Today I wrap up the third and final day of the first senior retreat of the year.
As I think back to the conversations had and the talks given, this quote by Therese of Lisieux came to mind. It’s a quote that reminds me we are uniquely created, uniquely formed, uniquely called, and uniquely loved.
Retreats are a time of vulnerability with God and with others, a vulnerability that often leads us to new understandings of self. They are opportunities to let the walls come down for a bit so we can catch a glimpse of the unique person God created us to be… so we can start to embrace who we are as unique persons sorely needed in this world.
Often when we go on retreat, we get the time and the space to see ourselves clearly and begin to appreciate God’s intentional work in creating us.
Then, inevitably, we enter back into the world again.
Once we are there, stress and strain and deadlines and to-do lists and awkward conversations and mistakes we make threaten to rid us of that understanding. It is easy to let go of all we have learned while we were quiet and focused and more in tune with God.
So how do we hold on?
For me, holding onto the understanding that I am a unique person loved by God is a daily effort. It’s an intentional pausing to remind myself that it’s okay to be myself. It’s an intentional pausing to remind myself that God makes no mistakes… and so God did not make one with me either.
It’s a daily imagining of a God that looks at me only with love and is desperate for me to do the same.
So, this morning as I finish up this retreat and you head into Thursday, let us pause a moment and remind ourselves that we were not all meant to be roses…
And oh how the garden is made more lovely, more complete by our magnificent diversity.