In the Gilead House, we talk a lot about journeys. We talk about learning more about ourselves through serving others, and about discerning what God has planned for us next. Now, at the end of my service year, I have been looking back and admiring my journey from last August until now. How far I have come! Since I made the decision to follow my call to ministry at the beginning of this year, I have felt God preparing me for ministry in different ways. My journey has been about God preparing my heart, mind, soul, and body for what comes next. I’m a big picture kind of person, and I truly believe that all of the challenges, all of the stress, and all of the blessings in this year have been given to me to prepare me.
I like challenges. Ask anyone I know. In January, I decided to begin a path to health and wellness. I had been walking on the treadmill at the gym, but I wondered what would happen if I started jogging. I didn’t die! Long story short, I decided to challenge myself. No surprise there. I decided to train myself for my first 5K and register to run as a part of team ESC-MD for the Baltimore Running Festival in October. I had never been a runner before. Little did I know, this training became a major part of my self-care routine. I always feel more powerful and strong after a solid run and my mood is always lifted. I sleep better. I feel better about my body and myself. Could it be that this is all a part of God’s plan to prepare me for ministry? Helping me to learn how to take care of myself better? Who knows. It certainly doesn’t hurt. I believe everything I do is a learning experience. God is constantly giving me tools for my toolbox.
Other than for health, self-care, and a challenge, running for ESC-MD is a way to say thank you. I was raised to write thank you notes to people who did things for me or to just make sure my gratitude was shown in some way. This is a way I can show my gratitude. I am still very much digesting how much this year has meant to me, and I will probably be doing that for some time. For now, I can run for the program that I love so much, that I hope will provide many other young adults with the experience that I have had. I run to raise funds for ESC-MD, and hopefully represent our program well. Also I get to wear a cool t-shirt! Will you cheer me on to the finish line?