In Giving We Receive? Indeed!
Welcome to 2015! May this truly be a Year of Our Lord!
My name is Theresa and I am the Foundress and President of Leonie’s Longing. As this new year begins, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your prayers and your interest in our ministry. We couldn’t do any of this without your spiritual support!
The Lord has been building Leonie’s Longing for about 2 years and it has truly changed my life. I would never have dreamed that starting a ministry would help me so much. It might sound cliché, but everything I’ve put into Leonie’s Longing has been returned to me 100-fold (at least!).
Initially, I was reluctant to take on this task for a number of reasons. The biggest one was that I felt I was unqualified. Sure, I had been in the convent and returned to the world, but I hadn’t figured everything out yet. As a matter of fact, I felt like a big mess and I certainly didn’t have answers for anyone else. I was the one who needed answers. But as I soon discovered in the most mysterious and beautiful way, all that didn’t matter. What mattered was that I cared enough to do something to attempt to get those answers. Amazingly, creating a place for others to talk out the questions, the struggles, and the challenges of readjusting to the world has been the most beneficial thing I’ve done to help myself readjust to the world!
But the most unexpected and wonderful gift that I have been given through this work is friendship. I have been stunned by the depth and beauty of the relationships God has created through this work. And I am not alone in this work, either. Behind the scenes of Leonie’s Longing is a host of volunteers, much larger than anyone could have imagined! Most of them choose to remain somewhat hidden. But I have the distinct privilege of working with them all and I feel incredibly blessed because of it.
Recently I asked a couple of our volunteers to share their experiences working with Leonie’s Longing. Here’s what they said:
a) Being a part of LL has freed me from so much of the shame and loneliness I felt after leaving religious life. I have realized that I am not alone and have witnessed the power of sharing my own story – which reveals the great work of God in my life, especially in the transition time. In giving my time to LL I have received much more, and I pray that you too will join the Team!
b) Volunteering with Leonie’s Longing has been a way for me to make something beautiful out of the difficult experience of leaving the convent. Since I signed up, I’ve gained computer skills I never imagined myself possessing, but that’s secondary. What matters is that I can use those skills to share the message of Leonie’s Longing with others: we’re here with you, and we’ve been through the same things you have. My understanding of post-convent life has become something that I can use in the service of God and others, in a way that it couldn’t have elsewhere. It’s a great privilege, and I love working with others who are passionately committed to the same mission.
Would you like to volunteer for Leonie’s Longing, too? We’re growing fast, so we really need the help. We have all kinds of projects: short-term, long-term, one-off? Social, technology, administrative, research, you name it. No matter what your
gifts or talents, chances are there’s something you can do, and you can do it on your own time, from anywhere in the world. Most importantly, though, in working with Leonie’s Longing, you will not only be giving a great gift to our community of faithful women, but you will, like so many others, receive your gift back 100-fold!
If you don’t feel that you can volunteer right now, I would just ask you to continue praying for all of us, especially as we discern our goals for 2015. If you do feel that you may be called to help, please write to us at contactus[at]leonieslonging.org and we will find a way to get you involved. I look forward to meeting you!