The Expected and Unexpected

Janet in Washington DC

I can truly say that my FrancisCorps year has been the best year of my life! I grew in so many different areas in ways that were both expected and unexpected. To begin on a more personal note, I became so much more aware of my emotions. I was much more in tune with my emotional state because I feel so deeply. To elaborate, I feel other people’s emotions so intensely that I have to ask myself, “are you feeling these emotions, or is it the emotions of the person before you?” This simple question has helped me to better identify my own emotional state, but still allow myself the ability of feeling with the person before me. This was something I knew I wanted to grow in, but I guess I didn’t expect it to happen during my FrancisCorps year. 

In the professional realm, I learned how to set boundaries and how to fully say yes. Something expected from this year was learning how to function in a workplace; communicating, team building, moving together toward a common goal, and boundaries. The unexpected thing was the power of giving a full yes; this could go hand in hand with the power of saying no. I knew that saying no helped my coworkers know that I was setting down boundaries (believe me when I tell you that I sometimes was asked to do simple things that were not my job). However, I realized that when I said yes, I had to give a full yes. If I just said yes because I was obligated to do something, then the satisfaction of the actions would just feel obligatory. But, if I said yes with the attitude of fruitfulness and grace, then the actions would feel exactly so. I will say that service is not a straight line, and there were many highs and lows to all my yes’s and no’s.

So, within those parts of my life lies my spiritual life that is intertwined in everything I do! Honestly, I grew in an unexpected way. More specifically, I have traveled deeper in my relationship with Mama Mary, Jesus’ Sacred Heart, and the Saints. Before coming to FrancisCorps, I had scratched the surface of all these three; but I was so oblivious to the layers and the depth each had. I didn’t realize how much Mama Mary leads me to her holy Son, nor the ways that she holds me during prayer. I didn’t realize I was dwelling within Jesus’ Sacred Heart until I experienced a low and his Love came to cover me like the warmest sun rays. I didn’t realize that Saints have chosen to follow me as much as I like to believe I chose them. Our Catholic faith is like the sweetest piece of chocolate; service, prayer and community have helped me to come to this thought. 

I can’t believe this year is coming to an end! So, I just want to thank everyone for making FrancisCorps such a special experience! From here, God has called me to return home to Chicago to continue to grow in my Creative Writing field. I will keep writing, serving, and working while I apply to Graduate School. All prayers are much appreciated, and please know I give the same in return. I won’t ever forget my FrancisCorps year, so a toast; to all my special people, our leadership team, the staff and refugees at Northside CYO; life is so beautiful, thank you for bringing that perspective back to me. Cheers!

Categories: General

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