“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3: 22-3)
A month ago, I was packing my bags, saying goodbye to family, and preparing to move to Milford to begin working on the youth ministry team at the Jesuit Spiritual Center. After a challenging senior year and a restless summer of job searching, I started to question and doubt God’s plan for my life. I recognized the desire on my heart to serve the Lord and lead people closer to Christ, but none of the positions I applied for felt like the right fit for me.
The week before I accepted the Ignite internship, I had the opportunity to attend a Tenth Avenue North concert. I came to the concert with a prayerful hope for my future, but I was struggling to recognize God’s voice in my daily life. The words of the Christian band’s lead singer spoke to my heart. He talked about his experience with discernment and said everything changed when he started to “seek God’s presence, instead of God’s plan.” I left the concert refreshed and renewed in my relationship with God. The next day, I attended daily Mass and instead of begging God to reveal “the plan” for my life after college, I prayed for Mary’s intercession in simply seeking her son’s presence.
Later that week, I interviewed for the Ignite internship and God gifted me with so much consolation that the job was the right fit for me that accepting the position felt natural. The internship incorporated my passions for youth ministry, music, and Ignatian spirituality. For me, the internship was God’s answer to my prayers and the prayers of many friends, family members, and mentors. It brought me immense joy to share my acceptance of job with my loved ones and a story of God’s faithfulness in my life.
Once I arrived in Milford, I quickly realized the transition to this new chapter in my life would be more challenging than I expected. During those first weeks of adjusting to life in Milford, my mantra was “be patient with yourself and take everything day by day.” A part of me wanted to give up and go home, but Jesus (in His wonderful mercy!) revealed to me so many reasons to stay and continue pursuing His presence at the Jesuit Spiritual Center.
During this time of transition, I have encountered God’s faithfulness and love in countless ways. I see God in the dedication and intentionality of the JSC staff, board of trustees, and donors to the mission of the Jesuit Spiritual Center. I find God presence in how quickly the Rock House has become a second home for me. I encounter God in the community life of prayer and fellowship my fellow interns and I are seeking to cultivate each day.
At the WEBN firework show, I saw God in the pride and spirit of Cincinnati. I have seen God’s presence in the energy of downtown, the beautiful landscape of the retreat center, and in a countryside horse stable. Jesus has also shown me His love through the beautiful letters and messages of support sent to me by friends and family, reminding me I am not alone in this ministry. In every moment, Jesus is teaching my heart that even in the difficult transitions of my life He is still faithful and will never leave me to face my fears alone.
“The mountains may depart, the hills be shaken, but my love for you will never leave you” (Isaiah 54:10)
As the youth ministry team prepares for a busy retreat season, I am filled with hope for the months ahead and how the Lord will challenge me to grow and reveal His presence through this ministry. I look forward to meeting and journeying with the many young people we will serve at the Jesuit Spiritual Center this year. I look forward to learning about their stories and sharing how God’s presence transforms my everyday life. I am eager to help prepare music for retreats, lead small groups, and learn new ways to lead young people to Christ.
The months ahead will likely be filled with several learning curves and countless highs and lows, but my hope resides in God’s faithful promise of new beginnings, no matter the season or circumstances of my life.