Hands of God

Miriam Jewell Blog 1 in front of a waterfall

A service year was not in my post-graduation plan, and approaching graduation, I had no idea what I would do during my gap year between undergrad and law school. I discerned whether I should get a job at a law firm or a newspaper, and build up my resume, or possibly become a FOCUS missionary. Throughout this time, I realized that the priority in my decision would be my faith. I had a great Catholic community on campus who built me up and challenged me to grow spiritually and intellectually and I knew that no matter where I went, I would need people like that in my life. I was practically set on those 3 options until I talked with my good friend Phoebe, an FC22 member, about what I was considering and asked her what it was like being a part of FrancisCorps. The more I learned about her work and the experience, the more intrigued I became. Not wanting to jump the gun and go with my first option, I looked on Catholic Volunteer Network. Despite seeing tons of amazing programs, I was assured that FrancisCorps had everything I wanted—to serve others in a way that brings them to Jesus, to have a community of faith to support me and challenge me, and to have a yearlong adventure that would bear great fruit. On top of that, being interested in immigration law, the opportunity to work with refugees sounded like an amazing way to see the issue and the process from another angle and to hear the stories of those who live the experience. Despite being a bit nervous about the distance and the commitment, I applied and was shown again that the Lord provides! 

What excites me the most about the FrancisCorps experience is growth. In the first month of being in Syracuse, I think FrancisCorps has already shown me what is meant by “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” Coming into this space there were a lot of different things that I was nervous and unsure about—I had never lived 1,700 miles away from home with seven strangers before and didn’t know how well that would work. I wasn’t sure how I would overcome the language barrier with our refugee clients.  The work I was doing would have real life consequences for the first time and that was scary. But with all these challenges, there came surrendering. I was allowed to trust more deeply in God, and that the work I am doing is good and that I can do it well with His help. I’ve realized that outcomes of these challenges were mainly out of my control. By realizing that, the concerns surrounding them have become smaller, because I see again and again that He is in control. The more I believe that, the more I understand that I can only do what I do because He is there with me. He desires to fill my weaknesses, insecurities and faults with His goodness and grace. I am His hands and feet, and I am learning to trust that all is well when it is in the hands of God.

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