Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Last weekend I went on a walk to Emmaus. It is an ecumenical spiritual retreat. I imagined a lot of alone time, quiet and reflective moments, campfires. I was so wrong. It was not any of those things. It was amazing however. The Emmaus community exists to encourage Christians to become passionate about the Lord and to take that passion back to their local churches. It is a weekend of experiencing God's love in a new way. I did do that. It was a weekend full of emotions. Friday morning I was ready to go home, but that quickly changed. I was challenged to let go of control, to let go of expectations, and to allow others to pour love into my life. That is a hard thing for most women to do. It was fun to watch as women tried to do things to serve but were constantly told to stop and allow themselves to be served. It's not really in our nature as women to allow others to serve us, but for 72 hours we had no choice. My controlling personality railed against it many times, but I was so blessed to be there. I met and connected with a whole new community of believers. We were put into groups with people we didn't know. I am still in awe at how quickly 7 women can bond! These women are my sisters in Christ. God allowed them to speak into my life and allowed me to speak into theirs for 72 precious hours. I laughed harder and longer last weekend than I have in a very long time. A man who goes to church with me was there to pick up his wife at the end. He said, "Paula, I've never seen you smile like that--you're glowing." It felt good! It was so good to get home Sunday evening and share some of that joy with my family. When Fred walked in later he said that I was glowing as well. I guess it's like Moses when he came down from the mountain. (And I'm definitely down from the mountain!). God has such a sense of humor. He put me at the table of Joy. I've been praying for joy for 17 years. I don't see it much, but apparently God does. I hope that I've moved a little closer to experiencing that joy last weekend.