I am currently earning my Master’s Degree in Social Work. This past year was spent studying hard, writing papers, and interning a few days each week at the Fan Free Clinic. My patients were all HIV positive and they had unique perspectives on their lives and their chronic illness. I was intimidated at first by the intensity of the setting I was walking into, but as I worked with these patients, I saw God in each and every one of them. They told me about their life journeys, many speaking of their faith in God and how this has gotten them through difficult times of illness, poverty, and abuse. I was reminded that I was now a part of their journeys, that God put me in their lives for a reason, and that I had been given the opportunity to impact their lives in a positive way. As one of my patients told me about the day his mother passed away, he described talking to God about his fear of losing his mother and his own fear of dying. I was then reminded of the personal nature of our relationships with God. Any time we are struggling, we can talk to God to release our feelings of fear, anger, or anxiety. God has a plan for each of us, he connects us with one another for a reason, he is always ready to listen, and in this I find peace.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

by Emily Phillips