It all began sitting in traffic amongst the horns, sirens, ever constant ringing and beeping of technology and the gripping fatigue an end of day can bring when I heard God say, “come to me, we have work to do.” I knew then it was retreat time.
I asked God to lead me to the place and was led to Christ in the Wilderness. From the moment I arrived, Sr. Julia so kindly greeted me, oriented me to the grounds and escorted me to my hermitage (Sabbath Place), I could feel the tension ingrained throughout my body beginning to release its grip on me.
The silence was powerful, nourishing yet scary at the same time because it was just God and I. Anxiety washed over me as I thought what have I done? My ego took this opportunity to appear, demanding to be given attention and trying very hard to set the agenda for my retreat. I was overwhelmed. I spoke out loud to God and said I am here, I am yours, thy will be done. Then it happened. A calm like I have never known embraced me, filled me and through my heart God invited me to surrender and release all to Him. I accepted that invitation and knew at that moment this was a God gifted and God directed retreat. All was well. All I needed to do was accept and receive.
God reassured me that we cannot, are not and never will be separate from Him. Throughout the retreat God took me on an inward journey of love, self-discovery, healing, forgiveness and acceptance. It was a journey that took me up, down and all around. It was divine, nurturing, joyful, surprising and at times hard. I laughed, I cried and journeyed inwards to parts of myself I have never known. It was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time.
The grounds at Christ in the Wilderness were stunning. Each day was a multisensory experience that offered profound healing and nourishment for my body, mind and soul. No phone, no email, no demands from others, just the sun, moon, sky, stars, wind, trees, animals and pure peace and solitude. Each step offered release, insights, answers, comfort, healing and love. God has so much to say, if only we would listen.
As my last day on my retreat arrived all I could think about is when can I come back. I departed my 4-night retreat a better version of myself than how I arrived. I felt proud of my journey and the work I had done. God invited me, God directed my retreat, God took me out of my comfort zone, God showed me what I needed to see and God assured me as I follow the truth of my heart all my needs will be met and all will be well.