A Place to Lay My Head

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Up until now I’ve had the surety of a place to lay my head. The security of room and board. That all changed when, a little over a month ago, I decided to pursue  the possibility of serving a different ministry than the one I started out with here in San Antonio. Still with Incarnate Word Missionaries, but in a different capacity.

The reason?

Since arriving last July, I have been discerning and questioning, why am I here? I found the ministry in transition, with only one mom and child to serve, and, for various reasons, I clearly felt it wasn’t the best use of my gifts and talents. Most importantly — my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t experiencing joy in the sacrifices that I’d made to be here. Yet, I knew that joy was possible. I’d felt it in El Paso.

Then I discovered Women’s Global Connection. Also a ministry of Incarnate Word Missionaries, WGC supports projects empowering women in countries like Zambia and Peru. And they had a need for a writer. It seemed like a good alternative.

So, I spoke to the director of the program and the Sisters in my current ministry and we all agreed. I should move on. The Sisters gave me until the end of October to get situated in the new ministry. I thought a month was plenty of time.

Until I realized that housing would be an issue.

It seems the only “official” housing for lay missionaries here is associated with the program I’m leaving. That means other Sisters, another intentional community, or some kind person would have to be willing to take me in. The director of the program searched for housing options for me. I searched too. By the end of the month, nothing had materialized.

But that’s not a bad thing. Because as the deadline drew near, it pushed me to go deeper into my heart. And ask those tough questions. Again. Questions like, what is the best use of my gifts and talents? What do I really want? What is my purpose here?

The response pointed me back to El Paso. Where a piece of my heart remains.

Although I needed to take this risk in coming here, San Antonio is not where I’m meant to land. Another, and greater, risk is being asked of me now. I hear my heart telling me to stop holding back. To acknowledge and trust my gifts. To use them in the service of others. Especially my writing.

And I hear the voice calling me back to serve on the border. And write about the issues that need our attention. Issues that need a compassionate voice. The issues of immigration. And human trafficking. And the lives of those impacted by the decisions we make every day.

It will mean taking an even greater risk, though, because I don’t know how I’ll support myself. I don’t yet know for sure who will take me in. I have the possibility of a place to stay beginning in December. But lots of unanswered questions remain. Can I trust my inner authority? Can I trust the God who brought me here? This Loving Presence that wants me to realize the fullest expression of who I am? I’m on this adventure with God. Heading toward something I can’t reason or explain. And sometimes I do feel scared.

I wonder, isn’t this the definition of faith?

Speaking of faith…

With my other ministry ended, I started serving Women’s  Global Connection, which I’ll continue doing through the month of November.  The Sisters have graciously allowed me to stay in this apartment a little longer than October 31st, but I need to move by the end of the week. I couldn’t have told you for sure where I was going to be sleeping next week.

Until today. One of the staff at WGC offered me a room in her house for the month. Talk about getting what you need when you need it!

Now I have a safe place to lay my head for another month. It’s something I always used to take for granted.

But on those nights when I started feeling anxious, wondering where I’d wind up, I thought  again about the children at the border — those migrating with their moms and those traveling alone. I wonder if they will be so fortunate. How many of them will have a safe place to lay their head tonight?

 

 

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About Pauline

I've been a freelance writer and editor for many years and I'm seeking to follow my heart in this stage of my journey, as the major roles in my life as wife and mother have changed. Not sure where this will lead, but I'm taking one step at a time as I listen within.

Posted on November 5, 2014, in faith, Immigration, Reflection, spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. A terrific post, Pauline. Perhaps you are being issued a divine invitation to be not just a journalist chronicling the plight of the immigrant children and families, but a sojourner along with them, even to the point of experiencing a bit of the deprivation they contend with every day. Your heart will expand that much further, and your superb writing will reveal the depth of your heart in your compassionate words.

    Much love,
    Rob

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    • Thanks for the compliment, Rob. That means a lot from a fellow writer. And, yes, I do feel my heart expanding, and expect that will continue to happen as I go farther on this journey.

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  2. Pauline, I am moved with admiration and amazement by the depth of your faith and trust as I read your story. It is one thing to say that “God provides,” but to trust when the need is literally upon you is another thing altogether. Please know that as you share your journey, you are touching lives far beyond the boundaries of those you are serving directly. Like Rob, I believe that your are being called to use your beautiful and powerful gift of writing not only for immigrant children, but for the benefit of those with whom you have been vulerable enough to share your doubts and fears along with your faith. Thank you. Be assured of my continued prayers.
    Love,
    Sue

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    • Thank you, Sue. I’m trusting every step of the way, and I’m glad that sharing my journey through writing is benefiting others. I appreciate your prayers, as always, and your support.

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  3. Pauline, I just want to say “hi”! I’m a friend of Sally and Rita in C’ville and they introduced me to your blog because we are at similar places in our lives (you and I) I am reading, praying for you and watching your steps! You go sister!! 🙂

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  4. Thank you, Lori! Sorry for the delay in responding. I’d like to connect with you, but I don’t know how to reach you. Would like to hear your story.

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