*This past weekend, the other YAVs and I were prompted to share our experiences on how we decided to become Young Adult Volunteers at the Presbytery of Santa Fe meeting in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. Below is the story I wrote and shared.*
“We are here; We are here for all of us. We are here for all of us. That’s why we are here.” I’m standing in a giant worship space in Montreat, North Carolina with about 1,000 other people, all joining in praise through this song. I had just learned about the YAV program and felt strongly about researching more into this ‘Year of Service’. “We are all here for each other”. I let these words seep into my being and in this moment I simultaneously found the most profound strength, courage, and peace. I felt the parts of my mind that laid dormant before this moment, now opening to new possibilities of serving God by serving each other and felt a realignment happening with my purpose of being. We are all here on this blessed earth, living together and influencing one another way more directly and consequently than we will ever understand.
“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, and they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Another song comes forth from the crowd, bringing forth within me this courage and strength to follow God where God knows to take me. Was it merely a coincidence that my relationship with God and the alignment within my mind, body, and spirit is at it’s healthiest, most pronounced that it’s ever been, right as I am learning of the Young Adult Volunteer program? Was God already preparing me for this year of service that will undoubtedly impact and transform the rest of my life, before even a day goes by after learning of this program?
When I arrived back home from this retreat, I immediately grabbed a whiteboard and marker from my room and wrote these two phrases down from these songs, in order to remember these realizations and continue to live energetically with the Great Spirit.
Fast-forwarding 7 months later, after the interview process with Luke and being accepted into the Albuquerque site; after surviving student teaching and graduating with a Bachelor degree in Music Education; and after saying final goodbyes to my loved ones, I attended the final service at my Church, before heading off to orientation for the YAV program. There I was, sitting in the pews, reminiscing of how this church, how these people have played such a dynamic role in helping me to become and realize who God is calling me to be, when suddenly, I hear a familiar tune rise amongst the congregation, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love; and they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” What an affirmation to hear this message from God, that all is well and all will be well. I was, and still am, right where I need to be, completely and overwhelmingly present with the Divine Spirit.”