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Waiting for Mission in Stillness


Editor’s note: SarahJane Cauzillo, a new FMS missioner, walks us through her spiritual growth process as she prepares to join us for formation in Washington, DC.

Almost eight months ago to the day, I sucked in a harsh breath, and then clicked “submit.” My muscles unclenched as the first stage of my official application to be an overseas missioner with FMS had been sent. I looked up from my laptop screen and was flooded with an overwhelming wave of peace.

That same conviction of resting in the Lord’s mercy, grace, and will has been a challenge for me to find and maintain this summer. Now one month away from the FMS overseas missioner formation program in DC, I am in what I have come to accept as the “waiting room“ on the other side of where my new life will begin. Even as I write this, I sit at my day job in Grand Rapids, Michigan, patiently waiting to move to DC; to know which country I will be called to; to know what work I will do; to finally board a plane and leave the US….

These events and places arrange themselves in my mind as far-off coveted destinations that promise a more fulfilling and rich life then where I currently sit. With the shiny new future still a distance ahead, I notice that this summer I have fallen out of habit of asking for God’s strength and grace. Instead, with my eyes focussed on a to-do list, I ask, what am I called to do in this waiting season of life? The Lord, who is ceaseless in His pursuit of my entire heart, says to me: “SarahJane, wrong question.”

The Lord does not require me to do right now—He challenges me right now to truly be. To sit and be still, to be silent, to rest in His wings (Psalms 91:4). I think the question he wants me to answer right now is not what can I do, but whether I can love Him fully, and be loved by Him fully, when there are no mountains or valleys pushing me into His embrace.

I find that complacency is not a battle like an experience of desolation, doubt, or anger. Rather, I am in a quiet, white-walled waiting room asking, “Is God alone enough for me?” If I believe in who God says He is, then I must also believe in who He says I am. Accepting my identity as His daughter now, when I am still in familiar surroundings, is something I am working to own in preparation for the challenges on mission in the months (and years) to come.

Oh Holy, Almighty, Wondrous, Wise, and Merciful Lord, how much more You know me than I know myself! How You know that I need this now: rest, peace, and an outpouring of divine Fatherly love. “Be still and know that I AM God; The Lord will fight for you; you have only to keep still” (Exodus 14:14).

And so I adore the Lord in His Holy Splendor—just me, in the quiet of adoration. My life does not “begin“ when I get to DC or discern which country I am called to serve in, or even when I finally leave on mission. It is going on right now. I battle complacency not with a to-do list or dramatic prayers, but with stillness. I worship the Lord, as His daughter, for His boundless love that never tires of seeking us, that never tires of offering more, and consistently invites to a deeper and more perfect union with Him.

Reflection question: How can you put aside your own agenda and open yourself to what God is asking of you?

SarahJane Cauzillo sought various opportunities during her college years at Grand Valley State University to learn more about pressing social justice issues. Mission trips to Detroit awakened a special interest in working with youth, particularly young women. Serving on mission will be a hands-on opportunity to build relationships with others through sharing the Gospel and ministry of presence. Joining an intentional faith community with other lay Catholics was an essential element in choosing to serve overseas with FMS. SarahJane's hobbies include reading, writing, hiking, camping, kayaking, swimming, discovering new music, drinking coffee, and engaging in rich conversation with loved ones.