Written by Xiomara Munoz, Program Assistant at The Northwest Center
As I reflect on this year of service, one word continues to encapsulate my emotions: gratitude.
I’m so thankful for my time working as a Program Assistant at the Northwest Center. This year has been filled with practicing accompaniment, witnessing joy and hope and walking with mothers who face immense difficulties, but who remain resilient and brave in the face of these challenges.
One of my favorite memories from a conversation I had with a client was when she was opening up with me about the joys and struggles of motherhood. She shared how she had really surprised herself by her own resilience as a new mom. She paused midway through the conversation and seemed to be thinking out loud as she reflected, “You know, I’m stronger than I think.” I felt empowered just listening to her embrace her own strength. For me, that’s the beauty of accompaniment; basking in a strength unveiled.
Sometimes it’s difficult, sometimes the moms don’t see their strength right away, sometimes the daily challenges that they’re up against seem a little less conquerable. But I’ve learned that this too is the beauty of accompaniment; being there to remind the moms that their strength is there, yet unveiled, but still, undoubtedly, there.
I’ve been inspired day in and day out, by the moms who come to the center and also by the staff and their dedication and service to each and every one of our clients. Again, it’s the beauty of a strength and compassion that gives without counting the cost.
Thank you to the moms who have been more inspiring to me than they’ll know. For their courage in vulnerability and for how they have exemplified the strength of a mother’s self-sacrificing love.
Thank you to the staff and volunteers who never failed to give their all. I’ve been encouraged and uplifted by their commitment to a holistic approach to caring for all life. Thank you for all the hidden ways you’ve given of yourself.
I’m overcome with gratitude that I could be a witness to authentic accompaniment, to hope, and to the promise of unveiled strength that new life and motherhood always brings. What a gift this year has been and all I can say is, thank you.
This reflection was written by Xiomara Munoz, who served the past twelve months as The Northwest Center’s Pregnancy Center Program Assistant during her volunteer year with the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps.