At times, it can be difficult to remember to find Christ in our daily lives—struggles arise, stress mounts, and it's easy to start to forget how blessed we really are. Most recently, I found myself struggling to make it to Thanksgiving break. Having gone so long without being home, I yearned to be near my family. But, it was the many faces of Christ that helped me to endure this test of time.
The week before break, Melissa, the chairperson of my school's English department, unexpectedly told me she would be my Brownsville mom. During our free time at the Encounter retreat we were leading, we managed to fit in meaningful conversations about family, friends, and relationships. She listened with an open heart, and we realized just how much we had in common. It was through her presence that I saw Christ's understanding and patience.
During that same retreat, I had the opportunity to get to know Manuel, the Spanish teacher at SJA. He shared his pride for his daughter and her accomplishments, speaking highly of her dedication and perseverance. He reminded me of my dad simply by his humor and kind heart. A few hours after Melissa offered to be my Brownsville mom, Manuel also spontaneously volunteered to "adopt" me as his daughter.
Two teachers and friends had offered to take me in as their own. While I had never shared with them my homesickness, both had somehow been drawn to call me family, take me under their wing, and make me feel at home. In Manuel, I found Christ's pride and happiness.
After the retreat, I was reinvigorated by the wonderful experience but still faced a few more days of work. As I rushed to finish last minute assignments and grade my students' performance assessments, I ran into Tony, the head of the our school's campus ministries. He took one look at me and absolutely understood what needed to be said.
He talked me through my list of things to do. Tony put everything into perspective by emphasizing the value of living in the moment and only doing what actually could be done. In Tony, I found Christ's peace and friendship.
In the span of one week, Christ revealed himself through these three individuals. He made his presence known by showering me with the understanding, patience, pride, happiness, peace, and friendship I needed in order to make it to Thanksgiving break.
But, on a much larger scale, Christ has presented himself in all of my Brownsville community. They have taken me in as their own and have made me feel at home. Knowing my need for a place to belong, Christ made a home for me in Brownsville, granting me an absolutely wonderful second family.