Jennifer Caswell 2019-20 Intern
I’m thankful for the catalyst that the Erēmos Internship has been in my life, facili-tating leadership development and personal growth. Erēmos has also been the ground in which my relationship with Jesus and my relationships with others have been further cultivated.
I started the internship with a limited understanding of what it would be like. I desired deeper relationships, deeper healing, and I was also seeking a better un-derstanding of future ministry. If I’m honest, I imagined the typical and worldly portrayal of internships: I was about to get used for all I’m worth, burdened by unreasonable demands that would either “make me” or “break me” …
Thank God my imagination was misguided! Erēmos has been a grace-saturated training ground. The books, assignments, and service opportunities have stretched me, offered new perspectives, and challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. I was instructed, challenged, mentored, encouraged, held accountable, and loved. Being loved has made it a safe space for growth, even when growth has felt painful and uncomfortable.
One area where growth has been most painful has been relationships. From boundaries to conflict resolution to avoiding emotional dependency, healthy relationships take work (and humility!), but they are invaluable. I’ve spent many years avoiding conflicts and abandoning relationships that required defining boundaries. I’m really thankful that God has brought me to a place of stepping into conflicts, communicating boundaries, and practicing grace. The value of relationships outweighs the uncomfortable and painful work. All of my relation-ships in my life have benefited from what I’ve learned in Erēmos.
The other big takeaway is a new way of processing emotions. I’ve learned to look deep at what is in me and why it’s there, of course with the help of my Papa Father God. He patiently and gently heals and redeems.