Strength in Community
When I think about all the blessings that Theresians has showered on my life, strength flows through it all. For a woman who grew up with four brothers and no sisters, I learned quickly to latch on to my mother, female cousins, aunts, grandmother for my community of women. There was never a void of love and wisdom in my large family, and the strength of the women is still very prominent in our family relationships.
Because my mother modeled Theresians and friendships when I was growing up, I always thought it was not only amazing that she had so many friends (and still does), but also that it was important that she reach out beyond busy motherhood to be in community of women. She valued the spiritual strength that a woman could only get through female friendships and sharing.
I have always valued my friendships with women. For the first 40 years of my life, my friendships with girlfriends were strong and always fulfilling. After I started my family, my Theresian community became the spiritual strength I didn't know I needed. It opened my eyes to the spiritual paths of others and allowed me to find comfort in my own.
Community is belonging. It is a safe haven from the chaos of everyday life. There is strength in numbers within a community of Theresians. Women 'gathered in His name' becomes a catch-all for our spirituality, our hurts, our desires, our strengths and our weaknesses. The community becomes the ears who hear me, the friends who do the heavy lifting when I am down. My dreams are shared, my heart is encouraged to prosper, and my mind is encouraged to accept what is. Grief when going through loss or during difficult times is lessened by the caress of my community of girlfriends.
This doesn't just apply to my local community, but to the Theresian organization as a whole. I have been strengthened spiritually by just being together with my Theresian sisters whether it be here in the USA or internationally. These women are friends that will last my lifetime. They make sense of what's real and important. In a world that seems to be in crisis, the strength of community brings joy and length to all our years.