Many people know that I am a voracious journaler and have been since 2009. I was journaling before then, but it wasn't quite so frequently. I can still picture my fuzzy orange journal with Tigger sewn onto the cover from eighth grade. Now I keep a folder of word documents on my computer titled, "Words. Words. Words."
On retreat this week one thing I did was trace my salvation history, reflecting on the "big, out loud, up close" places and spaces where I felt God working in my life. To do this, I began reading some of my old journals, primarily from 2010 when I was doing big life discernment without really knowing what the word "discernment" was. That was the year was when I decided I would pass up using my business degree in favor of entering the world of inner-city education - a very important piece of my salvation.
To go back and read some of things that were happening inside me, where and how the Spirit was leading me, was very affirming of my journey so far. I knew that entering corporate America would not be authentic, and I knew that teaching was calling me. I knew my faith was forming, and I knew God was working in real ways. Going back into these memories was a beautiful experience for me; I felt so blessed by the gift of life during that time.
I felt that same way during my retreat this past week. God's presence was so close and so personal, as I very much experienced continuous moments of salvation throughout my days among the trees. One evening I opened up some old files that I had saved on my computer: one was a poem about a topic we had discussed a few nights earlier, another was an article about the Rule of Benedict that I saved to my computer way back in 2011 before I even knew who Benedictines were, some were my own words that reminded me of the Spirit that has always been present and moving in my life. It was amazing to re-discover all these beautiful words.
And then Friday came. It was time for me to pack up and return back to the Mount. As I walked along the trail, I saw a stone that looked a bit out of place for the surroundings. I looked down and noticed something written on it. I looked a little closer, and there it was --
God is always at work saving us with Love. That often happens through relationships with others, with nature, with whatever brings us to fullness. But, the silence and solitude of retreat allow us to experience the Divine in even deeper, truer ways. Thank you all for your words of support and encouragement as I continue the journey; I am grateful.
Let us walk in the holy presence.