As the time of the retreat neared, I felt anxious and unsure again. I prayed that everything would be ok and asked that my heart be opened to what the retreat had to offer. I was beginning to look forward to going and I was feeling that the Holy Spirit was with me guiding me along and helping relieve my fears. I was very thankful that my fears were starting to subside and that I was starting to get excited about the weekend. I was also thankful that I ended up riding down with someone that was also attending for the first time. Sharing a new experience with someone helped a lot.
When we got to the retreat center, there were other parish members there to greet us. They showed us to our rooms and answered any questions we had. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. We were there for the same reason, to grow in our faith. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know many people. Everyone was so friendly. The group attending the retreat was a good mix, couples, singles younger and older, moms, dads, grandparents, you name it. We were all excited for the retreat to start. I started to feel excited too and decided to open my heart and mind to whatever happened.
The speakers were very good. I could relate to every topic in some aspect of my life. I was nervous when we broke into groups, but there was never any pressure to share. As I sat and listened, I felt more comfortable contributing. We had free time throughout the weekend where we could be by ourselves, or walk the grounds with new-found friends, play games or go sit in the chapel. It was a perfect balance of speakers, worship, and free time. I was sorry the weekend had to end.
It was nice taking time out of everyday life just to focus on my faith. The time left me feeling restored and closer to God. It was hard to leave and go back to the “real world”, but I feel that the retreat helped me come further along on my faith journey. Now that God has helped me overcome my fears, I can’t wait to attend the next retreat and see what He has in store for me!
I would encourage anyone who is thinking about attending the retreat on February 23-25 in DeWitt to just go ahead and do it. You won’t be sorry. You will learn more about your faith, become closer to God and you may make some new friends as I did!
God Bless, Cindy Braun