These endings and beginnings find me retracing my steps too. How did I get to where I am today? As I help college students look towards the prospects of the future- possible years of service and discussions of vocation- I find myself drawn back into my own story. Then, today I revisited a blog entry from five years ago entitled "Step by Step."
That entry meets me at the journey one year into my time in Philadelphia. In a meta- sort of way it reflects on a year prior and so from my vantage point today, it captures two distinct times... the time I decided to leave my job to do a year of service and the moment where that year was almost over, my heart was moving to the next steps of life, and I readying myself for a move into the next step of my discernment of religious life.
Sitting and reading the entry tonight, I was struck by what has changed and what remains the same. I am still the same young woman searching for home and striving to find God; I am the same person who has fallen in love, I am the same Colleen who longs to reveal glimpses of God in the everyday. Only now, I have many more experiences under my belt. I have and continue to be refined. I know more now than I did then- about life, about myself, and about not knowing much at all.
A package came in the mail today, a gift from a friend for my birthday. I smiled when I saw the handwriting, knowing instantly who it was from. It was from one of the other volunteers I lived with during my year of service. In her card, she wrote "It's hard to believe it's been 5 and a half years! Your friendship is like gold."
It is hard to believe. We always said if we didn't live together we probably wouldn't have been friends and now 6 years after signing on the dotted line for that program, I marvel at the wondrous providence of God that draws us together in the least likely of places. Step by step we grow together; we learn what it means to walk this journey and every step of the way we realize that there is no way we can do it alone.
Cheers to the journey and all it holds! Thanks for walking it with me & here's to whatever is yet to come!
Read "Step by Step" here.
St. Bernardine of Siena, Pray for Us on the Journey!