I trust God. I am not someone who has ever struggled with trusting God’s love and will for me. Or at least so I thought.
Then many years back when I attended a “Healing the Whole Person” retreat I discovered all the little ways we can maybe not be trusting God in our lives.
How often do we fear? Worry? Those are moments we are not trusting God. What about when we ruminate on something? Not trusting God. How about when we don’t speak up for ourselves…afraid of offending another person…even though we KNOW God is asking us to speak up? Not trusting God.
Anyhoo….back to that retreat years ago…
I started becoming even more honest with God in my daily prayers….my daily journaling to Him. I would share things with Him like why I was afraid to be angry with Him about certain situations of the past. I would share with Him how I know I keep falling into certain sins and I would like to understand why….
What is amazing is when we start actually putting into words what GOD ALREADY KNOWS…..it brings us closer to Him.
What I didn’t know was this type of radical honesty and prayer was part of the foundation of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
A few weekends ago I attended an Ignatius Retreat. I figured it would have learning components as well as reflective moments. I honestly didn’t know what I was adventuring into. I just knew my soul needed it. My soul yearned for it.
There has been more than one occasion during this last year that I have begged God for a silent retreat opportunity. I knew of a retreat place that was nearby that I could actually book a silent retreat. My entire being NEEDED IT. But the timing just never seemed right. I dug in even more into my trust in God…..knowing He would know when I would need it most.
Oh the beauty of trusting God. I couldn’t have planned it out the way He did. If I would have “forced” it… “made it happen” on my terms….I wouldn’t have experienced EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TO EXPERIENCE THAT WEEKEND…..AND THAT IS HOW GOD WORKS…..when we get out of the way and LIVE IN HIS WILL!
During the retreat, I was able to learn more about St. Ignatius….I was also reminded about some things I already knew. He was a knight….a warrior….he was wounded in battle….he was bored during recovery and started reading about saints because that was the only reading material available.
He started to examine himself through the eyes of God. He started to become RADICALLY HONEST with God.
“There are very few people who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves entirely to his hands and let themselves be formed by His Grace.” -St. Ignatius of Loyola
He developed and counseled on The Spiritual Exercises.
These exercises…The Examen….grows a person in humility. And let me tell you what WE ALL CAN USE continual refining in humility.
It is interesting because pride and ego truly are not something I struggle with greatly. BUT…..I do know that since pride is the predominant sin…that NO ONE is immune to it. Just some struggle with it more than others. So when it pops up in my life, it definitely shows up in a way that I hadn’t anticipated or armored myself to it. But I get to learn from it and lean into humility even more.
Over the course of the years, I have also learned that humility is truly a superpower. Humility is NOT about weakness. TRUE HUMILITY is strong, bold, peaceful…and downright attractive. But I am getting off track….lol….
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”― CS Lewis
Again back to the retreat…
After we learned some about Ignatius and how to practice spiritual exercises we actually went into SILENCE FOR 45 MINUTES…..and this was on the first night.
We were given several different prayers, scriptures, tools to help us on our silent reflection of going into the deep with God.
Oh, the floodgates let go!!!
Radical honestly allows us to be open to grow in that relationship with God…..it reminds us that God created us in love….to love…..wants us to have the fullness of life.
Ignatius also teaches us to see God in everything….. which creates a more intimate relationship with God.
During the 2nd silent meditation session, my journaling/conversations with God were so raw and open that the hurt and pain were also so freeing. I was brutally honest with Him about my miscarriage that took place 10 years ago….heck the whole reason this blog even came into existence….it gave birth from that miscarriage.
I shared with God my pain about it in ways that I had not expressed before. I also shared with Him some of the darkest thoughts and moments I had during and after the pregnancy. Again not like He didn’t already know…..but I needed to own my thoughts…..I needed to truly lay down to Him and examen my heart and conscience of the whole experience.
I left that retreat not only feeling renewed and restored but also knowing how I am going to take my faith deeper this next year.
This same couple who led the retreat is going to be directing others in S.E.E.L for 6 months starting in January. It requires a commitment and a true burning desire to continue to narrow that path to God…to Heaven. The willingness to continue to grow in Humility….the willingness to continue to examen my conscience and acknowledge in where I know I am not being Christ-like not only to others but even to myself.
I have great faith that this will actually help me root out even more of the dysmorphia….and strengthen the belief and knowledge that I am beautifully wonderfully made…..and believing anything else is believing the lies of the enemy.
I also left the retreat feeling confirmed and edified that I AM EXACTLY WHERE GOD WANTS ME IN MY LIFE. I realized I AM A CONTEMPLATIVE IN ACTION….which is the motto of the Jesuits. St. Ignatius founded the Jesuits. Now I can’t be a Jesuit…lol….but it doesn’t mean I don’t have the spirit and heart of a Jesuit….. The point is after this weekend I once again found another area in my life that I feel I belong. Another facet of me that I better understand. And that is the most peaceful and humbling feeling.
May your journey of learning to LOVE THE SKIN YOU ARE IN be filled with continual ah-ha moments as well. Keep seeking. Keep praying. And keep striving to be RADICALLY HONEST….I promise it will change your life….and possibly even save your life.
As always many hugs and blessings dear readers…
You are always in my prayers…