vocation stories | ALEXA
My ame is Alexa Van Lerberg
I graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Philosophy.
in high school. I scheduled a meeting with Sr. Loredana, and she greeted me at the Provincial House in Overland Park with a big smile and chocolate chip cookies!
I really liked the Apostles from the start. They were fun, relatable, caring and joyful!
Growing up, I found both marriage and consecrated life to be beautiful vocations. I was never really opposed to either one, although I would go through cycles in which I would prefer one vocation and then the other. After my first year of college, I moved back home for the summer. I went outside to go for a run and felt prompted to run laps in our big pasture. As I ran I prayed, and I reflected on Mary’s vocation. I thought to myself: “Whether I’m called to marriage or to consecrated life, I can be like Mary! She was a spouse of Joseph, and thus married. But she was also a virgin dedicated to the Lord, and thus consecrated.” For the first time in my life, I felt a complete freedom to accept a vocation in either direction and I felt such peace. As I continued running, I made a turn and saw the most beautiful rainbow arching across the whole sky. I knelt down and cried in joy and gratitude at such an incredible sign! When I went back to school for my sophomore year, I began to intentionally discern and pray about my vocation. I didn’t feel quite as free any more, and I wanted to be called to marriage. However, I couldn’t ignore the powerful moments I had experienced on several occasions in which I felt that I could only be happy if I belonged completely to Jesus.
I was in spiritual direction with one of the sisters, and she helped me to see my fears in my discernment. I wanted to be one hundred percent sure of whatever my vocation was before I said yes. But she helped me to see that part of the beauty of accepting a vocation is the risk that is involved. There is never complete certainty, but a vocation is accepted in trust. During finals week in December of my sophomore year, I found myself praying in the St. Lawrence chapel. I brought all my fears to the Lord about my vocation, and as soon as I shared them with Him, I felt Him inviting me to consecrated life. I felt such interior peace and responded with Mary, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” Earlier that morning, my dad had sent me a picture of a rainbow that had appeared over my house in Shawnee. One rainbow marked the day I felt the freedom to accept either vocation; another rainbow marked the day I felt called to go down the road of consecrated life. After accepting this call, I began to look at different religious orders around Kansas City. Although they were all beautiful, none of them seemed to be the right fit for me. Only slowly did I realize that my heart was drawn to the Apostles. I saw in myself a desire to guide people in their spiritual lives, to help them see the beauty of a relationship with Christ. Now I find myself at peace in a religious community where I can do just that alongside my sisters.
I was accepted into the community on December 23, 2016. I worked and fundraised until I paid off my college loans while living with the community in Lawrence. I began formation in August of 2017.
I desire… to allow myself to belong more and more to Mary and through her to belong more and more to Jesus. I hope to help others also discover that they belong to Mary and to the Lord.
“We don’t have to understand. We have to trust.” Connor McCullough
“He shall give His Angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11