Happy New Year everyone! I hope it started on a joyful note.

As for me, I was challenged to step up pretty much right out of the gate. You see, by the 4th day of January, two of my Sisters traveled out of town to be with family unexpectedly, and two other Sisters came down with Covid and began their time of isolation in their room. All four of these Sisters are senior members of our Community. Which meant I was the next in line to step into the lead.

Needless to say, this was all new for me. All my life, I have never pictured myself as a leader, but as a really good follower. You tell me what needs to get done, and how you want it done, and I am happy to fulfill those responsibilities to the best of my ability. That has been where my giftedness shines. I am comfortable as a follower and not having to make too many decisions.

However, I was called to step out of the boat like Peter and try to walk on the waters of leading my two younger Sisters throughout the week. Once we had the news of Covid being present, I was surprised at how confident I became in taking those first few steps out on the water. For instance, I immediately knew in my heart that the winter retreat that was planned for Caroline and I would be postponed to take care of our Sisters. It was the grace of God present within me that guided me to such quick action. I believe that this grace was part of the many gifts that were imparted to me during the Encounter Conference that we attended as 2022 ended. And now he wanted me to grow the grace that he was giving me. Gifts are like talents, we need to put them into action and never hide what he wants to give us.

And so, I can look back and see some of the nuggets that God had planted in me to help me grow. The first lesson was learning when to lead, and when to ‘lean.’ There were some times when I just needed to have confidence in making decisions and not go to everyone for their opinion. This went for decisions big and small alike.

For example, Caroline and I were pulling food out of our freezer for the dinner she was preparing the next day. As we got to the bottom of the freezer, we had a choice between two small casserole dishes, and one large casserole dish which would be for when the whole community is here. This simple decision was difficult for me. I can not tell you how many times I started texting Sr. Anna to ask which we were to use. The cycle went around a few times. I would pick the small dish, start a text to ask, delete the text, and choose the big dish. However, before we could get the big dish out, I would start another text, delete it, and settle on the small dish as there would have been only 4 Sisters home to eat that portion. I then started another text, deleted it again, and finally just settled on the small dish. I just kept telling myself that I can make this decision. Thank you Holy Spirit! I’ve learned that as long as everyone is fed, we are good to go.

Thanks to Sr. Meagan, I was also reminded that I don’t have to do everything by myself.  It is okay to delegate to her as she is here for me to lean on when needed. For example, I told Sr. Meagan that I would need her weather expertise on what to do with the outside duties. We were dealt with freezing rain and some snow. She was the one that advised me that we should scrape off the ice the night before we were to drive downtown for Mass. This Texas girl would not have thought of that, even if this is my 7th winter in Canada. I am grateful for Sr. Meagan as we made a good team.

Another thing I learned was that there is a whole lot more decision-making that happens that I had no inkling about. I am walking away from this experience with a much greater appreciation for all that the other Sisters do for our Community.  As I look at them from a different perspective, I realize that there are times when Sr. Anna makes decisions on her own, but many times she relies on her executive team. Leading isn’t about doing everything by yourself. Asking for help and input is part of the process. But, at the same time, it isn’t the whole process. Another big part is not to leave God out of the equation either. He also has a say and can very easily tell you what is needed to do. Partnering with God is always a good thing.

As Sr. Anna has been reminding me for some time now, it is okay to fall as Jesus did on the way to Calvary, but I need to get back up and keep moving. Even though the Sisters were isolated, they let me know that they were still there if I needed them. Just that thought gave me peace. Everyone else’s confidence in me gave me confidence in myself. I was never once alone in all of this.

I personally am not sure how I feel about how I have done as a leader, but I have been told by others that I did a good job. I can say that there is a change as I have been able to accept that compliment more openly. I mean, the house is still standing, and everyone is still alive, so that in itself says I did something right. I am grateful for this experience, and for the help and confidence that I had along the way. I now have a very tangible experience that I am capable of living out new gifts that God has me stepping out in faith.

In what new ways is the Lord inviting you to step out in faith this year?


  1. Jennifer Briaeno January 23, 2023 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Alison you are a great leader. I am happy to read how much more confidence you have gained. The last time we talked you gave me great advice and I could see the leader in you. Keep up the great work .

  2. Judy Hoctor January 24, 2023 at 11:07 am - Reply

    What a great article. Alison, you are flourishing and I am so happy for you! Wishing you a year filled with many more joyful and rewarding experiences!

  3. Anne January 24, 2023 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Sr. Allison – you are amazing! You lead a large group online for the I AM series, and then the Lord called upon you to lead the house! I am sure you did a great job — keep it up!

  4. Irma January 24, 2023 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Sr. Alison,
    I truly believe that God was preparing you, as He prepares us all, for a task we’ve always try to avoid. Leadership is a very hard task to lead, especially if your a follower, as I am also. If your going to follow Jesus, you are going to be in for a ride. Recently I have decided to step out of my comfort zone and join a choir team. I’ve always wanted to join a choir but never felt good enough to. I felt I was going to be critized and not be good enough for the team. Well, that was because I was being a PEOPLE PLEASER and not a God pleaser. You see, He gives us a passion so BIG in our hearts that He wants us to Trust Him to go out and explore that passion knowing He is behind us. I’ve come to realize that God is in control and He will always be. End of story. So happy for you Sr. Alison and your endeavors that God has you on and surprise, He is not done with you yet. Blessings to all of you Sister’s in Christ. Prayers to all those who are down with Covid. We’re all on a ride to Holiness 🙂

  5. Tracey February 16, 2023 at 6:24 am - Reply

    Thanks Sr Alison, that was a great read, engaging all the emotions…and inspiration in your humility and wisdom.

Leave A Comment