Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Words of Encouragement

One of the perks of being a young, single woman is I CAN DO WHAT I WANT, yo! Well, within reason and within Church teaching, of course :)

I say this, because many of my nights are filled with graduate study classes, bars with friends, meetings, volunteer commitments, and the like. Never a dull moment! (Even our 'Wheel Watcher' nights are action packed, I assure you ;) Last week was no exception as I met a friend for coffee on a Monday night. And we shut the Starbucks DOWN! 10pm! Holla! Ah, we live a crazy life ;)

I don't think I take to heart moments like a simple conversation over coffee enough. They really are part of the 'authentic self' I have been called to reflect upon of late. For example, I like people! (er, well, for the most part ;) I like coffee! I like being out on the town and social. It's just how I do.

And God in His awesomeness has gifted me with not just ordinary friends to share these moments with, but truly extraordinary individuals who are also introspective and striving to be holy. Huzzah!

My friend and I on this particular occasion were talking about what we've been praying for ( I know. Who does this, right?)She was suggesting to me that I pray not just for charity, but for 'encouragement'. I had been praying for opportunities to minister and to love, and I believe God had answered those prayers (albeit, not in the way I had expected or thought ). Encouragement was a new concept for me though, because I do believe I am blessed with the encouragement of friends and others quite often.

But you can never have too much encouragement, right? And we need encouragement in so many areas of our lives. Our work. Our relationships. Our journey with God.

Okay, so flash forward to this past Monday when I was giving presentations to high school seniors. I was paired to speak with a Catholic missionary currently serving in Mexico. And when I say missionary, this is in the real-deal sense of the word. Like she is spending her time in a foreign land speaking to people directly about Jesus. Hardcore.

Now, that concept of being a 'missionary' is certainly one to reflect on and a post for another day...(I feel a part 2 coming on! you're welcome in advance ;) But as this young woman was speaking, I saw glimpses of myself. She reminded me of the good work I had once done and still want to do. There is a reason I've gone all the places I've gone and walked the path I am on. God still wants to use me. I still have a missionary heart.

It was the encouragement I needed in a different way. Not just lip service from friends (though lip service is always welcome...just saying. You interpret that however you want! ;) But an encouragement from God saying that I have done great things and still will be continually called to do more. That desire is part of my authentic self. Always has, always will be.

After the presentation, I felt very called to reflect in prayer, so I immediately went to the Adoration chapel at my parish. The chapel had just been re-done with a fresh coat of paint and the Stations had been re-hung, all good and ready for the praying ;)

I often would pray the Stations during my personal prayer time in the convent. I may have said this before, but it's just one of those forms of prayer where you CAN'T think about yourself. You just can't!

As I was moving along with each station, I noticed the encouragement even Jesus needed to receive. Or perhaps he didn't need it, but I am certain He appreciated it. St. Veronica wiping His sweaty face. The weeping women. His Mother. Even Simon (although perhaps begrudgingly) must have offered Him some kind of encouragement with his help.

As we continue on this journey, it's important to remember we are not alone. Even reading a simple blog can provide encouragement, and I'm grateful for those as well!
May we continue to encourage one another in word, action, and prayer this Lent.


1 comment:

Jeremiah 29:11 said...

You always encourage me!! I will be praying for you this week. :)