This month’s submission is from Lana Riley, a spiritual director at the Center.
“I know only that I do not walk the path alone.”
These words were part of the opening prayer of the Spiritual Renewal Center’s silent directed retreat weekend. I had encouraged one of the women that I see for spiritual direction to come to come for this retreat, and give herself the gift of silence and time to reflect on her relationship with Jesus.
That weekend she shared her very sad and troubled childhood with me. She told of how the memories and the impact of abusive experiences during her young years had prevented her from accepting God’s unconditional love throughout her life. Her sharing of this story was not easy, but there was something powerful about the silence, love and care of the retreat experience that helped her to open to God’s presence and begin the healing of her past. It turned out to be a breakthrough weekend for her!
She shared it with me in these words: “The garbage of my past has obscured my vision of what my life could be – but that perception of life is changing. God has filled me with so much peace; and that is huge for me.” When she went home at the retreat’s end, she left with a profound new understanding that God had always been with her, loving her all along.