more excited about going to Philadelphia all the while wishing deep down that I was going to Central America. When I got into the van to head down here last year, I finally became excited. As my week progressed, I fell in love with the work I was doing here. I talked to the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry program director and she gave me an application and strongly encouraged me to apply.
The more I thought about it while I was here and after I got home, the more I saw myself spending a year in Philadelphia. One of the funny things about SBA is that after we return from a trip, most everyone wants to return to their site so I made a valiant attempt to give myself some time removed from the site to better make a decision regarding the next year in my life. But as time passed, I wanted nothing more than to return. I felt as if God was calling me to serve in Philadelphia, or at the very least, with Franciscan Volunteer Ministry!
You might be asking why I am talking about this now, almost 7 months after I began my year in Philly. When I was at home, surrounded by the insanity of SBA at Saint A's, I couldn't help but feel so grateful for the program and for all it has done for me. Had I not come to Philadelphia last year for Spring Break Alternative, I'm not entirely sure that I'd be where I am today and that is so hard for me to imagine.
I often question God and His path for me; I wonder why I'm doing what I am or why things don't always work out exactly how I wanted them to, but reflecting on the past year, my faith in God has increased and it challenges me to trust Him more and surrender to His will more. It's not easy by any means, but it's a work in progress.
My time at home was wonderful!!! I got to spend a lot of time with my family and some time with friends, which is exactly what I wanted! Although I didn't want to leave home, I was rested enough to return to the grind back here in Philly, at least until we go on retreat on Sunday! This week we said goodbye to Karen and Mike, a couple from New Zealand that arrived in the States around the same time we did to work with us for 6 months. It was so sad to see them go, but we all recognize how much of a blessing they were to us. Tonight my dad is taking the three of us out for dinner, and Friday night, the Michaelsons will be treating us to dinner!!! We have a very busy and exciting week ahead of us, but we're keeping our eyes on Sunday afternoon!
I pray that you all have faith in God's journey for you and that you are able to trust that He will lead you where you need to go. God bless!