Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Monday 15 September 2014

My GCN-Leaving Obituary. Also published under the title, ‘An Honour? Seriously??’ by Charis Willey

If you have any inclination toward joining the Good Counsel Intern Programme Charis' blog should give you a picture of what it's like, warts and all!

 So, under intense pressure from Clare in the shape of threats to withdraw my good reference and just general messages every couple of days telling me to sit down and do it, and (most recently) the declaration that God told her I have to, I have sat down to write my leaving blog. Here it is, so grab a cuppa, kick back and relax, and read my scrawl!

   When I left Good Counsel Network, I was told by a member of staff who shall remain nameless that it had been a great honour for me to be there and that everyone had done very well to put up with me for all that time (that person knows who they are and I saw the perfect sign for them the other day which read: ‘The National Sarcasm Society: like we need your help’ ;) ), and that, in a nutshell, is the essence of my time at Good Counsel. It was indeed a great honour to stand outside abortion ‘clinics’ for hours on end in the blistering heat and freezing cold rain (Not simultaneously. Except sometimes). Oh, and did I mention to get shouted at by random passers-by? And ignored by most of the others?

   And I was humbled with joy at the honour of getting up at stupid o’clock in the morning to make the long journey from the intern house to the vigil in time for eight. And at participating in two 40 Days for Life campaigns where basically for a month and a half of your life you get almost no sleep, spend hours travelling to vigil sites, develop ear strain and thumb twitches from pleading with volunteers by call and text to come pray, develop abnormal eating patterns, and then you collapse at the end. Only to start a 'normal' (i.e.all-year-round  -ed) vigil again at eight the next day.
   And it was an honour to have to calculate whether you can actually afford to buy a coffee to get warm after a winter vigil shift because £60/week can disappear fast in London! (But the good news is I discovered that if you go to the same Pret often enough you get free coffee sometimes . J ) So what on earth possessed me to stay for a year, a whole nine extra months when I only came for three??

    Because it was an honour to get to walk mothers through a difficult time in their lives. To help mothers who have had abortions towards healing. And it was an honour to get to hold the babies who otherwise wouldn’t be there. To be a part of the story of people whose lives are going to change the world somehow just because they got the chance to live. It was an honour to get to daily Mass and Adoration. It was an honour to get to know people at the vigil, in the office, and even on their way into an abortion centre before they changed their minds, who I can honestly say are the most inspiring and amazing people I ever met or maybe ever will. It was an honour to be part of the Good Counsel family and forge friendships I know will last a lifetime.

   It was an honour to learn to love the rosary like never before—praying it for hours outside the ‘clinics’ each day and then the intern rosary in the evening changes you! It was an honour to live by faith when there was no money left and yet you knew that this was God’s work and somehow He was going to provide what was needed. And to grow in every way beyond what you thought you ever would by doing things you never thought you could (Organising and MC-ing for an event Lila Rose was speaking at, seriously?!). It was an honour in uncountable ways to be part of the mission at Good Counsel for a time and I know that it has changed me for the good in so many ways (and hopefully knocked years off my time in purgatory!).

   On the putting up with me front, well, I would have said it was the other way round..! But maybe I can’t really comment on the subject of putting up with myself from someone else’s point of view; it’s something slightly outside my range of experience. Maybe it’s because I was always late for everything… Or would start ‘just one more job’ as everyone was trying to close the office and go home for the evening… Or procrastinate endlessly about things… Or would grumble loudly about going to vigils…

    However, leaving such issues to one side, my three-months-that-became-a-year at Good Counsel is now over and I’m away doing other things. What did I actually achieve? Nothing that earth shaking; I just played a small part in a small organisation that’s saving lives one mother and baby at a time. Basically, I am a drop in the ocean, but, as Mother Teresa said, the ocean would be missing something without my drop. So yes, if you were wondering about going to a vigil or joining the intern programme, you should! It will be the hardest and best thing you ever do. So let’s all be drops that will build into a deluge and turn our country and our world PRO-LIFE! I can tell you, it is an honour.
For more information on joining the intern programme email us at fredathome2@yahoo.co.uk and see our website.


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