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I spoke about an awesome retreat I went on a few weeks ago. There was an unspeakable camaraderie that took place – an openness and acceptance that many of us were longing for deep within our thirsty souls. Vulnerableness and openness encouraged all of us to unite together under a banner of safety within the ranks.

It was amazing.

About 2 ½ weeks later, we had a reunion. Most of the ladies gathered together – a few were unable to attend.

It revealed something that I was hoping wasn’t going to happen. But it is human nature and our past always belies our views on life.

I was disappointed. Disappointed to the point of tears, even the next morning.

It wasn’t anything that was done wrong…it was more that, below the surface, something was amiss. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what that was. It was the enemy beginning to try to unwind that threefold cord of friendship that was just beginning to form. He was trying to untangle it, strand by strand.

He knew a threefold cord would not easily be broken if it remained bound together.


The days after the retreat, there was a struggle to retain the peace that was gained. The baby screamed every morning. One of the older children was hyper beyond belief during our Sunrise gatherings, and the context and flow seemed to be unravelling.

Entering each day peacefully was growing into difficult times.

The Spiritual Battle had begun.

And we overcame.

Until the night before the Reunion.

Then the wheels came off. I saw the warfare begin in my soul. From past experiences, I assumed there was something good going to happen that evening at the reunion.

But I was a day too early to see what God really had planned.


The gathering of the ladies was something we all looked forward to. My cabin mates were the first the arrive. Hugs and smiles all around.

Then meeting commenced. The atmosphere changed. It seemed that an attempt at recreating something that no longer fit the time and place was being enacted.

Was it in my head? What was I expecting? The same opportunities to gather with all the ladies as on the retreat?

The bouncy music, and the meditation began. Much of it was immediately rejected in my head based on teachings of theologians and experiences with the occult. It was unsuccessful for me to see where this was going.

When the exercise was over, the strains of more emotionally charged music filled the air. All the heart strings were trying to be tugged by the singer coming through the speakers.

But I would have none of it.

For me, I was looking forward to relationships with those at my table and around me.

But there was no time.

The conversations were good. God worked through all of us again for each other in our words. And God used me more than once that night to point out things I never saw to several of the participants.

Even so, an hour and a half wasn’t enough to see everyone and interact in a way that would resume what was encountered at camp. Getting us to have a conversation to discuss the meditation and what we got out of the retreat was too short.

The break-up…

Then it was over. Everyone seemed to rush out so they could get to bed for work the next morning.

Promises of getting together, phone calls, and hugs were completed. Everyone got in their cars and drove off into the night. The parking lot emptied within minutes, except for a two of us who were talking to a group of young people exiting the church.

The last of us who remained were leaving. And I was left feeling lost again.

One of the ladies came out as I was walking to my car and asked if I’d waited for her. I hadn’t, but I didn’t say anything.

Then she said, “You didn’t have to. We’ll see each other Friday.”

We chatted a bit and she left.

It felt like rejection all over again. People who claim friendship, but only within certain settings. And only for specific reasons.

Or so it seemed.

What was going on? Where will this go? Why the feelings of emptiness filling my heart? Was I in a spiritual battle for something greater to come?

There had been much gained and much lost through these latest experiences. But it appeared that the wheels had come off. The gates of Heaven seemed closed once more. God was drawing me back to Him and Him alone.

Here I was, alone in island once more floating in a sea of uncertainty. And I gave it all to Him. If that was truly what was happening, He knew what He was doing.

Yet something kept niggling at me that what was being experienced wasn’t what it seemed. My expectations were not God’s lesson I was to learn.

So I moved on…

The next day was a new day.

I’m not sure what was going to happen with the Sunrise Gathering. No one appeared interested in morning after 5 weeks of prayer.

But it turned out that what was being observed wasn’t really true. It was an illusion. A dream by the enemy to create a moment of despair.

Yet I couldn’t figure out why the tears continued unabated.

By the middle of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, peace flooded my soul again, and the tears dried up. We were once m ore laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

At Adoration, after Confession, and Mass in the evening, it escalated into unbelievable peace and joy.

I prayed that God show me what He willed for me to do. None of what was happening made any sense.

“I want to be a vessel You work through.” I prayed. “Lord, I want to be more like you!” A beautiful theme song played in my heart.

That evening class, the church had voted unanimously for me to fill in as the facilitator during our Adult Formation class. It was unexpected, just as it had been when I was repeatedly called to speak to the group on behalf of our table.

