This scripture came to me in prayer this week.
Jeremiah 29:11-14: For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Just before I left Boston, a dear friend who knows I like to write gave me a journal. It’s a beautiful Italian leather bond book that I use for writing my most intimate conversations with God, usually when I am struggling with something I can’t share with others, experiences I’ve encountered and moments of pure vulnerability and uncertainty, that can be turned to hope and grace, through the very words God gives me to write. I treasure this book and carry with me just about everywhere.
I’ve had that journal all week and looked back at the very first entry that started with “Estoy listo”. Without going into detail, the phrase dealt with my first patient interaction as an intern and those words were spoken to me from a patient, “Estoy Listo,” I am ready.
I couldn’t help but think how that question relates to me, “¿estoy lista?” Am I ready for what is about to happen? Reflecting back, I questioned whether I was ready for the internship, for continued interviews with churches (because the chaplaincy was supposed to be temporary) and the beginning of the process of healing.
Things have changed since then. Two years later, serving in a church is not part of the plan anymore and hospital chaplaincy is. In these 24+ months, healing has taken place. Even though there is still some healing to face, this feeling of freedom and forgiveness sure brings a sense of comfort and completeness.
Two weeks ago I moved to Greenville. I look around my place, the apartment is not 100% ready, but there is space for visitors and fellowship, sleep and Sabbath. The kitty is pleased that the place isn’t ready because she has many scratching post boxes in which to choose from. My TV apparently is not cable ready, but I have a DVD player, Netflix, colored pencils and books. My office isn’t ready but I have a desk, a computer, a chair and a label that says this is my office.
I’ve been in orientation all week, eager to get out and work with the patients. It’s funny really. I found myself “itching” to get to the rooms and bring the presence of God to those looking for spiritual and emotional support. I am inpatient at waiting to see patients, however these are necessary steps I must take in order to bring the best possible care to those I am about to meet.
Through this past week, I’ve been wondering if I am ready to take this journey. When I feel this anticipation and eagerness to serve, I know something is right. It’s been an exclamation point to years of experiences (the good and the painful) that have led me to this moment in time. Through all that I’ve encountered, God has prepared me for this place on the journey. In very specific ways God is revealing to me just how I have been prepared for this calling. It’s been humbling to see the parallels of my life and my experience that brings me to this place today.
Estoy lista. I am ready. Mi Dios está listo. My God is ready. God has prepared me and we are about to take an incredible journey together, to a future with hope for I have been prepared through the experiences, through the exile, and through God.
I am humbled and honored and I am ready.