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When You're Scared: Finding Comfort

Earlier this January, I stayed at the River House in Monroe, MI as I was hosted as a leader for a day of creative reflection and growth. This day served IHM Sisters, associates and community members. I was honestly excited to see Sister Paula again, but little did I know she would be the one to greet me as I arrived to Riverhouse.

If you could imagine old friends greeting one another with hugs that is how it was with Sister Paula when I realized it was her emerging from the dark Friday night I drove in to welcome me. I had only met Sister Paula one other time over lunch at another event I led at the Dominican Center in Grand Rapids, MI but you would never know it by the way I clung onto a familiar face in the embrace of a hug.

When I drove up to the house, honestly, the first thing I thought was...

Whoa this is a big house there better not be any spirits in this thing.

After Sister Paula so graciously welcomed me to her home for an unexpected dinner of pizza and mixed berry pie with her house mate and dog, I realized I had to make my way back this house in the dark. I could not be more grateful for the welcome I received in an unexpected space. When I entered the large empty house where I learned Priests once stayed I quickly dead bolted the door and walked around not going down into the basement, or stairs or opening other doors. After making some tea I spent my evening sitting in a way that I could face my bedroom door, which was attached to an art room.

I noticed in that space there were art materials, my favorite combination of tea (peppermint and Meijer’s decaf green tea that I drink three cups every night) and books. I gazed through the books and saw two names I was familiar with- Shaun McNiff and Pat Allen. Books I had read in graduate school and people I have met in person and had breakfast with in the past. I laughed and thought how could I be scared- I’m among friends.