I still can remember the very moment I received an email stating that I was officially a part of the LV program. I was sitting with friends and screamed when I read the word, “Congratulations!” That was the only word that I needed to see to assure me that God had, yet again, opened another door for me. Around that time, I was still trying to figure out who I was and how I would continue to be the difference and not just make one. I was still trying to figure that out with commencement only two months away. Great time to try to figure that out, right? Then I had to remember that nothing ever worked on my time. It always worked on His time. All that I can do now is reflect on my faith, service, and community that I experienced for the last two years.
I had enough faith to trust God and let Him lead me to where He needed me to be. I served in Minnesnowta for two whole years and had the opportunity to mentor and coach some amazing and unique students. Within those two years, I communed with over ten different strangers under one roof. The Real World had nothing on us! And now as I think about our Debriefing theme relating to adventures, I think about how that journey was not easy. This year, I found it even harder to complete my mission. There were so many times when I thought about packing it in and moving back home because I felt that I could no longer endure what possibly could have been the biggest struggles I have ever experienced in my life. But as I once stated earlier, I grew from it all. The struggle was not difficult. Growing from it was the hardest part.
It took me to get away from what I was so comfortable in doing. I had to move thousands of miles away from home to actually find myself. People might find it cliché for others to always say that they had to move away to find out who they were as a person, but I can back that statement. It takes moving away from people and things that you are familiar with to actually discover who you are in the world. It is like you have to reintroduce yourself all over again. Whether you decide to change yourself or stay the same, just know that you have the opportunity to do things differently just by saying yes to something new.
Because of that, I finally found Antwa’nae Briars. And what I found was that I truly am in love with the person I am today, and I owe this new found love to the Lasallian Volunteers. No one ever said that this job would be easy, but no one said that it was impossible to complete it either. Faith taught me to never let go of it. Service taught me to never give up. Community taught me to never leave my food in the refrigerator without labeling it. I thank the program for renewing me, and I thank everyone that has come into my life to help make that change. I especially thank my 14-15 and 15-16 LV cohorts. Each and every one of you are my heroes. And even though I am complete with this particular journey, I know that I am nowhere finished.
Antwa’nae Briars is a 2nd year LV serving at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a 2014 graduate of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee.