Falling in Love
I went to a women's retreat sometime last year. Today I stumbled upon my notebook from that retreat while attempting to clean off my counter and table. While looking through my notes, I realized what a life-changing weekend that was for me.
It was at that retreat that I realized I had been keeping everyone I loved at arms' reach. This included God Himself. I was given the grace to see that my womanhood was being stiffled by my fear of really, truly falling in love. I remember when I came to that realization. It scared me silly because once I realize something, I am bound to take action. But I hadn't the foggiest idea what to do! I prayed, prayed, prayed, went home, tried to be more loving, and over a few weeks, forgot all about it.
But now I look back at my life and I see how much His grace has been working on me. I have made real, concrete steps in taking better care of myself (stopped smoking, started walking, planning time to pray and write icons, going to Diving Liturgy and receiving Our Lord in communion frequently, and so on). One thing stressed in the retreat was we are supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves. I was not loving myself much at all.
Anyway, I realize that since that retreat, I have been better at Loving God with my whole heart, my whole soul, and my whole mind. I have been better at loving myself, so now I am fully ready and willing to begin loving my neighbor as myself. I still have a ways to go, to be sure, but today it was made known to me that I am moving in the proper direction.
Just a few weeks ago, I was mulling over how I feel like it would be nice to fall in love. You know, the thrill, the rush, the excitement. I have been pondering this and what to do, when in my retreat notes, I came across something that was given to me. Don't ever tell me God doesn't listen to the secret desires of our hearts, because I could never believe you. Anyway, here it is: