“The surrender that is asked of us includes complete and absolute trust; it must be like Our Lady’s surrender, without condition and without reservation.” ~ Caryll Houslander ~

The word, “surrender,” has been coming up so much these past months. Throughout my discernment to leave religious life, deciding to live on Kelley’s Island for three months, and then discerning I was called to move to India for a time of service…”surrender” definitely was a theme. Even this morning, at Mass, we sang “I surrender all,” and I thought, “I hear you, Lord.” To which His response, in my heart, seemed to be, “…but do you?”
As I have spent the past couple of weeks here, I have been praying about or reminded of my need to surrender. It is not always easily done or sometimes even heard. I am always learning…especially in the continued adjustment to my daily life here, and the culture in general…it has been more challenging than anticipated. 

Many have asked what my days here are like. My schedule is set up in this way:      

Monday-Saturday                                                                                                   Three hours in the am. Lunch break. Two hours in the late afternoon. Then, I have Sunday’s off.

When I first got here, I experienced great fear or trepidation. I asked myself, “Why? How did I convince myself that this was something I could do? Will I ever feel comfortable here…embracing Indian culture? etc.” Honesty moment…getting off the 13+hr flight to Dubai, I probably would have chosen another long flight, to go home, instead of the short flight to Hyderabad (I giggle remembering that irrational thought).

Over two weeks have passed and I am able to say that the answer is, Yes. Yes, I am more comfortable. I am at peace in being called here. I am loving the children (and volunteers) I am blessed to work with. I am “enough,” when I surrender control (which was never really mine) and focus on the Beloved’s voice alone. 

One day this past week, I woke up thinking about the passage in Mark, “…whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” ( 10:15) I found it a little random, but prayed with it anyways. Later that morning, I was jumping on a trampoline with some of the little ones and that verse basically smacked me in the face. Here were these precious children, who in just two weeks I have come to love, reminding me daily of their innocent faith.

One little boy in particular makes my heart leap for joy every morning, when he bows his head for prayer and so intently focuses on praying. That day, on the trampoline, he kept stopping and admiring a beautiful flowering tree that is against the protective net, around their trampoline. Even in his free play time, his innocent heart could not resist the pull of admiring the beautiful flowers that our Lord has blessed us with. All the other kids were yelling, “Sister (women here go by that title…men by “brother”), jump! Jump!” Yet, he was too captivated by beauty. He made me contemplate the fact that while we are in a city and there is much pollution, there is also incredible beauty. “Stop and smell the roses,” so to say. 

God bless, my friends! +

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