This past weekend I attended the 1st Annual Catholic Womens' Weekend of Grace (Atlantic provinces).
It was amazing. 300 women in one or two rooms. We had an awesome keynote speaker who spoke four times and other ladies sharing as well, there was Praise and Worship, Adoration, Mass, Healing/Reconciliation, the Rosary, Gifts of the Spirit Discernment workshop, and just time - time together, time with the Lord, just time to stop and be.
As I write this I realize that I will never really be able to articulately capture what happened on paper since it is a jumble of feelings and experiences and sentences will be thoroughly lacking.
It was a first in our area. A scary, unpredictable first. The response was inspiring. All these Catholic women praising, and singing and sharing and loving (even some speaking in tongues - no small event in a traditional Catholic setting), young to old, each in a different spot in their journeys. No men can make a difference and I mean that in the most respectful and loving way. The priests were their for mass and reconciliation but they were well aware they were on "our" turf.
My sister came. She hasn't been in a church environment for four years and has a couple of difficult years ahead of her and she needed "her tank filled". She's not Catholic. So it wasn't "the same" for her and intense for me (trying to answer all the "whys" and "how comes"). However the speakers were marvelous as well as the gifts workshop, so she got filled. How could you not with the Holy Spirit everywhere? I know now that I was distracted by my sister, more than I thought I would be, so worried about how she would take everything. I wasn't looking for acceptance, just no judgement. That ended up so-so. But I was there with very good friends and loved the speakers and I just loved being a part of it. Lessons learned. A couple of "A HA" moments.
Women "know", you know. Women have been through it. Whatever "it" may be, someone can relate. Christian women are in a league all their own. I love that.
We are daughters of God. He is the King and we are His princesses. We are so special to him as women and he loves that we are women. He wants us to be women. He made us different from men on purpose, for His purpose(s). Very freeing.
The speaker spoke a lot about obedience. To be obedient. To not justify or figure out or plan or organize. To do. We are not responsible for the results - that is God's job. We are obey Him and what He wants of us. He will take care of the rest. How freeing.
That He is to be our first thought, first priority. If we do that, the rest will fall into place. How freeing.
Like Heather - she is keeping Him and His will so uppermost in her mind and heart, and she is rolling along, having options revealed, support provided and being comforted and strengthened in her journey. She is not stopping. She is moving forward, following Him, even in all this stress.
My friend Ann was just here, sharing what she got out of the weekend. Lives will be changed. Thought processes, priorities, personal goals will be shifted.
"Wherever two or more are gathered in my name..."
A privilege for me. A lesson, a time of hope and renewal, peace.
How I long for peace and contentment. It doesn't seem like such a foreign concept anymore. The actuality of peace and contentment is becoming less fuzzy and less vague. Seemingly more attainable. Not a day-dream or fantasy. But a reality that I could concieveably live in.
Now that's a nice thought.