Meet Sister Lisa Zelfa (and her godson, Lucas) of the Servant of God’s Love, a new female religious community located in Ann Arbor, within the Diocese of Lansing. 30-year-old Sister Lisa is based at the parish of Saint John the Baptist in Ypsilanti where she is the Director of Campus Ministry at Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College. Here is her story of sisterhood:
“My life is marked by the Lord’s faithfulness and His promise of fulfillment. I was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and my family needed to travel all around the Middle East as a way to emigrate to America. By the time I was 16 my family had lived in six different countries and we spoke three different languages. All along, I thought my life was normal. Growing up in the midst of wars I had a functional relationship with God: I prayed when I needed protection or had other urgent needs. Moving to ‘safe’ America, meant I didn’t pray much, because the dangers weren’t so obvious.”
“Then, I encountered the Lord in a powerful way in college. A priest was available to/asked me if he could pray over me for a stirring of the Holy Spirit. He led me through a prayer of surrender and my life (literally) changed. One of the fruits of that 3-minute prayer was an openness to discern my vocation. I developed a strong daily prayer pattern, regularly met with a spiritual director and got to know a community of beautiful, down-to-earth sisters. The realization that I might be called to religious life was terrifying. However, as the Lord continued to tug I realized this was not just a sacrificial offering but a gift of love. Eventually I realized that my ‘yes!’ to Him is out of love not sacrifice. I finally saw that this call ought to fill my life with joy. Up to that point I had given the Lord a sliver of my life and He blessed it abundantly, what would happen if I gave Him all!? Today, I confidently echo Our Blessed Mother’s proclamation ‘The Almighty Has done great things for me and holy is His name,’ (Luke 1:49).”
* Do you feel that God may be calling you to Consecrated Life? Contact Dawn Hausmann, Director of Consecrated Vocations for the Diocese of Lansing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-342-2506.