Internship Final Reflections, 2016

January 6, 2017 at 18:33

His Mansion

What have you learned about yourself during your internship experience?

“I have become more aware of the fact that all my life I have not been satisfied with having God.”

“I have learned that I need to work on responding quickly to situation of tension. I realized that I often take time to think before responding. While this is by no means a bad quality, some situations demand an immediate response which I have realized I am reluctant to give due to my fear of making mistakes.”

“I have come to recognize that I struggle with shame and that much of my shame comes from a place of previous struggles with being seen and subsequently being condemned, either by myself or by those around me. For the first time in my life, I no longer fear condemnation when other see and know my flaws and my sins.”

“I knew that I put a lot of value in how much work I can get done and how needed/useful I am by and to others. Often times I didn’t feel very useful or needed or that I was making much of a difference in the lives around me. God used this to show me that it’s not about what I can do but simply the act of obeying him and being present with others that is glorifying and pleasing to him.”

How has your view of God grown during your time at His Mansion?

“The truths I have often sang of how God satisfies my every need or of how He is more than enough have become more of a reality for me, and I have found myself content in uncomfortable or frustrating situations.”

“I have grown in my understanding and ability to be responsible for others. There have been moments in which I have had to speak the truth in love to someone. I was hesitant to do so before because I knew of potential dangers of attempting to do so without knowing a person well….However, I realized that much of my reluctance to speak the truth in love has come from my fear of making mistakes….”

“I have also grown in my ability to balance gentleness and firmness, striving to find where justice and mercy kiss, for the betterment of others.”

“Jesus has given me freedom in recognizing how desperately I need him. I so quickly run to other sources of identity when all along all I’ve needed is my Heavenly Father. He has given me the desire to declare how much I need him — a desire I’ve never experienced before in such an extreme way.”

How have you grown as a result of your service at His Mansion?

“I have become more aware of what God may be calling me to do with the rest of my life. I have found in myself a deep desire to serve those struggling with mental illness and addiction, particularly in the context of the Church and in the context of Christian ministry.”

“This internship has taught me a lot about being more comfortable with confrontation, in both giving and receiving it. Rather than feeling threatened by it, I have grown to recognize it as being seen and loved by another person.”

“Overall I feel as though I am a much more whole person than when I first arrived here. I have looked at some of the deepest kinds of pains here, but I have also experienced real joy in ways that I haven’t in a really long time. In fact, before coming here I hardly ever genuinely laughed, but I have laughed more this summer than I have in years.”

“As I think about my time here, I’m reminded of the scene from ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas,’ in which the Grinch’s heart, which has become small and grey, finally grows and becomes three sizes too big. Cheesy metaphor, I know, but it’s a really good image of how God has been changing my heart this summer.”

“I learned and grew much this summer. I have a clearer picture of what it means to love and care for others. I have experienced love, purpose, and meaning in my communion with God. I have begun to treasure Christ above competing idols. I have begun to entrust God with my future. I was cared for and supported well. The ministry did a good job of integrating me into the community and giving me opportunity to serve.”

What was the most significant challenge for you during your experience?

“As cliche as it may sound, the most significant challenge for me has been placing my identity in Christ and not in my experiences — whether they be good or bad. In my struggle to do so, I have been called to let go of many things I had been holding onto for quite some time.”

“One of the most significant challenges for me this summer included coming face to face with the ways in which I look to other people to tell me that I have value.”

“Managing my own work crews was one of the most challenging and formative experiences — watching over and caring for the Residents and managing their work became my responsibility, and I had to learn to confront others and take a more assertive approach to leadership. It’s where I gained the most confidence in my role in the ministry as well.”

“Being told to focus on ‘just being’ more than always ‘doing’ was a pretty significant challenge for me. Often when told that I’m not acting in a way that is good, my first response is to try harder, or immediately look for ways I can improve, so as to quickly fix the situation. I’ve come to be more aware of how my actions flow from my heart, and that my heart is the first place that needs to change.”