Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lean On Me

So I am currently waiting with my girl @ChristineMarieN after a beautiful weekend at #ncyc (yes I speak in Twitter all the time now) waiting to fly back to DC for another mere 24 hour stay. This has become a pattern for me this fall: fly out for work trip, come back for a day, fly out again. And while it is certainly not ideal, it is just the way things have to be right now, and I am grateful that at least all the trips have worked out smoothly.

This, I am realizing, is also a metaphor for what my spiritual life has been as well. Perhaps not ideally where I'd like to be at vocationally, ministerially, but I've accepted it's the way it has to be right now and I am grateful that at least everything is going smoothly.

It is the last week of our 81 day novena and it is my week to be 'on' for the rest of us. St. Catherine of Alexandria is my girl this week- my partner in prayer- and it seems this woman was hard. core. (are we surprised?) She strikes me as a tough cookie, which I am grateful for. I'm guessing she was probably a sassy sister as well :) She is known for her martyrdom in the 4th century and there are lots of legends surrounding her. They attempted to martyr her by a spiked wheel (whatever that is. It doesn't sound good. And it doesn't sound like the wheel in my life, which would be Wheel of Fortune. #imawheelwatcher. Also, as my friend Christine cleverly pointed out, I like spiked heels. Not spiked wheels) and when that didnt work, they beheaded her. Hmmmm...

Now this is novena is supposed to be a prayer for my vocation, so I'm trying to see how this all matches up. This weekend at NCYC I had many conversations with many people- often about my vocation/state in life- as many of my worlds from NET, Youth Ministry, and the convent collided. And the message kept coming to me through many of these conversations: we are only called to this present moment. And to be saints. Which in relating this with martyrdom- what is my goal? Is my goal just to get married? Or is it to be a saint?

Of course, we don't have to be martyred to be saints, and I'm not saying that's what God is calling me to. I think He is just switching my focus back to Him, and affirming that is my sole call.

I was at the conference to promote the organization I work for, but as I said, there were so many people I was running into from my past or making future connections with, that I often left the table (shhh...don't tell! ;). And I came back to the table one day to find a slip of paper with Hebrews 12:1 on it left on my table- the verse of this very blog! The verse that's been my verse for many years now.

Since I did have many people there who are close to me, I figured one of them had left it there. But I asked, and they each said they hadn't. I'm not quite sure what to make of it! And I received another small sign from God this weekend as well, through a new acquaintance I was talking with about evangelizing through media and this whole call to sainthood stuff. He was giving away lots of free materials, but he gave me this random keychain with sunflowers on it, which- I didn't realize until after I pondered the Bible verse- have always been one of my images or 'signs' with God. Sunflowers have been signs of light that God gave me before I took my first youth ministry job and at many times in my life when I needed His presence. God is doing something, if nothing else, just reminding me He is there in this moment. And I am grateful!!!

I am very grateful for the many conversations I had this weekend with new friends, old friends, and for God's presence this weekend. He is going to be faithful to the prayers of this novena in ways I'm sure I wasn't even expecting. He has always been faithful to me and He is reminding me.

I got to spend some beautiful moments with the very special Angrisano family this weekend as well. Something Steve was saying to the teens at NCYC this weekend was that he wouldn't take back the trying moments or the painful moments of his life and he shared stories of other people's trials as well. Because it is true that the valleys in our lives do lead us to other mountains. This weekend seemed to be a culmination for me of many mountains I've come up and down, and I've certainly been in a valley this year. But God is giving me hope and signs that there is a new mountain, but I need to stay focused on Him in the present to get to it.

And as for the subject of this blogpost? Um, it was an NCYC conference and Steve was emceeing it... the song may have been sung a time or two. Or four (five!) It won't be long...(short!)

Ah...youth ministry.

The best was when Christine and I took a break from the conference to get lunch at Quizznos and this song was actually playing as we waited in line. Teens were in front and behind us chanting the appropriate ad-lib words and Christine and I could not help but find ourselves doing the same.

Once a youth minister, always a youth minister, right? We'll see what God has in store...


1 comment:

Christine Marie said...

Just wanted to say how blessed I feel to journey with you...these roads we're on are crazy, but, I'm glad I have somebody to lean on. I just might have a problem that you'll understand....