I was editing the UNL FOCUS announcement blog today and I saw that I had an unpublished post on my own blog! Here are some reflections from the middle of NST this past summer:
Greetings from the Middle-of-Nowhere, Florida where the air is thick, the alligators are plentiful, and FOCUS New Staff Training is in full swing! This year has been wild. It seems as if it was just yesterday that I sat in my room at Newman at the University of Illinois - Champaign full of excitement, anxiety, fear, hope, and anticipation as I tried to fundraise my salary so I could make it to the University of Nebraska - Lincoln by August 12.
Now that NST2013 is more than halfway over, it seems appropriate to reflect on the differences from this year and last.
The most obvious is that I'm a second year and I actually know people here. My schedule is much less demanding, leaving a lot of free time for good holy missionary things (like naps and beers). I feel so much different than who I was a year ago, even who I was a month and a half ago. Something happened when I set foot on Ave Maria's campus and the door was closed on my first year with FOCUS. There is a undertone of peace that seems to come with me even in the midst of suffering and desolation. I don't know how to explain it. Today I was talking with my disciple, Shelby, and I could only describe it as a calm. Coming to training hot off of the dating fast terrified me, as I felt it would be full time job to confront my vocation in the face. And yet, I am sitting in this place of uncertainty and my only desire is to live in the present and pursue deeper intimacy with Jesus at all moments. I don't want to give off the impression that everything is perfect and that I'm overflowing with happiness at all times, because that is the furthest thing from the truth. But there is an undertone of peace that makes it all bearable.
Clarity. God has been working and working in my soul. Usually I can feel my prayer moving but I have no idea what is happening. This summer is the exact opposite. I felt like nothing was happening until last Monday when everything spilled out. Since then Jesus and I have been putting them in order, just so I can begin to make sense of what is going on. I am in a place where I am seeing so many causes and effects and I can see so clearly what I am struggling with and where Jesus wants me to be...but I have no idea where to go or what to do with it. I had a great talk with Sr. Virginia Joy of the Sisters of Life and she gave me some great advice.
Along the lines of clarity, I also have a deep peace about going to the support center. It was such a hard choice - I am going to miss my students and my team so much, but I know that God is calling me to the Denver Support Center. I am so excited to be in this role...but more on that later.
That's as far as I got. I will update later this week with more deets on the move and my life as an office missionary. Bye for now!