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Be Not Afraid

Spring season is the season for gardening. For me, gardening was not on the list of my favorite things to do in my childhood. When we came to this country, my parents loved gardening and planting Vietnamese veggies during the summer. However, I did not join them just because I feared worms.  Whenever I saw a worm, I felt chilled and panicked.

Blog by Sr. Maidung Nguyen, OP

After moving to a convent, I saw sisters taking care of indoor plants and decided to join them. I enjoyed touching the leaves, looking at the flowers, and talking to the plants, and this ritual became my daily meditation hobby. Gradually, my passion for gardening began to emerge.

I imagined my garden with pretty flowers and veggies. However, I was still very scared of worms and panicked whenever I saw a tiny worm in a garden or indoor pot. I did not dare to work in the garden to stir the soil for planting because I was afraid of seeing and touching any worms. Even though I realized that worms caused no harm to me, I had difficulty accepting the presence of these worms and struggled with what to do about this fear.  I asked myself, “Why do I allow this fear to control my hobby and passion?”

To overcome this fear, I decided to garden by taking little steps. In the beginning, while shoveling soil, if I saw a giant worm, I left that spot and moved to another spot. With time, I could stay in the spot where I saw a worm, aware of its existence, and keep working. Even though I am still scared of worms, my fear has lessened, and I enjoy working in the garden. Gardening has now become my summer hobby. Beyond being a hobby, gardening helps me deepen my spirituality and broaden my relationship with God, giving me ways to praise God more wholly and joyfully. 

Each of us has some uncontrolled fears. One fear might be pursuing a vocation call and not knowing what to do about it. As faithful people, we must overcome our fears, move out of our comfort zone, and allow the seed of God’s call to take root.  With each step we take to nurture and accept this call, the richer the soil will be for unearthing how God calls us. 

To help you overcome your fears about religious life, we invite you to join us at one of our vocation events, such as our Mission for Peace program, May 31-June 4, in Columbus, Ohio.  You can come to test the soil by taking time to pray, work, play, and build community with us. Click here for more information about this program and to register.  You can also learn more about our community by visiting our vocation webpage

Know that you are not journeying alone but with God and those on the journey.  Be not afraid to take the first step.  We are here to help you with your journey.  Feel free to contact us.

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