Editor’s Note: Nayeli Garcia describes her discernment process as her time with DC Service Corps comes to a close and new opportunities arise a the Father McKenna Center.

As my time at FMS is coming to an end, I can’t help but wonder what is next? What will the next chapter of my life look like? Where does God want me to be?

This year has provided me with a break from the real world as I try to figure out the next steps in my life. Volunteering at the Father McKenna Center gave me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, develop skills, and gain new gifts and talents. After my first month at the center, I fell in love with what I was doing. There was a part of me that did not want to leave. As weird as it sounds, I was faced with an internal struggle when I heard that the center had a job opening.

“Volunteering at the Father McKenna Center gave me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, develop skills, and gain new gifts and talents. After my first month at the center, I fell in love with what I was doing.”

I felt lost. There was this deep desire for me to stay, but I couldn’t help but consider the other side; Am I taking the easy way out? Is this where God really wants me to be? Should I try a different place to expand my horizons? Am I what they are looking for? I had all these questions in my mind and I had no idea how to answer any of them.

Luckily, a few months ago DC Service Corps went on a mid-year retreat where we were introduced to intentional prayer. I found it easy for myself to deepen my relationship with God through this technique. Intentional prayer helped me incorporate prayer in my daily routine. There are various ways that we can approach prayer and with the help of journaling, self-reflection, prayer, and spiritual direction, I was given the tools to discern the next part of my life.

As I began to discern the possibility of staying at the McKenna Center, I applied for the position. There were a lot of unknowns about the job, but I thought to myself, what is there to lose? It was like any other interview, but things got serious when I was told that I made it the next step. I was happy, but I was still uncertain of my desire to stay. The reality of the situation continued to become more serious when I was told that I made it the final step. I honestly did not think that I would make it that far.

The interview process went faster than I expected, so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to process everything. There was a sense of relief but there were still concerns in my mind. Out of the blue, I was offered the job. I was shocked and I couldn’t help but thank God for everything.

I was given a week to accept the offer. It was a lot to process. The more I thought about it, the more I was questioning myself. I began to wonder; why me? I kept my thoughts and concerns to myself. I wanted time to reflect on what I went through the past few weeks. Prayer, reflection, journaling, sharing my journey, and receiving guidance from my community made it easier for me to make up my mind.

It’s a good feeling to know that this year was not only a year to give my time at the McKenna Center and with my community, but also served as time to grow and figure out what I truly want. This year has allowed me to put myself in places I never imagined myself in. The tools, the experiences I gained over this year, and the support of my community made it easier for me to properly discern and accept the position.

I am not going to lie; it feels good to know that I have a plan right after my time at FMS. Although this experience is coming to an end, I know that there will be moments in my life that also require me to discern. And in those moments I hope that God will continue to guide me towards whatever He wants me to do next.

Reflection Question: Is discernment part of your decision making? How are you able to let your faith play a part in your decisions and experiences?