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Waiting Through the Seasons

Blog Headers 2023-24 (12)

Editor’s Note: As Kim Wagner anticipates beginning her time on mission, she relates her waiting to the liturgical seasons of Advent and Christmas.

As I have worked to unpack my bags in my new home in Douglas, Arizona, I have begun to reflect on the past month and a half at home and the Advent and Christmas seasons. Looking back on those times, I realize now that these past liturgical seasons held deeper spiritual meaning for me with my move to begin mission work. 

Over the holidays, it seemed like the number one question that I was fielding from my friends and family was: “How are you feeling about leaving for mission soon?” and my answer was almost always the same: “nervous, but excited!” At the time, I was feeling nervous about the process of moving and getting to know new people and a new place, but excited to get started on the work and journey I have been preparing for over the past five months. 

As I pondered my new beginning in prayer, I was reminded of the wait we experience during the Advent season. I couldn’t help but wonder if the people of the earth awaiting Jesus’ arrival felt similarly as I did about starting mission — anxiously, yet excitedly, anticipating the arrival of a new journey and way of life. I held this reflection in my heart throughout the Advent and Christmas season, but The Feast of the Epiphany offered yet another point of reflection as we closed out our celebration of the Christmas liturgical season. 

In his homily this past Sunday, my local parish priest, Fr. Tom Holder, offered the reminder that, just as the Wise Men did in the story of the Epiphany, “We need to change our route in life to experience the mystery and light of God.” Hearing this reminded me of one of the core reasons for me to do mission work: to forge a different path in my life to encounter God in new ways. This revelation added yet another layer of emotions and took me deeper in my prayer to ask God to help settle my nerves, but allow me to be fully present for others and strengthen my faith throughout my time on mission.

As I begin to build relationships with my neighbors and get ready to start Spanish classes, I have been reminding myself that the arrival of this journey is one I have been praying for and anticipating for so long. Throughout my time on mission, I want to remain open to finding a new way of life beyond the one I currently know to find the light of God in unexpected ways in this new season and new place.

Questions for Reflection: What might you be anticipating? What emotions come with your anticipation? How can you forge a different path in life to encounter God in a new way?

Kim is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated with her bachelor's degree in social work in 2021 and has participated in domestic service programs since graduating. She is excited to accompany people on the margins of the international community along the U.S./Mexico Border. In her free time, Kim enjoys cooking, going for walks, reading, and spending time outdoors.