MOUNTAIN TOP EXPERIENCE
I attended a life-changing retreat June 25-27, 2010 with about 14 other women.
Although I have wanted to go on a spiritual retreat and I talked about it for over a year, I was hesitant to go. I am always hesitant to try something new, alone, that is out of my comfort zone. I should learn to trust that when I am out of my comfort zone, I learn valuable lessons in life.
On the top of the retreat schedule I received at the opening session, it was written: “We must learn to walk away from the carnival of the world ~ to become still and remember what it is that holds us; what, in us, is held.” – Ingrid Goff-Maidoff
Before reading this, my goal for the weekend was to hear God’s direction for my life. God does not have a still small voice when you seek him with an open mind, open heart and willingness to listen.
Through meditative prayer, I connected with God. I felt peace. We dedicated a labyrinth in the room and then walked it as a group, taking turns when we were ready to enter. I waited close to the end because I was out of my comfort zone. I decided to leave my baggage of problems and issues at the entrance and step over them and see what happens. It felt so good to release the baggage I held onto. I walked the labyrinth and prayed for God’s forgiveness for a lot of things, I sought his peace for other things and I just wanted to walk with God. At the center I prayed. Before I started the journey back out, I asked Jesus to carry me as I was spent from the walk in. It was here that Jesus picked me up and carried me to the mountain top experience I have so enjoyed.
I met some amazing women at the retreat. With age gaps spanning decades, we connected having so many similar life experiences. One woman listened to my hopes and dreams for my life and gave voice to urging me to seek what it is I love and want to do. It was through this woman that God spoke to me. This woman/God said, “If you knew you had one year to live, would you be doing what you are doing right now?” This is the million dollar question in my life that has given me back the hope I thought I lost and the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel once again.
Saturday evening, alone in my room, I wanted to listen to my JPod (IPod with all Christian music and sermons from In Touch Ministry with Dr. Charles Stanley). I was upset after about 6 songs when my JPod announced “Battery Low!” I realize what God did and the sense of humor he has. I tried for a couple of days before going on the retreat to charge the JPod, but it would not properly charge. Obviously God wanted me to spend one-on-one time with him. I am so thankful that my JPod was not charged as spending one-on-one time with God was really my intention for being away at the retreat.
It is hard to put into words what the mountain top experience is like because it is such a beautiful experience. I felt so peaceful. I saw beauty in the flowers in the garden, the rainstorm, the nature walk, the songs of the birds, the pond, and in the talents the other women shared. I was able to bring this peaceful feeling to my home, my job, my family and relationships.
Matthew 17:3-5 (NIV)
3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
In my mountain top experience, I heard the same message, ”This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
I was on a 6-day mountain top experience. Yes, I knew I had to come down, but I learned so much while there. The first time in my life instructions are not vague. I know with whom I need to ask questions. I have been charged with God’s strength and wisdom to go out and accomplish what he has in store for me. In faith, I leap off my pile of baggage and into a life that has been carved out for me.
I look forward to sharing the next phase my life story.