During finals week at college last year, as I went through the familiar feelings of being overwhelmed and unmotivated at the same time, I couldn’t help but recall my final week at the convent. It is weird to think that in a little more than nine months I have had my first three real jobs, started going to college, become involved in teaching Catechism, and gained a lot of self-knowledge.
That week before I left the convent was the worst week of my life. I cried too much, my heart was breaking, and it didn’t feel like anything was real. In that last week of college, however, I discovered that I have learned numerous life lessons since leaving. I still miss the convent, and I’m still discerning religious life, but I’ve learned to accept the end.
The end of my first convent experience, which I wasn’t expecting; the end of my first semester of college, which I was expecting and was even looking forward to; the ends of some jobs that I had when I found something better. With all these endings, I have learned also to look at the beginnings. I’ve started my Total Consecration to Mary, which has been great as I’ve always felt closer to Jesus than Mary, but I’m beginning to grow in my love, appreciation and dependence on her. When I first came back to the world I also made a promise to myself that I would not initiate my discernment into the religious life for a while, but I believe God has begun to force a community into my path that I think He definitely wants me to take a look at.
I’m starting to see new beginnings springing forth from all the endings that I experienced last year. This is something I think we should all know and accept: that in the all the sadness of these endings, God will raise up new beginnings filled with light and joy. We just need to trust in Him through our darkness – and when we start seeing the light again!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; on your own intelligence do not rely – Proverbs 3:5.