By Catherine Rainey, FC 19 Syracuse
“I don’t know! I don’t KNOW!”
It is not unusual to start my day by hearing this yelled throughout the house at 7am.
No, I’m not referring to the FrancisCorps house where I live, but rather the L’Arche home in which I serve.
One of our core members is a sweet and spunky 77-year-old woman with cerebral palsy and increasing dementia. One of her go-to phrases – I don’t know – expresses everything from physical pain to genuine confusion to simply wanting attention. (She may be getting older, but she’ll always be a social butterfly at heart.)
Although some days those three little words truly test my patience, especially when they’re repeated over and over, I’ve come to realize that they hold so much truth.
Just like this core member that I’ve come to love so dearly, none of us know what’s ahead. Sometimes that feels really scary. Paralyzing, even.
But if this service year has confirmed anything for me, it’s that God will lead us to where we are supposed to be if we open our hearts to Him.
When I came to Syracuse, I didn’t know what awaited me here. Who would have guessed that those five strangers—whom I now call my community—would become such an important part of my life? Or that the individuals at L’Arche could touch my heart and broaden my perspectives so deeply?
Each day I walk through the door at L’Arche, I have no idea what surprises await me. Some days present true challenges that I must work through. Others are filled with laughter and joy and shared cups of coffee that I didn’t even know I needed. Most days, it’s a little bit of both.
I’m still unsure of what’s ahead for me after this service year ends. That’s part of the reason I’m here in the first place. But I’m learning to admit to God that “I don’t know” and trust in His plan for me.