Let Your Light Shine!

Recently, I was named as a facilitator for a team where I work called the Lighthouse Team.  If you are familiar with The Leader in Me, based on Steven Covey’s very influential book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, this may sound familiar to you.  My school has recently implemented this really wonderful way of teaching not only students but all of us that we are all called to be leaders.  It fits wonderfully with the mission of my Catholic school in that we are called to be leaders in our faith.  I absolutely LOVE this program!  It is so exciting for me to be a part of something that teaches students and adults that God has given us each special, unique gifts and that we are CALLED to use those gifts to lead others to Christ.  Each and every one of us, in our own wonderfully unique ways, are called to be leaders.  The Lighthouse Team is, what I like to think of, a light to the rest of the faculty.  We are the team who guides them in this process as they deliver the lessons to the students.  I have been on the Lighthouse Team for 2 years and this year was named as a facilitator, along with a coworker.  While very excited, I was also very nervous when we called our first Lighthouse Team meeting.  I had very mixed feelings about taking on this role because of the climate at my school lately–I am in love with this program, but I know that I am sailing against a strong headwind and that I will have some obstacles along this new journey.  So, I wanted our first meeting to be positive, well organized, informational,  and well…perfect. 

God knows our thoughts, our desires, our wants and hopes and dreams.  He calls each of us to many things in our lives.  That morning, before my meeting, my devotional said, “I want you to live close to me, seeing things from my perspective more and more” and in italics, it said, “Walk as a child of light for my radiance is all around you and also within you; it transforms you inside and out….Trust me to lead you step by step through each day.  I provide sufficient Light for only one day at a time….Live ever so near Me–flourishing in my transforming Light.”

My meeting went really well that morning.  I truly felt like I was a light to my team and that together, we could be a light to everyone else.  And not just any light, but the Light of God, shining brightly for others to see. 

As soon as I got back to my office and set down my stuff, I decided to flip over the next page on a small calendar I have on my desk that has the date and a little saying, quote, or bible verse on each day.  And that day, the quote was, “Let your light shine!”

And at that moment, I knew that at this time, this was my calling.  This all happened 8 days ago.  But I was not moved to tell you this in a post until this evening, when, as I was putting away my jewelry, a poem that I have on my dresser caught my eye and I couldn’t help but read it, even though I’ve read it many times.  The poem is called If and it was the last thing I gave to my grandmother before she died.  It was her favorite poem.  And today, this poem caught my eye, even though it sits on my dresser every day.  And today…today is my grandmother’s birthday.  You see, our loved ones in Heaven speak to us too.  And today I learned that she was also telling me to let my light shine. 

Sometimes, God sends us messages repeatedly in many different ways.  Right when I sat down to write this post, my son came in to see what I was doing.  I told him I was about to write a post.  I didn’t tell him what it would be about,  just that he would have to read it when I was done.  And do you know what he told me?  He told me that when he writes posts, he likes to listen to a song called The Light.

I have never gone back to update a post, but I really feel that I should.  The day after I wrote this post, I went to work and flipped my day calendar to the correct date.  If you don’t think God talks to us, maybe this will convince you otherwise!  All I could do was look up, smile,  and whisper a “Thank you”.  Here is what was on my calendar:

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What We Are Called To Do

Sometimes God puts prayers in my heart to say in very particular ways.

Before my family and I made a very big move out of state, away from all of our family, I kept praying that God would help us on our journey.  In those words, always using the word journey.  That became a prayer that I prayed for months before, during and even after our move.  Amazingly, when I went to the first retreat at the new school I was working at, we were told that our theme for that year would be The Journey and that we were all on the Journey together.  Of course, I realized immediately that this was no coincidence.  This was God letting me know that indeed, this was the Journey He wanted me to be on.

Something very similar just recently happened.  For about a year now I have been praying that God show me what He wants me to do vocation wise.  I just haven’t felt very passionate or motivated by what I am currently doing in my job and I just felt like there had to be more or something else that I was supposed to be doing.  I just didn’t have any idea of what that was!  Within the past few weeks, as I have been praying about it, I have felt God telling me to stop worrying so much about what’s next.  He showed me that this is something I have been doing for a long time.  Always searching for “what’s next”.  I felt God telling me that I am exactly where I am meant to be.  I am where I am.  He has told me that the important thing is what I am supposed to be doing where I am.  And that is that I need to be Christ to others.  Through my actions, words, thoughts and deeds He wants me to show others who He is.  He wants me to love with a Christ-like love so that others will see Him through me.  That message suddenly became very clear to me, almost like an epiphany.  And I embraced it immediately.  I began praying about this, asking God to help me, through my words, actions, thoughts and deeds, to show others who He is.  And not to be afraid.

Yesterday, at now my fifth retreat at my school, I was reaffirmed of my prayer, once again.  I know this, because the priest’s homily was (and these were his words) how our words and actions show others who God is.  He repeated “our words and actions” quite a few times…the same words I have been using lately in my prayer.  The moment he said it, I knew that what I had been feeling in my heart was truly God’s message to me.

And thinking about it, isn’t that His message to everyone?  We are all so busy searching for “what’s next” that we fail to do the most important thing we are called to do right where we are.  And that is to love.  To love all of those around us, all of the time.  At first, when I heard this message from God, all I could think was how simple that is.  Really?  That’s it?  That’s my purpose?  But right after that retreat, when I felt empowered and gung- ho about starting this mission from God, I learned that to love with a Christlike love was not going to be a simple task.  I had received an unkind email shortly after the retreat that immediately made my blood boil and I couldn’t wait to email something equally as unkind back.  However, God, in His grace, whispered to me, “Love”.  I did calm down after a few hours and did not respond to the email until the next day, when I had a chance to let God help me with this and I could respond in a loving manner.  At that moment, I realized that this would not be an easy task, but it was a mission, a calling, that I knew God had given me and I am determined to carry it out.

I hope that all of us can, at some point, hear that very same calling from God. I believe it is what we are called to do, wherever we are.  Because the important thing is not where we are.  It’s what we are doing while we are there.