Closing Reflection…Sara McNary

July 31, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I went over to my nightstand drawer and took out my reflection from the beginning of my RMC year. At the beginning of this year-long volunteer program, I read a reflection in which I asked God to teach me more about myself as His disciple. I asked Him to guide me as I helped the enabled, supported those in need of emotional guidance, and uplifted those in need of spiritual strength. Now I look back and think, God has a funny way of working, doesn’t He?

I was blessed to see that God answered all of my prayers and more. I think in many ways He gave me what I asked for, just in a different way than I expected.

I knew this year was going to bring challenges. I had just transitioned out of life as a full-time student and moved just a few miles east to create a new network of family and friends with a different type of community and ministry. Through service, community, and ministry, I mastered the art of bedpans and EKG’s, but I also learned a whole new level of patience, compassion and understanding. At home, I found out very quickly that you can never trust gas tank gages, and that our smoke detectors work well, and a fireman will show up at our door regardless of the late hour. More importantly, I learned how to let go, celebrate and enjoy life (maybe with a scoop of ice cream or two).

Actively seeking God this year truly pleased Him. I’m glad I took a year to transition from college into the real world because I feel my faith “work belt” is equipped with stronger tools that will help me better serve Him next year.

Despite hardships in all three pillars of the program at one time or another, this year was filled with an abundance of blessings. As a Patient Care Assistant at the Hospital and Resident Support Specialist at the Redeemer Village, I had the pleasure of serving a wiser and goofier generation. Whether I was assisting with personal care or ringing someone up at the Village store, I felt terribly blessed to share openly with others about my faith and hear about theirs.

As each day would come to an end after ministry, I would find myself taking a short five-minute drive home to be welcomed by three beautiful women. Community meals and prayer, cookouts, pool visits, and weekend adventures are just a few of the many highlights of our year as a community. Kelly, Anna and Mary Clare are all very kind, giving and loving women of God. I am so very thankful for having spent a service year with each one.

Just as each day offered something different in terms of service and community, each day I learned more about my faith as well. Some days I had more time for personal prayer and reflection and other days my cup was filled just as much when I was busy start to finish. God continually blesses me every day, in every aspect of my life, and this program has given me the chance to see that.

As my service year comes to an end, one of the biggest blessings that sticks out to me is the love the Sisters, Associates, and the Province/Provincialate staff shared this year. From the bottom of my heart, I am truly thankful for everything you have given us. I knew we would have a home and delicious food to eat, but I didn’t know we would enjoy countless parties, prayer services, meals, masses, and abundant joy together. You have given me more than memories, but a family that is only 800 miles away.

When I finished packing my suitcase for my flight home, I was saddened by all the relationships I am leaving behind. But I am also filled with joy, as I know these relationships touched my heart and will forever remain an important part of me. Thank you to everyone who made this year special to me. May God continue to bless you on your individual faith journeys as He guides you to a place where we will happily meet again. Thank you!