It’s hard to believe how fast a year can fly by in a blink of an eye. And yet, that’s exactly what has happened to me. Just one year ago I was sitting in these very pews thinking about how my life would change as a staff member at The Basilica. I had just stepped down from my position in the U.S. Air Force and my husband and I drove our three-month-old daughter across the country to our new-again home. While we grew up in the region, we weren’t the same people who lived here years ago. We were now a family. We owned a home. Life now carried a new meaning.
And it was hard.
We’ve all experienced some sort of transition in our lives. Maybe it’s a move across the country, the loss of a loved one, meeting your life partner, a miscarriage, or a loss of a job. Any transition is hard. The minute we think we have everything together, we are quickly reminded we don’t.
For my family and I, I was fearful of my inadequacies. I was worried my military life had changed me from who I once was and that perhaps my talents weren’t really what was needed in a staff member at The Basilica. On the other hand, I was scared. This new job meant new faces, new tasks, new stress. With my new family, I felt overwhelmed and fearful that we had just made the worst decision of our lives by leaving behind our stable careers, reliable health insurance, and support system from our last home.
As the days passed and fall turned into summer seemingly overnight I found out that we survived the transition just fine. There were plenty of bumps along the way, but we made it. And I am so grateful.
As I reflected on the readings today, the psalm reminded me that “God is my helper…the Lord upholds my life” (Ps 54:6). Why didn’t I remember this a year ago when everything seemed crazy and out of control? Because I’m human. And sinful. And I forget just how great our God really is.
I also found out God wanted me to use my gifts here and it is incredibly humbling to know that I have been given the gift to call this Basilica family my home. If you know any of the staff here, you know they are all incredibly talented. I feel humbled to just say I am part of the team. But then there are the volunteers. They give so much of their time, talent, and treasure. There’s so much good happening in and around The Basilica.
And there’s so much good yet to come. This week Pope Francis will come to the U.S. I am confident his visit will be nothing less than incredible. But I also know it will be challenging. I expect he will deliver a message that is not easy for us to understand or even carry out. But I pray that we can all remember the psalm from today: “God is my helper…the Lord upholds my life.”
After the Pope’s visit, we as a global Church will begin the Year of Mercy—another challenging topic but an important one—important to our global Church, local Church, and every single person we meet. This will be an opportunity for all of us to reflect on how we give mercy and receive it as well as how it can change our lives and the lives around us.
For now, I simply pray that we all take the time to listen to the call in our lives and trust in God as our helper. Because through God, all things are possible.