Recently, I gave my son, Ashton, a journal. I have been trying to encourage him to write his thoughts and feelings. As I began digging through all of my own old diaries, I found the notebooks we used to pass between friends and classes. We would each taking turns with this notebook and draw pictures or cartoons, write about whatever”boring teacher” we were ignoring, talk about the latest romance, or write specific notes to specific people. All day long, as the person writes a few messages or whatever, they pass it along to another of the people in our group. They take a turn and pass it on to whoever they see next. And so on…
I am blessed enough to be in a unique awareness. I am very aware of people in my life having certain purpose for my life. As if I was meant to know them. As if God brought them into my life as a way of teaching me, comforting me, guiding me, or encouraging me.
I truly do not mean this to sound ego-centric, though I suppose technically it is. It is just life. It is how God speaks to us. It is how God gives us the information that we need to process, contemplate, and regurgitate in our own lives.
These people in my life sometimes appear for a moment and some have been with me forever since. Either way, they shape who I am.
At one point, I just started referring to them as my angels. Though most people usually just call them friends. 🙂
Sometimes, people enter my life for just a brief moment, as if the “fates align” and all chaos in my world grinds to a screeching halt – just for one specific moment with one specific person – for one specific, life-altering moment of time. Maybe it is something they say to me…may just a gesture, but it is life changing!
Other times, my angel stays in my life for any period of time…even forever.
ALL of these people serve a purpose in my own life. It is how God works through each of us to comfort and love one another. This weekend, at my Women’s Wellness Retreat, we called it a “Community of Women” or a “Circle of Friends.”
My angels inspire me, love me, nurture me. At times, their presence in my life might be turbulent, angry or uncomfortable, but even those times ultimately bring to acceptance, or a different perspective…a deep, life-altering enlightenment.
I am so grateful for the angels that God has brought into my life. I am grateful for the treasures of life, laughter, tears they have given me. I am grateful for the love, motivation and comfort, as well as the challenges and diversity they have given me.
I also want to point out that God works through ALL of us – whether we want to or not. Perhaps you have experienced this as well. There are times in my deepest, darkest moments, when my struggles are burdening my heart from moment to moment in excruciating agony…when survival is my ultimate daily goal. My head is too full of worry and uncertainty; of my own emotional, physical, and spiritual fears. But then someone comes up to me and tells me that I have encouraged THEM! (With absolutely no intent or knowledge on my part).
That is when I realize that God works through me to show love, grace and determination to those around me. And I am humbled.
Praise God for the Gift of Community, Fellowship, and Life.
This past weekend, I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to volunteer for the Women’s Wellness Retreat at work. There were several aspects of this retreat that were amazing this weekend, but honestly, I don’t have the energy to blog it all tonight…so I will just tell you the beginning.
The first night of the retreat (Friday) we had a yoga session after the opening. The intent of course was to calm us and open us up to God’s sure presence in our lives. Last year, the yoga was so awesome and powerful. I had big expectations for that same calming effect this year.
However, the yoga was very difficult this time. I was not physically comfortable. And here is my super-confession – I have gained back 18 of the 80 pounds I lost since I took those pics in June.
And I feel it, and I see it, and sometimes it runs my thoughts – like while I am sitting in a chair trying to do yoga, and being focused on how my stomach feels bloated and my dress feels a bit tight around my middle. I could NOT focus on entering the peace that is yoga.
All I could do was think about how I’ve failed at sticking to a consistent exercise regiment, and I have taken to drinking soda again and popping the occasional chocolate mini-muffin. I’ve failed myself.
I could feel my legs as I lifted them for the yoga moves. The sense of failure I had created in my head actually convinced me that my legs felt much heavier to lift than before. My flexibility was not the same. My breathing was labored, and I could not tell whether it was because I was so unfit, or because the anxiety was pressuring me to calm myself.
Before I knew it, the yoga was over. I was secretly relieved.
I turned to the women sitting next to me – a return attendee to this retreat. She smiled at me, obviously remembered me from the years past. “Hi. How are you doing. You look like you’ve lost a lot of weight, have you?” She became one of My Angels.
I then heard God’s comforting voice tell me to stop bashing myself and to remember where I have come from…remember how far I have come, and to be at peace with that.
Let me clarify…when I say that I heard God’s voice, I am not some crazy person who hears voices. What I mean is that I had a feeling from deep within my soul…the place of true love and light…the place where God lives within me. It is a feeling so sure that you could not imagine anything more true. It is an amazing experience, possible for anyone.
Anyways, the first night of the retreat certainly calmed me and helped me to realize that I am moving along the path that God has provided for me. Thank you!