Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Daisy House

Ten years ago three of my best friends in the whole world and I finished up a novena to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and we had no idea what God would do with our prayer intention...

It was a year or so post-graduating college, and we were sort of settling into our new lives as "young adults." At least as much as you can settle into that transitional part of life when you don't know exactly what or where your vocation is. We were three girls and a great guy who had known each other for varying amounts of time, but had become nearly automatic friends. Jose was from Illinois, Lisa from eastern Kansas, and Kim and I (though we had grown up in the area) didn't really get to know each other until our senior year of college far from the city where we were now trying to make our way. By the grace of God, we four became friends. Friends with a common purpose.

So when we all began to read The Story of a Soul (the autobiography of St. Thérèse), and at the same time, Kim, Lisa, and I became roommates in our newly-rented little blue house, Jose suggested we pray a novena leading up to her feast day. St. Thérèse always wanted to be a simple daisy in the garden of life. She didn't desire to be the most beautiful or most popular... she lived a simple way.  And so we named our house "The Daisy House" to honor her. She is also known for sending roses from heaven as the Lord answers prayers. So as the intention in our novena, we prayed for a bouquet of friendships. And, wow, did the Lord work!

Before we could even think, our little blue house became the hub of Catholic young adult activity in our city. We had parties, prayer gatherings, "cozy Sundays," and a revolving door of people through the place we called home. We encountered some of the most amazing people. Many of them were searching, just as we were, for their vocations. Some were lost. Some were struggling. Some were just beautiful little lights.

God sent varied personalities to our little blue house. And, of course, with a slew of 20-somethings hanging out, things weren't always rosy and great. We definitely had moments of being utterly stressed out. There was usually some drama happening somewhere in our Catholic community. But overall, we were living out lives showered in grace. And the Lord kept sending more and more souls to our doorway. We were but instruments in His hands, and many times we felt unworthy... overwhelmed... even attacked. But always He held us up and reminded us to turn to Him.

In that short 21 months of living in the Daisy House, the Lord shaped me in ways I cannot even put into words. I learned so much about myself. I fell in love with Andrew. I made friends who would be by my side 10 years later. Friends that I still cherish even though life has changed so much since those carefree days of young adulthood, and I don't get to see them as much anymore. The Daisy House and all of the people I encountered living there will always be a major part of my life story.

Ten years ago three of my best friends in the whole world and I finished up a novena to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and we had no idea what God would do with our prayer intention... And tomorrow, on the 10 year anniversary of the first time I prayed this novena to St. Thérèse, I will continue to thank Him for the beauty that was and is the Daisy House.