Hello friends! It has been a long time! (My bad…Forgive me?)
As I was thinking about what I would say in my first post after a long hiatus, I was aiming for something along the lines of “Things have sure calmed down since the whirlwind of traveling to Mexico and Russia within months of each other…” But that is not the case. Within the last month, I ended an amazing fifteen weeks of student teaching, moved out of my dearly beloved college house, drove home for a mere sixteen hours of laundry, sleep, and the shuffling of necessities from box to suitcase, boarded a plane to Hawaii, spent eight days chasing adventures with my family and unsuccessfully avoiding sunburn, hopped a plane home for another few hours of repacking and sleep, and then got on yet another plane for my final stop in Ave Maria, Florida, for training for my new position as a missionary with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. What. Is. Life.
My roommates–the lovely ladies of Boo Radley.
Now that I’ve finally settled back into a consistent time zone, it’s starting to hit me that I won’t be going back to Iowa in the fall. But only starting, because I still can’t process that my college house’s memory jar has been emptied, our pet beta fish has been buried (long story), and our kitchen will now host family dinners for a new group of tenants that couldn’t possibly love each other as much as we did. As much as we tried to stop the relentless onward rush of time, the seven of us are on to lives and experiences that will soon be too big for good ole Boo Radley, and who are we to stand in each other’s way?
Hence, the title of this post. Verso l’alto. Italian for “to the heights,” and tagline of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, an Italian kid only a year and and a day older than me when he died in 1925. He was soon on his way to becoming a saint, for his short life’s priorities included prayer, mountain climbing, and heroically serving the poor, not necessarily in that order. An adventurous young man, he was always striving for more and more greatness, more and more life. He certainly reached heights unattained by many after him, both spiritually and in his relationships with others, and has inspired many others, some much older than him, to reach for the same.
What could be better advice for a post-grad attempting to navigate the real world for the first time? (Seriously, if you’ve got any, I’ll take it. 🙂 ) Gone are the goals of the Dean’s List, the conference track squad, the president of such-and-such organization. I’ve got a new mission, thanks, to FOCUS, one that seems both daunting and exciting (and sometimes more of one than the other, depending on the day): To “invite college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. […]” Talk about heights.
I’ll not only be trekking day by day to those heights set by the parameters of the mission, but also across the country to a new campus! Come August, I will be traveling “to the heights”…
My team! Please keep us in your prayers as we reach out to college students!
I will be working at the University of Minnesota Duluth–a campus on a hill, so I’m told, so “to the heights” indeed. (I hope that means the campus is a bit closer to the sun?) My team will be responsible for leading Bible studies, mentoring students, hosting events, and inviting students into a relationship with Jesus in any other way we can! And I COULD NOT be more excited. I can’t even count the number of times I told friends, family, teammates, (people in my classes, random strangers…) “If I could pick one school, I’d definitely go to Duluth, but I know that won’t happen–I’m not that lucky. But I would still love to go there.”
AND IT’S HAPPENING. What??? I still can’t believe it. Add that to the list of “Things To Process Before Heading To Campus.” But I think that’s Jesus’s way of showing me that I shouldn’t limit myself to certain heights, calling some within my reach and some unattainable. His view is so much grander, so much more beautiful and perfect than my own, and this past week, I can just hear Him saying to me, “You asked for this… what else? Ask Me! Let me show you how much I love you!” Not that Jesus is a wish-granting factory (hello, The Fault in Our Stars… #sorrynotsorry). Instead, I think that He has huge graces He is waiting to pour out on each of us, but in honor of our free will, He wants us to ask for them first. I know that He isn’t going to let me stop until He’s placed me right where He wants me to do His work in this world; and again, who am I to get in His way?
As one of our teachers here at training told us, “Your job on campus is to bring Christ to students and to bring students to Christ.” Plain and simple. 🙂 And even though I’m sure the climb will seem like too much some days, or the rain and snow (LOTS and LOTS of snow) will come, I am certain, and Jesus has promised, that the view from the top and the people I’ll walk with along the way will be MORE than worth it.