A Heart Full of Wondrous Love

Filled with a sense of freedom and belonging, Teresa shares what is happening in her life in Kansas.

I keep finding myself saying, “I feel more myself than I have in a long time”. I am so grateful for this. It has been difficult to try to put to words what has happened in my heart since the end of the summer. I first began to realize the change on my way to work. My eyes filled with tears as I recalled all the conversations that had led me to be filled with joy and desire that bright Monday morning, when normally my busy week would have loomed over me. I became overwhelmed with the thought of how many people and events had influenced the past few months of my life.

The other day, my sister-in-law Hannah reminded me that not one minute of my life is a waste. This life that I have now is the one that Jesus gave me; it is therefore impossible to be ‘behind’ or ‘missing out’. She shared that looking back, she does not question Jesus’ plan for her because all of it was good and all of it was necessary. Another conversation happened amidst some jokes and updates with my other sister-in-law, Lindsay. She shared with me that loneliness does not simply go away in marriage, but it takes a different form. We shared the conviction that sacrifice is always present and she reminded me that reality is always better than my fantasy. A new friend called me and we ended up talking about the depth and breadth of friendship we are called to and the fact that if our lives are not interesting to us now, at this point in our lives, they never will be. We shared the calling to be totally alive now, within the current circumstances of our lives, and to the true virginity with which we are called to view the others in our life.

How wonderful to be given friends (family!) who point me toward Jesus, the Truth, and help me follow Him! I am grateful for each of these conversations, and many more, which freed me from my ideas about myself and my life and allowed me to live in gratitude for the present.

Something else that changed me was our community day. It was a day spent in a place I had never been, but that felt like home. My brother and sister and my nephews were there but everyone else there was my family as well, even those I had just met. In the School of Community we are reading that sharing Jesus is the only thing necessary for community; I experienced this while we were walking together in silence through the plains of Kansas. He is not only the one thing necessary for our community, but the one thing necessary for my life. After the hike, I felt completely free leading people from all over, many of whom I had never met, in singing songs, doing silly dances, and clapping. Someone came up to me afterward and said, “Thank you for sharing your joy!” I know that this is the joy of living life within this family. I was filled with a sense of freedom and belonging.

From deeply changing conversations, to surprising new friendships, to a wonderful community day, to beautiful dinners spent with those that I love, to simply noticing the leaves blowing in the wind again, long days of work, and even to late nights studying—these past months have been filled with Jesus present. I am in awe.

Theresa, Kansas City, Kansas