It is truly amazing how God gives us the wisdom and understanding we need at the moments we are not expecting it. After a particularly long, hectic and draining day, I sat on the window seat of the Corps bedroom, admittedly feeling a little sorry for myself. I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook when I came upon a quote that resonated with me so deeply at that moment.
“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”
Even in the two months of being here, I have struggled a lot. I have been frustrated, sad, homesick and have doubted myself countless times. But in saying all this, my experience so far has been one of the most beautiful times of my life. I have never before seen God’s divine providence so clearly at work. The selfless love that exists within this community is so tangible; it is awe-inspiring. At the end of most days I have prayed in thanksgiving to God simply for getting me through the day. Never in my life has it been clearer that nothing is possible without God.
There are so many times when I have only recognized the beauty of a situation when I looked back at it. But one that sticks out in my memory happened on an ordinary Wednesday morning. One of the moms had a doctor appointment early in the morning and I was driving her. One thing I have learned in my time here is that Phoenix morning rush hour traffic is no joke. We were stuck in this traffic, and I was getting overwhelmed by the constant lane-switching, merging and figuring out where the doctor’s office was. Through this all, the mom I was driving was being encouraging, supportive and constantly giving me the go-ahead to turn and merge when needed. We also talked about her hometown and got a chance to learn more about each other’s backgrounds. She also grew up in a small town and had found navigating the city a daunting task when she first moved to Phoenix years ago. We talked about our favorite movies and songs, realizing we had similar taste in both. She asked why I chose to serve at Maggie’s Place and asked what I wanted to do afterwards. At the time, I was so caught up in feeling rushed and stressed. I didn’t take the time to acknowledge what a nice moment that was, and how simple acts of kindness, like the one that occurred at that moment, are what makes what we do worthwhile.
I sometimes forget to recognize the beauty that can be found in any given day at Maggie’s Place. No one ever said change was easy. No one ever said growth was easy. However, both these things are what shape us into our best selves. Although I know this year will hold its countless struggles and challenges and some days I may have the urge to give up all together, I need to remind myself of the immense beauty that each day holds. From sitting and joking with the moms in the living room, to a selfless donor buying bags of fresh fruits and vegetables for the house. From the dozens of dedicated volunteers who walk through our door with smiles, to the babies who melt our hearts every day. If we just take a moment to breathe, slow down, and look around, we can see beauty and the work of God all around us. So my goal for the next few months is not to wait to see the beauty of this time until I’m looking back retrospectively, but to greet each day with open and willing arms.
By Kathleen Diesing, a MissionCorps