I’m Limited.

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Huddled close together, trying to forget the cold with a warm cup of Milo, they swapped life stories. The young woman looked up at her and marveled at how beautiful she was. Face lined with smiles and worries, skin darkened from the sun, contrasted by the jewel sparkle of her eyes, she recounted how she had wrestled with God and how He had still won her heart in the end. “It made me realize how limited I am. In ability, in time, in love…”

NET / Life in 2014 I’m an accountant, so of course I’m gonna play the numbers game. According to our trusty statisticians (who had a really hard service, thanks stats guys!), my awesome team encountered over 3,000 young people, ran retreats at 24 different schools (around 35 retreats), visited 21 different parishes (75 youth group visits in one year!), facilitated many events with the Melbourne Archdiocese, drove thousands of kilometres throughout Victoria, consumed a dozen home-made chapatti dinners, watched two and a half seasons of Dr. Who, had seven different team mates in one incredible year. There is just so much that happened in one year that it feels like much longer than a year, yet it flew by as if it was only a few months. Numbers aren’t sufficient… You don’t really understand what it’s like until you’ve experienced it for yourself. Even before arriving in Melbourne, my team and I were warned that we were a busy team and that the team often got sick throughout the year from the weather and the busy schedule. In my zeal and excitement to serve, I remember thinking to myself in the first few weeks, “I don’t know what everyone’s talking about. Yeah, we’re pretty busy, but it’s not that tiring! We get 8 hours of sleep every night, even when we have 5am wakeup calls!” Fast-forward a few months later, I was suuuuper exhausted! And what a blessing it was. I remember talking to our supervisors about this and Sean said, “You just have to think, when are you going to have this opportunity to serve full-time and be tired like this again?” #realtalk We adapted and prioritised and became more efficient. So at the outset, I want to apologize to all I have neglected throughout 2014. We had one day off and two communication blocks a week so it was hard to be consistently talking to and updating people back home. On top of that, we had all these new relationships we were investing in in Melbourne, whether with the team or with people we encountered in Melbourne. It was really a 24-hour lifestyle and we had a ball! But to everyone here at home, it’s not because I don’t love you or didn’t want to invest, I just really took to heart what Sean said and took advantage of the year!

I’ve been involved in ministry for over a decade and coming into training one of the goals I had was to be humble. I was used to a certain type of service and culture and in some ways I had to unlearn what I knew and with open arms accept and live a different lifestyle and culture. In doing this, I learned so much more about myself, the way I think and why. I learned that even if I was giving my 100% and not allowing the Holy Spirit to work or I was trying to give myself instead, it wasn’t as effective. It was such a blessing to experience this. Me in my limits, being used by the unlimited. It’s actually extraordinary how we can go to a school for a day or a youth group for a few hours and how much people trust you. Not everyone was receptive to the message we had, but even if in some way, we were able to show love or hope or that there is another way, we accomplished our mission. To be honest, by the end of the year it had become a blur of faces, names, conversations and experiences, all of them beautiful, but some have really captured my heart. I still remember the face and name of this one girl in my small group in March. There was such a longing in her heart for something more than she had already and she was so scared to reach out for it. Even on my team, I saw how we were being transformed and inspiring each other to be transformed. One day, we were meant to run a confirmation retreat for year 6 during a tough week for my team. Our contact person emphasized weeks earlier that to make a good impression for this one in particular. I went in with a heavy heart, but my team really reminded me Who was working. One of my brothers said, “Even if we can’t be energetic like usual, we can still be loving.” It turned out to be one of our favourite days ever. The kids there really loved and wanted to receive love and we showered it as much as we could. One of the most random and blessed encounters I had was with a banker down the road! We instantly connected because of faith and Veronica Mars. Each time we saw each other we spoke for about 20 minutes and it was such a blessing for me. I think because it was such a normal everyday errand I was running and to be able to witness and share and listen in that capacity was amazing. Some all boy discussion groups I led gave me so much hope about the future. At the end of the day, I was able to tell a lot of the young men, “You are a good man. Continue to be a good man.” A lot of them were really taken aback by this but I remember one young man in particular who had shared to me about taking care of his family, really taking it to heart. I really wonder how they’re doing. It is tough. We would come into schools and youth groups sometimes only once and create these new relationships and never know what will come of it. There are actually so many more stories I could tell. Some of them, even just thinking about how I would articulate it, it doesn’t even sound that significant, but just to be present, just to be used was… there are no words. As much as we tried to give of ourselves, it was really not us working and we had to trust that God would take care of these young people we had grown to care about. Sometimes it was pretty difficult, when we felt like what we were doing wasn’t making an impact and we would get disheartened. But we had to remember that we were called to love, even if people were being difficult. Many times on team, we would remind each other of that – it is good to love people who are easy to love, but there is more grace or virtue and reliance on God to love someone who is difficult to love.

Thank you to all who supported me in so many different ways. I couldn’t be on the front lines if you didn’t help in the background, whether back at home or my new friends in Melbourne. It actually means the world. Now the 2015 Netters are well into training. Was it only a year ago that I was in their shoes – nervous about driving a hire van with a trailer in it again, sharing with my small group, getting to know all these loud young people crazy enough to give one or two or three years of their lives while getting used to the Sunshine Coast humidity. My day in the sun has set and it’s time for the new set of crazy Netters to make their mark on this country. We love you. We’re praying for you. Hold on to the One who called you and is using you. God bless!

Unlimited. Together we’re unlimited.


Written by Candice

January 26, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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2 Responses

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  1. Love the way you articulate your inspiring faith journey and story of life Candice 🙂 Always humbles me – I heaps honour you for sharing your faith and love, by obediently and courageously allowing the Lord to use you as His instrument! So much trust right there, praise God! So proud of you and excited for whatever God has in store next! =D Have missed ya and just wanted to say it’s really great to have you back home 😉 Look forward to serving with you again hopefully! ❤ xoxo


    January 28, 2015 at 3:43 pm

  2. you’re so sweet Krystle!! It’s lovely being back and I hope to see you soon! xo


    February 10, 2015 at 10:48 am

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