I’m learning over and over again, that my life is most fruitful when I just spend time with the Lord. This past week, our mission community traveled to the countryside of England, near London. We arrived on Wednesday evening, the 6th of July, at the SPEC center, a Catholic retreat center. It was a time to visit one of our missionary sisters, Kristin, who had started serving there earlier this year; additionally, we got a feel for God’s mission in the UK. Most of our time was spent on the grounds of SPEC but we were also able to visit the streets of London to learn more about the culture of the people who live in that city. For me, it was a great chance to just ‘be’ instead of constantly ‘doing’.
God began moving deeply within my heart on Saturday, when Kristin started leading a Discernment Retreat for the volunteers and our community; its theme focused on the Ignatian Rules of Discernment. We had gone over these rules during our formation month at Covecrest; but, for some reason, it was like I was hearing them for the first time. It seemed as though I had spent most of this year trying to understand what was going on inside of my heart. In contrast, during our retreat, it was all laid out in front of me on a page and I didn’t have to figure anything out. During my free time, (which was most of the days on retreat), I just sat in the chapel, facing the tabernacle, and praying through these rules and Bible verses. Each time there was a new Bible verse to meditate on, I felt like it was written specifically for me. These Scriptures opened my heart and gave it the warmth that had been gone for so many months. The sad part was that I didn’t recognize, until that moment, how much I craved and needed to sit in God’s love. The Lord’s timing couldn’t have been any better for me, especially as I experience this time of uncertainty about my future. God gave me the opportunity to just totally trust in His plans for my life.
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the LORD.” Jeremiah 29:11-14a
I have also been mediating with the song “Plans” by Jackie François in her album “Your Kingdom is Glorious,” using the same Bible verse from Jeremiah.