I am His.
This year’s RYC really hit home hard, and i mean hard. The whole thing revolved around mystery and identity. Identifying God. When I was called to serve for the set design team I immediately said yes because i missed serving and it was an ample opportunity. Plus I wanted to help in any way I could. Set design wasn’t easy, there was a lot of pressure and stress to get things done on time, in between the long nights working,bussing, exacto knife cuts, and a short amount of supplies at times it was blessed none the less. I had the opporitunity to bond with my brothers and sisters again, and just let everything out that I had been penting up inside. I had endless affirmation that though I may be hurting right now, in time; in God’s time it will get better. The three weeks were filled with laughter and lots of it, a day didnt go by where there wasn’t laughter filling the basement we worked in, which is always a good thing especially when you’re stressed. After 3 weeks the fruits of our labour paid off. and it resulted in an amazing set.In between doing set design and short film for RYC I was called last minute to serve as part of the production team as a runner. I didnt think it was a really big deal at first but something our full time pastoral worker said changed my view on it. He said that as a service team we will see conference from a different point of view than the participants and to be open to what God wants us to see. I took it heart that weekend. The smallest things made the biggest impact on me. The last facilitating group I lead before leaving missisauga East to transfer to Brampton was there. I had been their facilitator 2 years back and it put me in awe of how much they had grown, these sisters are truly so blessed and always bring a smile to my face. They referred to me as “mother” before and still do till this day everytime I run up to hug them. It’s nice to know that they still remember me and are continuing to grow to be true women of God. The songs used during the praisefests spoke to me so clearly, as clear as a bell. They were songs that were used at the camps and conferences that had impacted me at my lowest times. IT was St. Augustine who said that when one sings, one prays twice. My prayer life hasn’t been that great this past year, I felt like i didn’t know what to say, and if i wanted to say anything i wanted it to come from the heart. I didnt want it to be lip service. Probablly the most significant moment that stood out the whole weekend was the last Worship on Saturday night. I was told to kneel by the projector to make sure that it didnt tip over or no one bumped into it. This was after the talk about identity. I closed my eyes clutching the paper that I used to answer the reflection questions about my identity. I opened my eyes and looked around, I felt like I had to. I looked to my left and there was my chapter, the brothers and sisters I had grown to love these past few years, my family I looked behind me and sure enough there was my old chapter Missisauga East where I had had first entered the community 4 years ago. I looked in front of me and there was our set design the one in which brought me closer to some of the brothers and sisters that I had not been so close to before as I am now. I looked down and I saw the cross on my rosary and it made me think back to my first Conference.The theme had been love, and what I took of it was that God loves and love is all around us. That all we have to do is be open to it. I looked around me again and saw love.I realized I had foolishly been searching for something that was right in front of me, that was surrounding me this whole time this past year. Sadly I thought that after the relationship I was in ended, I thought I was worth nothing, that my value was far less and I didn’t deserve to be loved or to feel it. I was wrong. Our fulltime pastoral worker then began opening up the praisefest and directed the first part of the opening to the sisters. I broke down crying because everything that was said was a strong affirmation of what I had been told many times before but pushed aside because I didn’t believe it to be true. I am precious, I am beautiful both inside and out, I am strong, I am worth pursuing, I am worth protecting. I am worth waiting for, I am a daughter of God and I deserve to be loved and respected. I let go of the negative things i had carried about myself and who I am and started to take in what I had been told and affirmed of. God spoke to me so loud and clear during that worship, no i didn’t hear voice like when someones talking into your ear but I heard and felt it in my heart. “My child I know the hurts you have buried deep in your heart, and all the tears you’ve cried. The things you’ve done to numb and take it away that have made you hurt more.It’s hard for you to accept the love of others because you don’t want to risk getting hurt. I want you to know I love you,I always will, and I will never break your heart. Live love, and be love, dont be afraid for Im here, Im here…” For the first time in over a year I had felt him so close to me, by my side again. When the Praisefest had ended I still had tears in my eyes. So did everyone else. I saw a cluster of my chapter all huddled together crying and I went up to them to comfort them. Then I hugged the Sisters and when it came to the brothers I broke down again. I thought of all the times i had been so cold towards them, maybe not directly but indirectly. How I didnt believe the things they said, that I thought their intentions weren’t genuine, when all along I had been wrong. When it came to one of the brothers I couldnt stop crying, he had been one of the brothers that kept reminding me of how precious I am as a sister these past few months. I didnt really take to heart what he said but now I did,he kept telling me that even through my tears Im still beautiful, I took it to heart because I remember him telling me a while back a sister is most beautiful when shes crying because shes letting herself be open to others and for them to see the real her. The real me had been something I had forgotten about. I had forgotten what makes me complete, what makes me who I am, what makes me worth it, now I remember and I want to embrace it again. I am the sister who is not so lady like, the sister that serenades people whenever I sleepover and share a bed with someone, I am the sister who is allergic to make up and birth control the two things that shouldnt be needed in the first place, I am the sister who is really really open- TMI level open, I am the sister who awkwardly invades peoples personal space, I am the sister that makes weird sounds, I am the sister that loves to make people laugh, I am the sister that isn’t afraid to embarrass herself to make others laugh and to help them open up, I am a daughter of God,I am loved, I am His.
and with that may God be praised