Yesterday I had my orientation with the SCNs, a wonderful day in which I learned more about the SCN's history and constitution, shared a meal, shared prayer, and was blessed by the community at mass. The blessing at mass was beautiful and humbling, as were the kind words of those who approached me after mass. Once again, the tears were flowing.
After mass I was asked, "Don't you feel loved?" And my answer was this: during this whole process of preparation, I have felt loved.
There have been times in my life when I have felt very lonely. I was talking to a young man a few days ago who is going through a hard time and he said that sometimes, even when he is in the middle of a group of people, he feels completely alone. I assured him that he is not the only person who has ever felt that way and that I have certainly gone through similar times. I assured him that those feelings will pass, and that even if he may not be aware of it, he is definitely not alone.
For me, now is a time when I am continually seeing just how not-alone I am. Along with the beautiful blessing at mass yesterday, I have had the great pleasure of being at several gatherings (and still have a few more coming up!) of friends, long-time and more recent, who have gathered to wish me well and send me off. A few people have given me gifts, cards, and small tokens, all of which are appreciated, none of which were necessary or expected.
Seeing how many quite remarkable people have taken time just to wish me well has been humbling. Were it not for so many of them leading me, walking next to me, and sometimes even pushing or pulling me forward, I would not be where I am. I would not be who I am. The physical gifts I have received recently have been wonderful, but they are simply reminders that I am not alone. They are reminders of the true blessings in my life: the many people who have enriched it.