I was baptized Melinda Rose Schenher, July 1st, 1979. That may seem like a peculiar place to start this testimony, but I celebrate my parents' decision to bring me into the Catholic faith and do their best to raise me in it.
Having gone to Sunday Mass my whole life, I can admit that it wasn't until my first year of university that I desired God to be more than a 'once-a-week event'. Up to that point, I was living my life without even consulting God. In effect, I did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted - I was ‘in control'. On a retreat weekend in the middle of midterms, I met Him in a powerful experience and invited Him to come and be Lord of my life because I didn't want to go on with me being in control. There was a part of me that knew my life would never be the same after making that invitation.
The years that followed were filled with ups and downs. I had a sincere desire to follow the Lord, to pray and spend time with Him, but I struggled with the desires of the world - big money, a fancy job, and satisfying the desires of my flesh. This worldly lifestyle took me further and further away from God, but it also eventually led me to a Bible School where I experienced a time of healing and restoration. It was through a co-worker at the Bible School that I was introduced to the Servants of the Cross.
Since making a discernment retreat with the sisters in 2007 and joining them in September 2008 I have seen the Lord's hand upon me, and the vocation that He has called me to. My time of applicancy has brought me to a place of greater transparency. In my relationships with my community members, I am now more willing to share my heart and the gift of myself. In return, I have the opportunity to receive the gift of my sisters. I desire to become more transparent so that others would see not just me, but also the light of Jesus shining through me.
Another thing that has grown in my heart is a sincere desire to serve my sisters out of love, not just ‘because I'm supposed to'. I can see this love put to the test when there is a long string of baggies to be dried! (we are dedicated recyclers who wash our used baggies and reuse them) The Lord has cultivated in me a deep affection for each one of my sisters, and so for love of them, I will dry those baggies with love!
In May 2010, the Lord confirmed in my heart, so that I know that I know that I know, that I am called to be a Servant of the Cross. I experienced tremendous excitement during the time leading up to my first profession of promises in September. I was ready to give the Lord everything! On the night of my promises, I could describe the state of my heart as full; satisfied. I am filled with the love that the Lord has for me, knowing that I am His chosen one, His beloved.