Yesterday was love and today is offer. I find these two go hand in hand. We are told to love our neighbors, and that means all of them. What happens when we find it hard to love our neighbor? What if they get on our last nerve or set us on edge. This is where offer comes into play.
I found is so hard to write about love last night when I myself was finding hatred in my heart. I felt bitter. A few people I was working with were just getting to me and I felt frustration and hatred build up in me and not only that I felt guilty for feeling it. But I just did not know how to get rid of it.
But tonight I learned how, I just had to offer it up. I was always told to offer up my pain and suffering, that offering it to God will make it better and honestly it does. If you have never truly offered up your pain to God I would advise you to do it. You can start with anything. That headache you cannot get rid of or that kink in your neck. But I knew all that before. But today as I was thinking about what to write I connected the dots. To love the ones you find hardest to love. Whether they broke your heart or left you out in dodge ball in fifth grade, you have to offer it up. And once you offer up all that you can finally love everyone so fully. I am not saying it is easy. I am saying it is possible if you just offer it up to the Lord and love one another.
-Dawn Palmer, Young Adult
All our lives we are told to follow. To follow our parents, teachers, and our friends, but most of all we are told and called to follow Christ. This one is hardest of all. Today our word was follow and I done everything in my power to listen to what God and my leaders around me and to follow them and the instructions they gave me. It was hard.
Today in my group we listened to the song “Status Quo” from high school musical. As they were singing about how certain groups need to stick with what the status quo told them to I pondered over how it is so easy to follow society but so hard to follow God. We are so worried about following others we forget to follow God. I think most of the problem is not knowing who to follow and who to lead. God calls us to follow HIM so that we can lead the WORLD. We are called to follow in Christ’s footsteps so that we can lead the rest of the world.
As I listened to that song and had that great epiphany I found it easier to go about my day. I suddenly realized that it wasn’t just my job to follow. I had to lead as well. I became more helpful in my group, I felt better, and I knew what I had to do. I followed in my leaders footsteps to lead the children and show them the love of God through the work we had done to their home. There is so much we can all do if we just remember who to follow and who to lead. Because we are all called to be both followers and leaders.
Today we were taught to discover. We discovered many things in this one day. We discover our worksites, new places, people, that we are not so good at tearing up carpet but we are amazing at organizing fine china and tea sets. We have so much to discover in our lives, even though sometimes we feel like we know everything we can know about anything. Every day we reach new levels not only with other people but with Christ and ourselves. We can learn and discover so much in one day if we are just open to it and let God teach us. We sometimes come to think that we already know everything we can about God but there is so much to know there is no way we can get to know all of him. But if we are open to discover a part of him every day we become closer to him every day.
I have a feeling that these great groups of teens are going to be very open to Christ every day. The small part I was with today was so open to Christ’s love it just shined through all of them. If everyone else is like this great group I am open to discover how amazing each and every one of them can be.
~Dawn Palmer, Young Adult
Operation Overhaul Rosenberg, Texas was my fifth consecutive mission trip with Vincentian Marian Youth. Each year I make new friends, learn new things, and most importantly grow in a deeper relationship with Our Lord and His Church. Each year I grow in a better understanding of the faith that I would not experience anywhere else.
The insight of faith I gained this year was one of evangelization. Throughout the week I saw youth giving everything they had, pushing themselves to the extremes so that someone else’s life could be changed. These youth were not just repairing people’s homes so they would be better suited for living, but repairing their homes so they could better understand the love of Christ. In my five mission trips with Vincentian Marian Youth, this is always the case - families, communities, and cities are changed through the acts of service of the youth volunteers.
During my week in Texas I spent time in prayer meditating on Acts 17:6. In this verse the early Christians are described as “people who have been creating a disturbance all over the world.” I truly believe these are the words that can also describe Vincentian Marian Youth. In the many mission trips VMY leads, they create disturbances in parts of the world that change lives back to the Lord and this is the heart of Evangelization. I am so thankful for Vincentian Marian Youth exemplifying to me what it means to evangelize. I believe we are all called to give ourselves to extreme levels to create disturbances of truth with the people in our lives challenging them to bring their hearts back to Christ.