This past weekend I attended a spiritual retreat at my favorite Jesuit retreat center in Southern Maryland. A year before I went there to reconnect and strengthen my relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ.
At the time I was facing some serious personal and professional challenges in my life. In fact it was hard to distinguish between the two because my perils were intertwined. I wasn't a happy person and I needed to return to God to help me figure out what His plan was and what I needed to do. Spending 40 hours in silence on 235 acres of wooded land was the perfect place to work on me.
When it was time for me to leave that Sunday, I felt like a new person. God spoke to me in so many ways, basically telling me, "I'm here with you always. Don't worry, we got this." What I hoped to accomplish I did; my faith was strengthened, my resolve was solidified and my anxiety was eased.
Fast forward through the end of 2014 and midway through 2015. Life is better than those hot, uncertain days of summer. I have a job that I absolutely love, I'm living temporarily in a town that I find to fit my exact needs right now in terms of pace, and things to do, and the habits of praying and listening to God get stronger by the day.
So it was with great eagerness and anticipation that I return to Loyola. Again I had a basic need that I wanted to be filled and that was, "Don't try and recreate last year."
I placed my weekend in God's hands and let Him find me. He didn't have to work hard, and our conversations were a more straight forward, rather than fundamental. Not that I didn't need a reminder of basic principles, along with some uplifting messages, but I felt I built upon the foundation we created together in September 2014.
I don't have everything resolved. I'm a work in progress. I need to trust God's will for me. That is the theme for me to discern over; trust. Trust was the final message God had for me this past weekend. On Sunday, just before I was set to leave, I was presented the Prayer of Thomas Merton.
There is so much to like about the words in this prayer. I like the idea of having NO IDEA if what I'm doing is what God wants. But pleasing Him is a good thing I think. I'm not sure where the road will lead me, but hey, I thought that a year ago and look at me now....
It's that feeling that I plan to build upon over the short and long term. Advent is near, the promise of a Savior. One that walks the path with me. I look forward to retreating again next fall and seeing where I am on the path and the direction I'm headed.