Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My 23rd Year

I rang in my 23rd birthday in a van full of pretty amazing girls. We were on a nun run, and I spent the night in Nashville with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. I joked and told them I had now spent two birthdays in the convent, to which they replied, "any many mooorrreeee!" Hilarious. 

Some of the best live tweeters I've ever met. And some nuns.

On Monday night, my friend Elizabeth asked for my high, low, & God moment of the year. She asks such good questions, and I hadn't really thought about it until that moment. 

Low: Summer Training. NST is a magical place where hundreds of Catholics gather together in the middle of nowhere to grow closer to God and to be trained in evangelization. Training for me was, well, awkward. I felt kind of out of place - I was no longer a campus missionary, but I wasn't quite yet on the events team. And then there's the business of it being summer time and missing camp. But I think the biggest reason that training is so hard is because we missionaries put ourselves in a place of vulnerability where we are trying our hardest to conquer ourselves and grow ever closer to God. So this past summer, I got very attacked with loneliness and a confusion of where my place truly was. The beautiful thing about struggling in a place such as NST is you are surrounded by people who are passionate about others. My fellow missionaries, the priests, and religious that were there made all the difference in my place of struggle. And the thing about our low moments and struggles is that they propel us forward. If everything is perfect and easy all the time, we will never grow. Shout out to Caitlin & Katie for walking with me during this time, to the Marco Island crew for providing much needed community and carefree timelessness & to Carol for being so welcoming & the beginning of our events team friendship.

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee belong, we belong togeeeetherrrr.

High: Closing Campfire the week I subbed at Tecumseh. Of course my high would be from camp. I wrote about this when reflecting on 2013, but this moment was so profound for so many reasons. I last minute decided it would be so fun to have a picture with my campers who are now on CT Staff, so I asked Rachel to spread the word that we should meet behind the benches after cheers. I was not prepared for being stampeded by those 10 girls, being picked up, and all the squeals and hugs of reunions. 

such a happy heart.

It was in that moment of nostalgia, cherished memories of their time as kiddos in my cabin, that I remembered why I loved working at camp. Yes, we have fun, Yes we get to be crazy. Yes, I have made lifelong friends there. But this moment reminded me what camp is all about: loving those kids. 

God Moment: I had two I just could not choose from. First: being prayed over by my Nebraska teammates. I really struggled to understand why God sent me to UNL and how I was making an impact for the kingdom. As the year drew to a close I had no idea if I would go to the DSC or stay on campus. So my team prayed over me for a solid 20 minutes, and then we hurried off to Mass. 

look at these beautiful, holy people. 

Over the summer, I was telling a friend the story and I realized that ever since that moment of being prayed over, I had been blessed with a divine perspective of my time as a missionary at UNL. God had graced me with the ability to see some of the work He was using me for. It was a beautiful moment, and I was so grateful to The Lord for this gift and my team. 

Second: August & September of this year. Oh how the Lord blessed me during those months. I was so full of Jesus and gratitude and joy that I thought I felt like I would just burst. I was reading Interior Freedom by Jaques Phillipee and the fruit of the book was oozing into every aspect of my life. Jesus was so real and present to me and I am being propelled from that consolation even now. 

Thanks to you all for being a part of my 23rd year of life! I can't wait to see where year 24 will bring us.


  1. hi! i think i found your blog from when focus tweeted about it! anyway, i've been reading the last few weeks :) i just wanted to say, i can't think of any better place than to spend a birthday than in nashville!! ;)

    1. hi, Liz! I'm so glad you're here :) I've only been to Nashville to see the Dominicans, so I don't actually know that much about the city! FOCUS' next big conference (SEEK) is in Nashville, so I'm excited to start seeing the city a bit! What's your favorite part of Nashville??

    2. the convent! ;) i'm moving there in August! I'm hoping all the postulants will be able to go to SEEK since it's in nashville!! :)