Hey y’all! It’s mid-November, and I am still Google-mapping my way everywhere. One of the only drives that I can confidently make is the 5 minute one between my house and church. But, on a positive note, the traffic is making me much less mad than it used to - I’ve just been accepting being 5 minutes late rather than raging against the red lights and dumb drivers who change my ETAs. Sanctification?

More seriously, I really am loving being in Raleigh. The first month was really hard, and I did feel like I was living in a haze of sadness borne out of the grief of leaving people and place and memories when I moved here. The hovering darkness, however, has been lifting bit by bit and radiant joy has been illuminating the goodness here. I’ve had such sweet time with my Fellow friends, with my mentor, with my host family, with Ashley, and with so many others. The Lord is here with me and He has been my Comforter and my Safe One. He is at work here in Raleigh.

Some sweet tidbits from my time here: my host mom makes my coffee every morning. My host dog makes me more excited to go on runs, because she grabs the leash in her mouth and runs with wild abandon, reminding me of “that joy in existence without which the universe would fall apart and collapse.” I ADORE my 7th grade youth group girls that I lead - they are thoughtful and authentic and full of questions. I’m feeling more certain about wanting to go to medical school, and this has been influenced by my work placement and by having to write my own eulogy and meditate on the end of my life for our Spiritual Formations class (heavy stuff yep). Feel free to ask me more about it if you’re curious!

It’s been so fun to watch my love for my fellow Fellows swell and expand as the days go by. It’s wild to me that I didn’t know most of them two and a half months ago. This past week, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to love them well. It’s really easy for me think only about myself and my own relationship with God, but our faith is one that transforms people and the world. I’ve been praying the Prayer of St. Francis every night, and this is what I’ll leave you with:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy;  

O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console;

To be understood as to understand;

To be loved as to love.  

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.