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Dreaming and Discerning

Blog Headers 2023-24 (17)

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Jennifer Eburuoh contemplates the various ways that God is calling her to serve and reflects on her year of service thus far.

When I was a young child, I dreamed of being a missionary. I spent many days imagining a life among people and places unknown to me. I dreamed of being a part of a loving community, one founded on the desire to better the lives of those suffering, to live as Christ-like witnesses in the world. As I grew slightly older, I also became the child who when you asked what they wanted to be when they grew up would respond by saying, “well, I would begin by being a teacher, then a mother, then a doctor, then an astronaut, then a religious sister…”

Through prayer and reflection, I have come to know that at the root of my diverse aspirations was a conviction that I formed at a young age: the belief that God was calling me to respond uniquely to the needs of the world. I have also become aware of certain restlessness I have, a dissatisfaction with pursuing an “ordinary” life. A yearning to pursue the path rarely tread. 

During my year of service as a DCSC volunteer, I have found myself getting more in touch with my restlessness. I believe that in coming to encounter more personally the broken and failing systems of our society through service has led me to ask myself more and more how am I uniquely called to respond. Though I often situate my questions in terms of my career, be it international development, law, or research, at other moments I wonder how to live out my call in the ordinary aspects of life, namely, as a daughter, sister, and friend. At times, I ask myself, how does one make a career out of a call? I ponder whether or not that is even the right question to ask.

While I continue to wrestle with these questions, I am reminded of how grateful I am to have found a community of mission through FMS. Not only have I found space to give voice to half-baked thoughts and open questions, but I also am inspired by the ways my housemates have chosen to respond to God’s call in their lives.

Since my childhood, I have found a deep friend in St. Therese of Lisieux, who, though a cloistered nun, had the ardent heart of a missionary. I am sure that she experienced the almost consuming restlessness that I feel at times when facing the challenges that our societies suffer from. Today, we pray to her as the patron saint of missions. I pray that St. Therese may intercede for the enlightenment of our hearts and minds, that we may learn from her abandonment of the desire to be the remedy to the world’s pain but to let Him who is Healer simply use us as an instrument of His healing. 

Questions for Reflection: Who is God calling me to be? What holds me back from becoming that person?

Jennifer Eburuoh is a recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and Global Affairs. She is originally from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Through FMS, she will be working as a Protection Counselor with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She is excited to be a part of an intentional Franciscan community and to work with marginalized members of our global community. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, and gardening.