During one of our times together, we heard from Joanne Buckman, osu from Cleveland who shared a story with us. She was in Ghana, West Africa and had the opportunity to visit a monkey game preserve in the Gold Coast area-however in order to get to it; she had to cross seven suspension bridges. The last bridge was extremely high and was an one-person, sagging bridge over an enormous ravine. One fellow traveler went over the bridge and then assisted her journey by saying these three things to her very slowly.
1) Do not look back.
2) Keep your eyes on me.
3) Put one foot in front of another.
Her sharing reminded me of the many river /bridge crossings, I have had to face: illness, pain, death of my mother, grandmother, Ursuline sisters, loss of a friendship etc. However I still did cross the bridge and I believe I gained strength and courage by doing that.
There are still bridges to cross; writing the dissertation, dealing with pain of my arm and knee, seeing sisters deal with sickness, watching cherished fiends and community members die, and making tough decisions about corporate ministries and community life. However, since I've been with so many of my sisters and extended Ursuline family this weekend, I feel supported and believe that I can go forward no matter what.
Part of our time together also involved each province having its own Chapter (big meeting every six years where we plan our future directions for ministry and community) and our Chapter theme for the whole international community of Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union is Go out into the deep water. With courage and hope, welcome the future!!
That is what I need to do daily and I do that by not looking back, keeping my eyes on Jesus and Angela and doing what I can each day by putting one foot in front of the other.
Who knows what the future holds? With Angela, Jesus and my Ursuline family on my side, I can face it with courage and hope!!
Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu