Surrender to God

John Smiling

A fulfilling insight that I have from this year is that to experience joy and peace in life, I must surrender many decisions to God. Upon entering the service year, I was not comfortable with making decisions that affected clients and coworkers, and I concentrated on this insecurity to a paralyzing degree. However, God spoke to me through priests, friends, and community members, who encouraged me to look at the dignity of each person and respect them because that is what we are called to do. Whether it’s the decision to give one client less back rent money than they’d like so that others can receive assistance, or to bring up a difficult topic in community because it’s the right thing to do, or a multitude of other small and big decisions to be made, the joy and peace comes in making them with inspiration from God and surrendering the outcomes to Him. The book of Jeremiah addressed this for me: “Do not say, “I am too young.” To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak.” By letting go of the fear of failure, I have been able to see the good that I’m doing for others and receive the healing gift of gratitude that many extend.

Another fulfilling insight from my FrancisCorps year is that I am made to live in community. Prior to FrancisCorps, I struggled with community life, but my experience in this community has shown me that I can be and am called to be an invaluable member of one or more communities. Life is a beautiful gift from God, and to spend it in service of community members is what Christ taught and St. Francis exemplified. Community doesn’t only encompass the people I live with, but also those whom I work with, worship with, or am simply in the presence of. May I always keep this lesson in my heart, and live it out wherever I go.

I believe I’m being called to live a Franciscan life after this year, by focusing on the people I serve and building community with family, friends, fellow parishioners, and coworkers. I plan to serve in the field of forensic chemistry and provide unbiased expert opinion on the identity of seized drugs. While this field doesn’t have the direct human service interaction that I experienced this year, I believe that I can make a difference in the lives of many people regardless of the physical separation between us. I am open to other paths of service, but right now I believe this is a good fit for me. Additionally, I am called to remain a loving member of the community I’ve lived in for the past year. Although we will be far away from each other physically, the bonds we have made will last a very long time. These people have carried me through the death of a brother and many of the ups and downs of life as a young adult. I’m deeply grateful for them.

Categories: General

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