As a full-time volunteer, there is so much I am grateful for and so much I have appreciated from the people that I have met and all of my experiences. It feels as if I just started, but my time with FMS (Franciscan Mission Service) is coming to an end and it leaves me wondering - what’s next?
If you asked me about a year ago what I was planning to do after graduation, I would not have had an answer for you. Discerning FMS was a blessing that allowed me to know what’s next after a year of service. A year of service not only fulfilled my desire to serve others and deepen my relationship with God, but it also opened many doors to opportunities and experiences during this year of service and what is to come.
This gap year (as I like to say) gave me the opportunity to be more centered, focused, and hopeful for the next journey in my life. Being centered and focused allowed me to KNOW what I want to do next: I plan to continue working instead of going to graduate school.
Working with the volunteers at The Father McKenna Center gave me a great desire to continue to work with people after my year of service. Having the opportunity to interact, talk, and get to know the volunteers was, and still is, one of the best experiences during my year of service.
I feel I am able to know what I want to do since I’ve been able to open my heart to God, letting Him lead me to the next step in my life. I am able to know the difference between what I want and to trust in God in where He wants me in my life. I am hopeful for the opportunities coming my way and simply grateful for all that I have learned and experienced during this year of service.
This year has been a break from the real world, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I did not feel all the pressure of being thrown into the work force and paying bills/loans. I’ve been able to give myself a break after the many years in school and learn more about myself. I am grateful for giving myself the chance to live in community, have the unconditional support of my friends and family, and to do what I like to do: serve.
Now that I have given myself the time and experience that I wanted, I want to continue to open my heart to God so He can guide me to the right place after my year of service.