I feel like I am marking time by full moons at the moment! Let me explain:
Two moons ago I was visiting Minnesota, staying with a friend at her cabin on the lake. As we prayed and talked and listened, I felt the pull to move to Minnesota, and put an offer in on a house. The moon was full and my heart was ready to begin a new journey in life, to slow down and to follow where God may be leading me into a new ministry setting.
One moon ago I began the cross country drive from California to Minnesota. In a very short period of time I had returned from my vacation, sold my home, packed it up, sent my possessions on their way, and was now loaded into my car with the dog and cat and a great friend who offered to keep me company while we drove! My path was not clear, but my destination was….. St. Joseph, MN. A small college town with a women’s monastic community surrounded by farmland on the outskirts of St. Cloud.
Now, another full moon. I have been here 3 ½ weeks, and already feel at home! I’ve planted apple trees, lettuce, hostas and more! I’ve painted the living room and ordered fabric for curtains. I’ve found a church community that I like, and have begun to make some great connections with folk around ministries and spiritual direction possibilities. I’ve been to a Walin’ Jennys concert, and found beautiful walking trails. And it feels like I have been here for a long time, way more than one moon cycle!
So where is God inviting me to use my gifts? As it unfolds, this is what I know so far. The church I have been attending is beginning a trauma informed ministry focused on children and youth and healing. A couple of people have connected with me about spiritual direction leads, and I am in conversation with the sisters at the monastery to figure out how I can begin to work in their spirituality center. I have been walking Gibbs around the college campus some days, and a number of students have asked to pet him, saying how much they are missing their pets at home, and loving on Gibbs is helping their homesickness.
On the days where I feel like nothing is moving, where the days are long, where I forget why I am here, I remember that, in reality, I have not even been here a full moon cycle yet! And the words of Rumi come to mind:
“Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing.
It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose,
Looking at the night and seeing the day.
Lovers are patient and know
That the moon needs time to become full.”
Then I step back and reflect on how much has happened since I arrived here, and the miracles of connections that have begun to take shape. How many churches are working with trauma and youth and even see that need in their communities? How many small towns have such a rich spiritual center and life? And so much more…. Little connections that are unfolding like the petals of a rose. And I breathe and stay true to the rhythm of my days and life, filled with prayer and work and reaching out, and remember how God is shaping this new and beautiful stage of my life with me, and I give thanks!
Where are you feeling the slow unfolding of love in your life?