I still turn my head when I hear someone calling out "Sister!"
When I sit down, I still brush my hand against the back of my legs to smooth out the habit that isn't there.
One morning, when clocking in to work, I momentarily panicked, realizing I didn't put on my coiffe (veil) that morning.
I still use the first-person plural ("we", "us", "our") when referring to the Daughters.
Some of these will fade with time, I know. Some of them are laughable and some I wish would just go away already. But five years of building rituals, identity, and traditions is a long time.
It was five years ago yesterday that I officially became a postulant with the Daughters and received my postulant Miraculous Medal. Usually I'm meticulously (and annoyingly) good at remembering dates but postulancy slipped me by until Facebook reminded me. It was a stark reminder of what has changed, what is changing, and what will remain the same.
And there is one thing, however, that I pray never fades away.
I pray that I always see Christ in front of me, especially in the poor.
I pray that saints like Vincent, Louise, Elizabeth Ann, Catherine, Rosalie and the rest always inspire me.
...that, like all of them, I see God in the events, even in the painful ones, and it changes me all for the good.I pray that I shake things up - both for the world and myself.
I pray that I understand the importance of friends, as Elizabeth Ann did, and the beauty of their differences.
I pray that I live a life worthy enough that God says at the end "well done, faithful daughter".
But when I'm in my office meeting with a client and wish they could see the God I see in them,
but when I feel compelled to educate about some coming legislation affecting our ministry,
but when I smile on my way home thinking yes, the pieces are coming together,
I realize that yes, I will always be Vincentian.
My letters to St. Vincent, St. Louise and the rest would be different today than they were five years ago, But that's okay. They grew...and I'm growing too.
And just as Vincent told Louise centuries ago, it's all going to be okay, I just need to trust.