Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
Peace - a word repeated several times in chapters 14-16 of John's Gospel. Jesus keeps telling his disciples not to be troubled or afraid, but to have faith in God and be at peace. How appropriate for my life that the Gospel readings for the liturgies of recent weeks have focused on these chapters from John.
In two days I will leave San Antonio to begin the next phase of formation with the Marianist Sisters. On Monday May 14th I will board a plane for Houston. I'll visit with my dad and a couple of friends for a few days and then on Friday May 18th I will make my way to Dayton, Ohio.
I have to tell you, although I've moved a few times in my life and I've visited Dayton before, this seems somehow different. Perhaps because I'm "different?" Maybe because I'm going into a different phase of formation? Maybe it's because starting in August I'll be working in ministry again? Or it could be the fact that I'm not really sure how long I'll be there? I think, more likely than not, it's a combination of all of this plus some.
So, this weekend is full of a mix of emotions and thoughts. I'm a little reflective - considering the ways I have grown over the past several months, the ways I hope to grow in the future, the things I've learned about myself, God and our congregation, and the insights gained about what it means for me to be a religious. I'm also a little excited - getting to know more of our Sisters on a deeper level, taking a few courses at the International Marian Research Institute, and ministry within the Cincinnati Diocese. I'm nervous - the "what ifs" are sometimes a little scary... I've never actually lived anywhere except Texas for an extended period of time. I'm a little sad - leaving behind some friends, the community, what I've come to know and love about San Antonio.
But, you know, I have to keep reminding myself of something. It sounds cliche (in fact, I think it is a popular cliche), but God's brought me this far and I'm thinking God's not going to let me down now. No, life isn't always "easy," but in the past God's always been reliable. So, in deed, my heart should not be troubled or afraid. There's another phrase from John's Gospel that comes to mind... "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me." (John 14:1).
So, in all, I feel at peace. Not because leaving and stepping into the relatively unknown is easy (when is that ever "easy"????), but because I am aware of God's sustaining love and work in my life. And I'm not expecting that to change...
Many blessings and prayers for those who happen upon this entry...