Some news you’ve probably already heard

It’s no secret anymore, folks, and after an unexpected round of some very — er — public publicity last week*, I guess there’s no point in holding back from my own little blog.

I have some news. Granted, I’m pretty sure most of you know it already, but just to make sure we do things properly, I’m writing it here.

It looks like I’ve only got a few months left in the gap. In August I will be moving down south to enter the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, TN. Okay, so really, I guess I’m leaving one gap for another (postulancy and the novitiate are definitely not “settled” yet), but this gap has a clearly delineated trajectory and such a clear, beautiful end.

Still, I used to think that when I finally wrote The Post announcing my departure from the gap, I’d feel nothing but joy. I’d be washing my hands forever of the tedium of looking forward, and I’d rush off to greet the future with wide open arms. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of joy in making this announcement, but it’s tinged with bittersweet. As one of my friends said to me this weekend, “I won’t say my joy is unmixed.” It’s been a good six years in the gap, and almost without realizing it I’ve put down roots, made lasting connections, and given out little pieces of my heart here and there that are already starting to smart something dreadful when I look ahead to the summer.

It’s going to be very hard to leave so many good things behind. Friends and family, don’t think I’m not going to miss you awfully. I’ve been hesitant to say anything on the blog because I don’t really want to think about it, and I certainly don’t want to talk about it. At the same time, I’m so grateful to know that leaving will hurt. It means I’m not running away from anything, which means I can honestly say I’m making this choice in freedom. God is very good to me.

That said, I’ve got a few months left here still, in that funny limbo between my normal, working world life and the postulancy. I’ll be working my regular job through June, then spending a month with my family before entrance. I’ll also be working my way through my “bucket list” of things to do before I go, and dragging my friends along with me on my adventures, including but not limited to a day trip to Harpers Ferry, brunch at the Kennedy Center and a trip to the Baltimore aquarium. During these next few months, I do intend to keep up with this blog, so do check back — more posts to come, I promise.

-Mabel

 

*Life lesson from a girl who works in PR: if you don’t want your story to go public, maybe don’t agree to talk to reporters, mm-kay? Sometimes I wonder how I survive from day to day, with the lack of brains I show sometimes.

Advertisements

When we see Him

It seems to be a season of next steps.

Over Christmas I watched my baby sister get married and thought how small she looked in yards of white tulle, and how brave. Spending time over glasses of wine with my new brother-in-law and another brother-in-law-to-be, I thought about how much things change, and how the changes can be so good, bringing new, unexpected people into our lives.

Image

Among my closest friends also there has been a rustling and stirring as many of us begin to move forward, after a long time of restlessness. We’d always heard it would happen suddenly, but I admit it’s leaving me a little dizzy.

There are so many good-byes. A few weeks ago I got together one last time with an old schoolmate who was preparing to move out west with her husband. My roommate of nearly three years will be taking her next step in another month, moving on to a new job and a new life in a new city far away. Several of my friends have completed applications for graduate programs and will be moving on as they figure out what schools will best meet their needs.

Then there are all the friends newly dating, others newly engaged, and the upcoming weddings. Every weekend seems to bring a new acquaintance, as an old friend says, “I want you to meet my girlfriend,” or “Let’s do dinner. You have to meet my boyfriend.”

It’s bittersweet, of course, but in many ways it’s such a joyful time. It’s almost audible as an undercurrent in so many of my conversations with friends and family members: “At last!”

The waiting can be so long, but as it finally draws to a close, you can see so much beauty in it. So often it’s only in looking back that you discover the face of Christ etched across your experiences. He’s there in the shadows, working in silence.

Does one grow to understand this better as life flows on, or will we always flail in the darkness?