Look with hope to God


“To every thing, Turn, turn, turn,
There is a season, turn, turn, turn,
And a time to every purpose under heaven!”*

(By Fran Buelow as told to Cheryl Brogla Krupke)

I feel as if I just get my feet on the ground and then life throws me a curve ball — a challenge, a season which, in the past, I felt unprepared to handle. The Called and Gifted experience has given me a way to see beyond the season and to look with hope towards the turn that God has planned for me.


The seasons of grace in my life have been so numerous; however, many times I did not recognize them as being special. My parents relocated multiple times and the first thing they would do is locate a Catholic parish and enroll us in a Catholic school. I was confirmed when I was in the fourth grade; we moved again when I was entering sixth and eighth grade and both times the new parish held confirmation that year, so I got to experience the class again. The Holy Spirit was preparing me for a closer relationship with him later in life.


I experienced a point in my life when I knew my faith was within, but I was going through a period of hopelessness on the outside. I felt so strongly that I needed to be more active in my faith; on the other hand, when would I have time to do one more thing? Following a difficult divorce, I was a single parent after 18 years of marriage and working two jobs to support my family. How would I have time for any church activities working 50-60 hours a week, including nights and weekends?

Enduring this season in my life was tough. Juggling the incoming money with the unpaid bills was a challenge.
Life was still challenging me. I lost one of my jobs! Angels disguised as simply good friends came into my life through the Called and Gifted class at Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton. These individuals have become my prayer partners and a support group when I need them! I feel the Holy Spirit guided this turn, for which I am so grateful.
This renewed faith in God through the Called and Gifted experience gave me a new beginning. God placed me in a position at Ashford University in Clinton, where I have felt so blessed. Through the Called and Gifted program, my discerned gifts were encouragement and hospitality. I feel strongly that the Holy Spirit has given me the opportunity to be a foster mother or grandmother to the international students and young people far away from home.

The seasons of my life continue to require placing my trust in God. I was recently diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and shortly after that shock Ashford University an­nounced that it will be closing its doors. For my past seasons, I recognize that God was present and has never let me down. It is only Our Lord who knows what the upcoming season will be. I must trust him so that I’ll be ready for the next turn.

The Called and Gifted experience has been a builder of hope. Because of this class, I have been introduced to spirituality beyond words, an enlightened way to view my challenges and a renewed faith in the Holy Spirit that has carried me through some tough times. I learned that I have a purpose and have been given gifts to share with those in my parish community and in my workplace.

“To every thing, turn, turn, turn,
There is a season, turn, turn, turn,
And a time to every purpose under heaven!*
* The lyrics to this song sung by the Byrds are taken from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

(For information about beginning a Called and Gifted program in your parish, please contact Nikki Gartner at jngartner@ aol.com or call (563) 370-3360.)

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