Its funny how it sounds slightly overwhelming, but it gets better. As the retreats got closer, we soon realized that we would be short staffed for both of the retreats. What could have been a really stressful situation, but instead it was a wonderful opportunity to branch out and share in this ministry with other people.
The first retreat was for marriage prep and after our first meeting, I soon realized how many new people I’d be asking to help out on this retreat. I very well could have freaked out after that first meeting, but I chose to instead trust in God that he would provide the right people to help me. I asked for prayers in helping to find speakers, cooks, etc. Slowly, piece by piece spots started filling up. It wasn’t long and we had everything filled up. I remember after our final meeting and listening to the practice talks how humbled I felt to having everyone be part of the team putting on this retreat. I was filled with so much gratitude to God for answering mine, and so many others prayers. I was beyond grateful for the individuals who stepped outside their comfort zone and said yes to helping out.
The week before the retreat everyone in the house got sick! Sound familiar? How is this happening again. Jesse came home from work sick the day I was suppose to leave for the retreat. Okay, we got this...at least the kids were all healthy. So what’s a mom to do...ask for prayers! I asked for the grace to be fully present on the retreat and that health would be restored to my husband. God answered those prayers, over night Jesse started to feel better and the retreat was a wonderful experienced. We had a great group of helpers on the retreat that was able to share their story and really give witness to the engaged couples.
After a quick turn around, five days, I found myself on retreat again. The adult retreat was the following weekend, and the Lord once again had a hand in all the planning and during the retreat. I was really excited about this retreat because this was the first time we had a team that was made up of staff and parishioners. Being able to invite parishioners to be step into a leadership role was something we had envisioned with the adult retreats, and this was the perfect opportunity to do that.
It was so amazing to see how the group grew from meeting to meeting. We went into the first meeting with no specific agenda on what the talks would be, or who would fill what roles on the weekend. It was amazing to see the progress that was made by the end of the second meeting. I remember leaving with ideas for topics to pray on and a real sense that we were on the right path with things. The details slowly fell into place, and the anticipation for the weekend only grew. The members on the team had a new fresh insight to share with the staff and it was really cool to see how things came together.
When the weekend came around, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t experience any dread having to leave again. Instead I was excited to see how the weekend would go. To see all of the team’s ideas and hard work be put into action. One of my favorite parts is seeing how the Holy Spirit works. How he takes parts of each talk and make connections you can’t plan for. It’s always amazing to see how God uses people to touch the hearts of others. It’s always a privilege to be able to go on retreat and share a similar experience with other adults from our parish.
As I reflect back on both retreats, I am so amazed at how God really took care of everything. I’m still in awe that through this whole process I never felt overwhelmed by any of it. It’s not easy leaving family for a weekend, but I always feel blessed to have gone on the retreats. I enjoy being able to provide them an opportunity to encounter Christ. To present people with the opportunity to receive healing or freedom in Confession and prayer teams. Being able to see relationships form over the weekend and to feel a strong sense of community. I’m empowered by the witness of others. These retreats are always a nice time for me to self reflect on how I can be a better child of God, a better wife, mother, and friend.
As much as I’ve enjoyed so much need family time over the last week, I can’t help put be excited about the next retreats. Our next adult retreat will be hosted in DeWitt on February 23-25, 2018, hope to see you there!