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Discovering the Gift of Trust – by Therese Wilson

Therese Wilson shares a joyful moment with Helen Schlichter at the Green House.

Therese Wilson has been an Assistant at the Green House for two years. She comes from Kanjirappally, a small village in India. Therese has a gift for celebrating others and is known for her delicious cakes baked for special occasions.

For a good chunk of my time here at Daybreak, I was trying to be the perfect assistant — which I now realize does not exist. I have learned that I should do my best and be myself rather than trying to become something that I am not. I am grateful for some really important mentors along the way who have encouraged me and guided me through it all.

Helen has been one of those important teachers for me. I came to the Green House at a time of a lot of transition with many assistants leaving and new assistants coming. So, it was understandable that it would take a lot of time to develop that trust — to be able to open up and share your life with a stranger. I was trying really hard to be in Helen’s good books. I was hoping for and waiting patiently for the day when Helen might say my name — an acknowledgement perhaps that our connection was formed. My efforts seemed to make no difference. But then I stopped trying so hard, and I stopped being so hard on myself — and then, I actually began to notice that Helen was sharing a lot about her life with me when we were alone. She was sharing her stories and telling me her fears and worries. We shared a lot of laughter. It is these moments that helped me realize that she trusts me with her life and the stories of her life.

I was looking for perhaps a more visible sign of Helen’s connection. But it was the smaller signs, the quiet moments where I discovered something much more valuable — trust!

L’Arche is a wonderful place to be at home and experience a community with an amazing spirit of love, joy and friendship. I have felt very alive being here, in community. Here, we share our life together. We get to know each other and trust one another so deeply that we also let each other see our vulnerabilities. It’s a place where I have learned and also grown each day — together.