I embarked on the journey on Wednesday, August 12th, 2020, at 2:09 pm when I landed at Newark International Airport, greeted by the fantastic Lauren Borowick, who has been on this journey with me since the summer of 2019. We had surface-level conversations from to time, but this adventure to the CASA was different. It felt like I was one of the disciples in the boat with Jesus Christ when He spoke the words “Peace Be Still.” I felt that Peace Be Still present in Lauren’s vehicle as we discuss the past year of our lives and what life was like during the first half of the pandemic. You never know whom God will bring to your table. I did not think Lauren would be a part of my table because she is a staff member with the Center for FaithJustices. So, I took down my wall and built a long-lasting friendship. I welcomed her to the Jermaine table when every fiber in my body wanted the wall to stay up. Often time, we must make the sacrifice to tear our walls down to build something beautiful.
Even though I am building something beautiful, it comes with its trial and tribulations of life.
For the first half of the journey, it was discovering Catholic Charities. I fully did not understand the magnitude of Catholic Charities until I walk in the door of the Central Administrative Office. As I enter the facilities, Joyce Thompson greeted me and Stephanie Peddicord, the President of the Center for FaithJustice. Following that greeting, I encounter another greeting my Mary Forlano, whom I believe is a superhero. These two individuals have made the journey smooth as possible. I will miss walking in those doors and seeing those two beautiful faces. Words cannot describe the journey, but I’m thankful for other passengers who rode the journey beside me. These two are why I stayed when I want to give up and travel back to Florida.
If I can leave you with anything, please celebrate the individuals God brings into your life. You may see them as a curse, but there are a blessing in disguise. You must be willing to observe from Christ’s lens instead of your own. It may cause some discomfort, but it will produce new friendships, a new voyage, a new narrative, new communities, and a new beacon of light you have never seen before.
It all about “Trusting in the Lord with all your heart, and leaning not to your understanding, but acknowledge Him in all your way and He shall direct your path” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
You are observing someone who has allows the Lord to direct his path as I embrace the new.
– Jermaine Clark