Coming to the end of year at BC Health Services is always welcomed with mixed emotions. Having completed my first year (academic) of working over nights, fulltime, five out of seven nights a week, I felt tired and somewhat lost. Even questioning if what I am doing is the journey I am meant to be on. Upon checking my email the final week, there waiting to be read was an invitation to attend a retreat … the first of its kind. Without hesitation I knew I had to go on this retreat. Now invitations had come and gone for other wonderful events put on by BC supporting departments to Health Services, but they did not have the same appeal. There was food in an abundance at the other events, but I knew it was not a nutrition boost I needed. The retreat would hopefully help nourish my faith life and soul.
At the end of the year, reflecting on time past…what do I see? It shouldn’t be surprising that I end with the same question: it is a journey that has come full circle, yet I am not in the same place. The mystery of time has brought me back to the starting line, but the lessons I have learned together suggest that it is time to go… to rest and reflect and repair.
Trying to do it all…yet feeling empty and unfulfilled…what is the lesson? Reflecting on the words so beautifully spoken on the retreat “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another…” (John 13:34) The new commandment from Jesus defines the path that we should follow to do more. Offer ourselves to the world where others may benefit from your gifts and talents. Answer the call to serve through the common, ordinary, unspectacular flow of everyday life. We are not the Messiah…, but we do have the power to be a source of faith, hope and love to all whom we encounter in this journey of life and our time at Boston College. Perfect we are not…only human, a mixture of grace and frailty, saint and sinner, which does not condemn us, but offers us the opportunity to give and receive the precious gifts of love and forgiveness. Just try your best to be the person you want to be, and the mystery of life will take care of the rest. It may not always play out how we expect, but through our partnerships in life we encounter the living God, who created us and lives in the core of our humanity. Which of course, quite simply: to know, to love and to grow. To be alive in this moment offers us an opportunity to respond to God’s call to be greater today than we were yesterday. An invitation to continue to love and be loved – by God, by neighbor, coworker and by self.
The retreat gave me the opportunity to feel connected again, to not feel as lost and to know, its okay to take of “me”. Its okay to rest and repair and more importantly to reflect.
Caroline Faherty serves as Staff Nurse in the Department of Health Services at Boston College.