I am sitting here still in Minnesota and starting to get ready to head back to California. For those of you who are on Facebook and friends with me you might remember that I posted a scripture one day it was from the Book of Sirach and is one of my favorite passages it says:
"Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter:
whoever finds one has found a treasure.
Faithful friends are beyond price;
no amount can balance their worth.
Faithful friends are life-saving medicine;
and those who fear the Lord will find them.
Those who fear the Lord direct their friendship aright,
for as they are, so are their neighbors also."--Sirach 6:14-17
During this time home I have been able to see how this scripture passage really is apart of my life. I have been blessed and able to see so many friends while I have been home. I have been having lunches, coffees, breakfasts, and dinners and just chats with friends. It really hit me as I was going through these weeks was that I have been so blessed to have so many friends by my side. These friends have been by my side throughout this process and they continue to support me as I continue for me there is really, "no amount can balance their worth." I want to thank all of those who I was able to see and offer an apology to those that I did not, Ill be back in June!!
I was also able to see my family; I was able to participate in the annual Johnson Family Christmas in Duluth. While I was there I was able to see the family and to see how committed they are to being there for Matthew and I. I was able to share what I have been up to as well as being able to get some much needed family time; I had been running on fumes being away for so long and my heart has been filled.
The other part of my time off was to go back to my home parish and to serve on the altar. While I was there it was so great to feel at home! As with my family I was able to connect with the community that raised me up and who also continues to support me. While I was there it was so wonderful to hear feedback from the community, I would hear, "my you have grown so much!" "Keep up the good work you look fantastic" and "it is so wonderful to have you home" and many others. This is my home parish no matter where this journey takes me, I have been with the community in the good times and the bad and I am so thankful for their support.
I also was able to attend the Seminarians Conference for the Episcopal Church in Minnesota; it was wonderful to see friends and to spend some time in prayer, reflection, and sharing with my fellow seminarians. During this time I also met with the standing committee and I am now a candidate for holy orders.
This time at home, I promised myself that I was going to be kind to myself and to relax. Even though my schedule was filled with meeting various friends this time has been one of rest, relaxation, and reminders of how blessed I am and how much support I have.
I leave back to California on Saturday the 14th and I am leaving is a very peaceful place. Today I had coffee with a friend and one of the first things she said to me was, "wow you look so peaceful." I think that this is where my soul is right now, it is at peace. There is always going to be anxiety in my life but I am at peace with this journey that I am on. I will say that there is some to be said about the way one feels when they are doing what they are called to be doing. In a year and a half I have seen how much growth I have received, and even though growing is something that I will be doing for the rest of my life, I am so thankful for the growth I have received.
Many of you have asked me about my sermons; the parish I am intern at posts 4 weeks of sermons for anyone to hear. For those who would like you can click on this link and hear the sermons right over the web (please note it is audio only).
So as I close I want to thank you all for your love and support through this process; please know that you are in my prayers.