Once more, God thrust me into the limelight and onto the stage before a crowd.

And once more, I let the Holy Spirit be the one to talk.

There was no pleasure in the task. No feelings at all.

And no point of pride as had been in past experiences in the corporate environment and in High School when I presented the Commencement Address. In those I was pleased at myself, and was disappointed when my great talents went unnoticed or unrewarded.

But this was different.

Inside, all was at peace. This time, it was not me. It was totally God.

The lesson wasn’t about the people I met. It was all about being unafraid to speak what God wanted to others.

What is going on?

When uncertainty comes in our lives, we often try to figure it all out. Many times, it isn’t anything we have control over. And more often, we have no idea what is taking place, especially when things are thrust upon us unexpectedly.

Some blame the reactions or feelings of uncertainty on external things. Others give too much credit to the enemy for things he never did. Still others think it is just nervousness at performing the task.

In all those instances, it is because we are taking into consideration only our own abilities, and throwing God out of the equation. The entirety of the task weighs heavily upon our own shoulders.

But we need to take into consideration the spiritual aspects in their proper settings.

When God is calling us to step out and do things we are uncomfortable doing, we will be given times of trial to test our resolve.

Will we be doing it on our own, or are we willing to let it all go and let God take the reigns?

The closer you draw to the Lord, the more often those uncomfortable times become a sort of milestone in our walk with Him. They are indicators that you have become more aware of the source and reason for these times in our lives. And you begin to increase your dependence on God to accomplish the task you are called to do.s

The greater the calling, the more you will be tested. And often those tests come without knowing the reason for them. But the test itself will become a signal to you that God is going to ask you to do something greater than you think you could ever handle.

They could come so that you will be willing to offer up your sufferings for someone in most need of God’s mercy. You may not even know who that person is.

Or He will ask you to step outside your comfort zone and speak to someone you don’t like or would normally avoid.

Whatever it is, nothing comes to us without a reason. Nothing.

Be willing…

The closer you draw to our Loving God, the more you will find yourself able to trust Him.

God never lets anything happen to us that He isn’t willing for our good.

Sorrows are inevitable in this life. The greater the sorrow, the more God knows you can handle it. But He never expects you to lift the heavy burden on your own shoulders and carry it alone. He expects you to come to Him, giving it all to Him to take care of. They are opportunities to grow in communion with Him, not to reject Him as Someone who doesn’t care.

Sometimes the hardships are great because of the need to break through our pride. “I can do it myself” is the motto of most western people. Letting go isn’t in our wheelhouse.

But it needs to be. And not giving it to each other. But to God. He will bring the right people to you when you are ready to receive all that He has in store for you.

Just like a good father who gives good gifts to the son who repents. (Think “the Prodigal Son”...)

Be willing to allow God His plans to work through your life. The way will become clearer as you step out of the way.

Step out of the way…

The undermining of what God wanted from me came at great cost. Loss of trust in myself and my own talents that had been developed over the decades because of the rough sand from others used in that polishing.

I had a great lack of trust in God Himself, believing that all bad things that happened were because He didn’t really care. It was through human eyes that the perfecting of my own selfish nature was being tweaked so that He could use me without interference from my own pride.

The more I stepped out of God’s way, the more opportunities opened up for Him to use the gifts He gave me. They weren’t mine to begin with. Only the one Who owned them could ever understand what they were there for, so why not let Him has His way with them?

Your turn…

I speak a lot of myself in this post, but it is only to show an example of what God will do when we are willing to let Him take over. None of this is me – nothing that has happened could be explained by anything I could possibly do.

So when hard times come your way, understand that these are tools to get your attention. Take those things to God’s altar and lay them down there. Have Him take care of those hardships. Let that burden be lifted off your shoulders, especially in the midst of your grief.

He Loves you more than you could ever know. You not an unimportant speck in a sea of evolutionary matter.

You are unique. And you were created to be unique for a purpose. And only the One Who created you will know what that purpose is.

Even with all your visible or invisible imperfections, you are perfectly suited for whatever God is calling you to do and be.

You aren’t a pawn in some little game He likes to play. He has perfectly ordered the universe to flow without a hitch. And all things work together for good. You are part of His plan. You have a role to take on, and you have been gifted especially for that reason.

But you’l never find out what that true purpose is if you are always trying to seek it out. It will come to you.

Just step out of His way and watch the miracles that will happen.

It isn’t too late to start…unless you refuse to let go of the reigns.

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