I am a college student; I only go home for 1 week at a time, except for Christmas. This summer won't be an exception. I will have exactly 7 days at home between the end of finals and the day I leave again. 1 week to see my parents, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, my friends who go to school in other states. 1 week to pack. 1 week to eat home-cooked meals. 1 week to prepare for what will most likely be the most life-changing time of my life.
I'm going to be gone for birthdays galore: my dad's, niece's, my own, my brother's, brother-in-law's, aunt's, sister-in-law's and 3 close friend's. 4th of July won't be spent at a cookout with family and fireworks at the military base with 6 other families. I'll miss our kinda-annual Red Sox vs. Nationals game. I'll miss my nephews' baseball and football games, my nieces' soccer games, and my other niece's dance shows. I'll be gone for the Church picnic. I won't get to spend random days with my nieces and nephews, or have coffee dates with my sister, or scrapbook nights with my sister-in-law. My reading will consist of the Bible, liturgy of the hours, 3 books, and some pro-life pamphlets. My bedroom will be shared with 5 other girls, and my bed will be a sleeping bag. I'll accept donations for my meals.
By this time, I know precisely what you're thinking: "Why the heck is she doing this if she's gonna miss out on so many things that mean so much to her?" Let me tell you.
I'm doing this because of the friendships I'll make.
I'm doing this because I'll see so much of the country.
I'm doing this to go outside my comfort zone.
I'm doing this to grow in my faith and trust.
But most importantly, I'm walking this summer for those who will never have the chance to walk. I'll breathe the air of 14 states for those who won't breathe outside the womb. I'll pray for those who have no one else to pray for them.
I am standing for those who are helpless.
And that makes everything else worth it.