He Carries Me
In the midst of the pandemic, it is easy to become despondent and fearful of the future. Especially as my missionary year draws to an end, while facing the inevitable "goodbyes" and pursuing the different paths on our pilgrimage to heaven, I contemplate the past, present, and future. This time has led to a wide array of emotions. In between my time in isolation and serving in the various apostolates, as well as thinking about the unknown future and where the Lord is calling me, I cannot help but feel as if I am a lost sheep. As if the Lord, my Shepherd, left me to fend for myself on this pilgrimage. This feeling provides an opportunity for me to choose: either to go inward and become frustrated or to trust and rejoice in the Lord because, in reality, He is with me, and Our Shepherd is carrying me somewhere.
In my prayer about my future insecurities an image comes to mind: I see an empty monstrance at the altar waiting to be filled. Nothing of the world can fill the hole except Jesus, and its true beauty can only radiate when He fully dwells within it. I then realize the monstrance is me. The emptiness is my insecurities and fears, but when Jesus fills that hole, it becomes glorified! In actuality, by dwelling within me and in my wounds, and in the "dark times" that we are currently facing, God glorifies the brokenness and allows the beauty within to radiate out.
This has allowed me to realize that God invites us not to become anxious or look to the future, because He already knows our future. To trust and know that as the good Shepherd and by His love, He will carry us to where we belong. As Jesus said to Thomas, when he asked how we are to know the way where Jesus was leading, if we do not know the destination: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). This message reminds me that, while none of us truly knows what the future holds, I do not need to know. I am learning to trust and have faith that the Lord will carry me through this journey Home. The Lord continues to remind me to simply see, know, and love the person right in front of me at this very moment. As the Lord continues to dwell within me, I am starting to radiate Christ’s love, like Jesus in the monstrance, as I enjoy the little moments of laughter with my fellow missionaries and to encounter the poor with greater love, more than ever before; because we are all walking this pilgrimage together.
Stephanie ( St. Michael Missionary)