I entered the Servants of the Cross on September 5th, 2008. It was an emotional and wonderful day, knowing that I was doing God's will as I had been discerning my vocation for 7 years. The day had finally come to enter a community of consecrated women! It has been an incredible two years as an applicant. I always thought having a sister would be fun. And now I have five!
One of the first lessons that we focused on in applicancy was how to be. Being in the presence of God and others instead of always doing is a challenge, but one that I have been growing in these past two years. One aspect of being is listening. Being present to God means sitting still and listening rather than trying to present Him my views and seeking His approval. With other people, this means not trying to fix their problems by offering possible solutions, but rather giving my full attention and presence, which often allows the person to listen to their own heart and to be more accountable for their own actions.
Another lesson that I have found to be invaluable in community life is share group. Share group is a time when members of the community come together to offer support through personal sharing, listening, and prayer for each other to share joys, struggles, prayer, and what we are learning in community. It is an important part of community, which leads to our growth spiritually and emotionally. With the support of my sisters, I have learned to be vulnerable in ways that I had never known before. I have learned to share my heart openly and honestly, being able to be myself, and not wearing the masks that I've learned to put on in public.
On September 15th, 2010, I professed my first promises to the Servants of the Cross, promising simplicity, chastity, and obedience. Through my nine years of discernment leading up to this point in time, a passage that carried me through was Luke 1:45; "Blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled." God has fulfilled His Word to me. He has asked me to remain faithful to the discernment of His will in my vocation, and I have tried to do my best to follow Him and to trust Him. He has never failed in His faithfulness to me. There is peace and joy in this time, knowing that I am in the vocation that God has planned for me.