It's funny because I have said that so many times in the past, but I've realized that feeling happy or not feeling at all is not necessarily feeling alive.
This weekend hurt. It hurt a lot. In fact, it hurt worse than having been stabbed with a dull knife and having it twisted up inside of me. Personally, I feel like it hurt me more than most people simply because of where I was at in life before retreat, but it ended up being the best, most pure pain I have ever felt. We are each so beautiful, and our stories are so perfect.
I have no doubt that my Jesus loves me. I have no doubt that he loves each and every one of us. I so wish I could go into details but it would completely ruin the element of surprise for all future retreatants. My soul desires for Him still. I want to go out and tell the world, yell at the top of my lungs that our Jesus loves us!
There are angels among us. Real life angels. Call me crazy if you'd like, but if you knew my story, and you knew what I know now, you would believe me. You would be just as crazy about all of this as I am.
I'm not saying that I'm not hurting inside. I'm hurting more than I have for a very long time. I feel like that is a good thing. An amazing thing. It feels so great to hurt. I would rather feel pain, feel broken, feel incomplete than not feeling at all. This pain makes me realize how much I still need to learn, to grow... how much I desire to be with Him.
You remember that wall I have been talking about lately? I broke through it this weekend. The tears came. Actually the tears have not really stopped... all weekend. I broke down, I felt love. Real love. Love that I haven't felt in a really really long time.
I carry that love inside of me now, it's that love that's going to help me go on. It's going to wrap around me and keep me warm on a cold night. It's going to pull me out of the darkness, the shadows. This love is real, it's unconditional, it's accepting, sisterly, the only other way to describe it is just simply lovely, Heavenly love.
I went into the retreat with a a couple friends and few acquaintances. I came out with fifty-eight sisters. Real sisters. Sisters that listen and care. Truly care. Sisters that I know I will be able to talk, pray and cry with. Sisters in Christ. When I begin to feel alone in this world, I will be able to look back and see the love that so many people have for me and I for them.
If you have never been on an ACTS retreat, I recommend you go. Whether or not you are Catholic isn't as big a deal as you just going and living away from the craziness that is life. I hope I get invited to be part of a team. It would be an honor to make someone else feel as loved as I did this weekend.
The most important thing I learned is that each and every one of us is broken, we each have our crosses. I learned that the same way the Simon helped Jesus carry his cross, so too do we need to be Simons for one another. Life isn't mean't to be walked through alone, that's the beauty of it all.
"...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; the will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint."
P.S. In need of prayers for a very special friend, for myself and for all the women that attended this retreat. I'm on day 17 and day 3. ....Yes, day one got put off for some time. I've also realized you can't get always get what you want when you want it. Those sorts of things are done on God's time. It's His time now. I'm going to keep going, I will be strong. I've had a very special someone praying for me for thirteen weeks. In the past thirteen weeks I have set such a strong foundation for this weekend, that it's no wonder things happened the way they did. My candle is lit. It will stay lit... and when it burns out, I will buy another candle. My light for God will never go out and my strength will always be for Him, through Him, in Him and with Him. Go ahead, call me a Jesus freak.