The workshop I am presenting with another Charis Ministries colleague at the Jesuit Collaborative Conference this week is titled, “Waiting in Hope: Accompanying Young Adults Through Transitions.” As a young adult, I understand in a very real way the multitude of transitions young adults go through in a short period of time. I have lived through many major life transitions in the last 10 years, and I watch daily my friends and my peers go through many transitions themselves.
The question I am asked often by others in a period of transition (whether planned or unplanned) is, “How do I hold on to hope in this time of change?” There is not always an easy, cookie-cutter response to this; however, there are a few prayer tools that have sustained me through the years, many that were taught to me by wise Ignatian friends and mentors.
The one I find myself turning to during my current transition is a take on the “Mirror in the Field” reflection in Fr. Joseph Tetlow‘s guide to the Spiritual Exercises, Choosing Christ in the World. In this reflection, we are invited to view a mirror in the field that “throws all its light from its heart,” and we are invited to consider how God throws all of his light to us. I often imagine myself standing in front of the mirror or at times imagine myself lying on a beach absorbing every ounce of light that is being thrown my way. Even when I want to pull the dark, uncertain, challenging spots of my transition away from the light, I remain completely open to receiving the light from God. I imagine God bringing light to the unknown, scary pieces of my transition.
Praying with this image does not give me answers right then, but it so often brings me an increase of faith, hope, and love. This prayer is one that remains in my back pocket when I need help waiting in hope. Every time I pray this prayer, I am thankful for the wise, Ignatian mentor that shared it with me and taught me how to pray with my imagination. Many of you who read dotMagis are wise mentors for those in their 20s and 30s. Know that your impact, wisdom, and mentorship are gifts to us during the many transitions we face!
How do you wait in hope in times of transition or uncertainty? What tools would you teach a young adult going through a transition?