Faith Story – Heather Borchardt

Faith Story – Heather BorchardtBorchardt family

 

I’m a mother of three busy kids ages 9 through 17.  I’m a wife.  I’m a daughter of aging parents.  I’m a sister.  I’m an aunt, a niece, and a Godmother.  I’m a friend.  I’m a physical therapist.  I’m a teacher, a student, a coach, and an athlete.  I’m a parishioner of Holy Apostles.  I’m a volunteer.  I’m a child of God.  I’m a Christian, a disciple of Christ.  So what does all that mean?  What defines who I am?  Like you, I wear many hats.  The challenge is to decide how much time to spend in each hat.  This is my biggest struggle.

 

I have been a life-long Catholic, confirmed years ago in the 8th grade, but only recently have I come to appreciate my faith.  My parents made sure I was grounded in Catholic tradition.  We went to church every Sunday without fail, and I continued to do so even in college.  And I prayed, most days, usually for help or guidance, and was thankful to God when things went well.  But my bible was as new as the day I received it years ago.  That wasn’t something we did as a family.  We heard bible readings at church, and the priest summarized those for us in the homily.  And that was that, until next Sunday.  I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

 

For years, I lived according to an agenda, a list of things to do.  And most days, I never felt that I accomplished half of what I expected to.  I’d go to bed, exhausted, with a list already set for the next day.  And I’d wake up and repeat…day after day…spinning my wheels...unsure of where I was even headed.  I was just treading water, staying afloat, enjoying what I could, and wishing away the struggles that faced me every day.  Many days it was a pattern of “if only” and “what if.”  I was missing something, but just could never put a finger on it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I had many days filled with joy and blessings.  I was enjoying life.  I had a wonderful family, a loving husband, a good life.  But I kept wanting things to be better.  I was restless.  And I didn’t know how to fix it.

 

Then along came an invitation to Vista.  As a family, it was our first introduction to faith sharing beyond the church walls.  The Spirit was awakened inside of me.  It fanned the flame.  Our relationships with other faith-filled people grew, and we were welcomed into an extended family of sorts.  Sunday morning Mass became a bit more personal as we celebrated the Eucharist with people we had come to love.  It fostered that feeling of community…so many more familiar faces now as our eyes scanned the pews.  Serving in other ministries somehow became less like an obligation, and more like a desire, an opportunity to meet even more people, and build more relationships.

 

And then came another invitation to join a small group of other parishioners to learn about being intentional disciples.  As we dove into scripture and explored how Jesus may be calling each of us at this moment, I began to discover a more personal Jesus.  I found myself seeking him more and more every day.  My prayer habit was evolving from a timed 15 minutes to sometimes close to an hour.  I realized, through small group, that God longs to be with us, to love on us, and to be loved in return.  My greatest discovery was that no love is meant to be a one-way street.  The most fulfillment in a loving relationship of any kind (including our relationship with God) is when both participate in the exchange of love.  It is a mystery to me how God can gain anything from me, but if He can, how could I deny that time for him.  And so my prayer time is my most treasured time of the day.  It is sacred.  It brings my day into focus.  It eases my anxiety.  It reminds me that I am not in control.  And as I release that control, I feel free.  This is the hat I long to never take off.

 

Small group was a game changer for me, and my husband, Tim.  Our marriage was strengthened and steered back on course, and our household became a bit more peaceful and directed.  It has become easier to set priorities.  Learning the habits of discipleship and living them has given me a new perspective on life, a clearer picture of where God is calling me.  I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I now know that I don’t need the answer.  I just need to trust Jesus and surrender to his will for my life.  And I know that I will always have my fellow disciples to continue to walk the journey.

 

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Last Published: December 28, 2017 1:34 PM
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