Having recently been finally professed, Sr. Philomena Akubueze Nnaji shares some thoughts on her formation journey.
“The journey of a thousand miles they say, begins with a step. I took my first step into the Postulancy of the Religious Sisters of Charity on 26th July 2010 and my life has never remained the same. The God of Surprises has met me with gifts at every turn of my journey.
I started this journey unsure of myself and what the future held but one thing I could boast of at that time was a desire for serving God and a feeling that God has called me. How to translate these into something concrete remained the big question.
Psalm 23 verse 1 appealed to me at the earliest stage of my journey because I felt I needed a guiding hand/presence. Where else could I have found this guidance except in Jesus who called me. Jesus the Good Shepherd became my guide, friend and companion in this daunting journey.
Talking about gifts, my first gift was the gift of prayer. Prayer used to be my means of asking for favours and it continued this way for a while. Gradually, I began to open myself up to other experiences and ways of being with the master. I am grateful to have experienced prayer as the oil which lubricates the engine of my relationship with God loving touch and as a challenging presence.
The gift of companions on the journey is something I appreciate and cherish. I am grateful to have experienced companions who are models that I can look up to, companions who pruned me and those who made the labour light with love. Some have been with me from the start of this journey while others passed by briefly. In all, I am grateful for the falls and the learned lessons, the challenges and the growth, the tears and laughter which the God of Surprises has blessed me with.
The gift of the mission must not be overlooked. The God of Surprises pointed out a land to which I must go. I embraced this gift somewhat reluctantly but like many other gifts, it has proved to be a valuable experience, challenging me to move out of my comfort zone and look beyond myself.
It was a humbling experience to unwrap the gift of humility. My world seemed to crash into a thousand pieces. I was struck down to my knees, brought down by illness. The guiding Shepherd held my hand and said “Fear not, I am with you” once again a deeper understanding was granted me – unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain.
At every twist and turn of this journey the guiding shepherd has blessed me with gifts and treasures too numerous to count. As I stand at the threshold of another stage of this journey, I hold on to the Good Shepherd and to the God of surprises as I say a final “YES”.”