I went on a silent retreat last Holy Week. I wanted to make sure that I am doing well in my life and that I’m on the right path. I was also looking for some answers and I thought that the silent retreat would give me that.
And I did. I got all the answers and assurance that I need. The answers didn’t come all at the same time. Some came while I prayed, others while I reflected. The retreat director also helped me. One answer came through Fr. Buenconsejo.
1. God wants you to be happy.
This is validation of what a lot of friends have told me. I’ve always believed it because the last few years have been just so happy. I am still amazed at how much God has blessed my life. It’s like the many years of darkness and misery were replaced with light, love, and hope.
2. You are not going back.
This was one nagging thought I had, that someone would tell me to go back where I came from. Blame that old Catholic guilt. I never doubted that God has allowed me to move on and leave a dark chapter in my life and I never want to go back ever again. I wanted confirmation that God is happy that I’m moving forward.
I got the answer from Fr. Buenconsejo himself. During confession while he was giving me absolution, he said that giving me absolution doesn’t mean I have to go back because the marriage has ended. Imagine my relief when he said this. I remember that after the confession, I headed straight to the chapel and cried unabashedly. Parang gripo yung iyak ko because I received the blessing loud and clear.
3. Trust Him and be patient.
My one question is what are God’s plans for me? I am living a happy life. God is taking good care of me but I want to know what His plans are. When will I get my annulments? Am I going to get married again? Am I going to have kids? Am I destined to live alone? What am I going to do with the rest of my life? I also have one particular intention that I’ve been praying for. In fact, it is the reason why I’ve abstained from pork.
The message I received is that I need to trust Him and that I should be patient. God has always taken cared of me and He will always take care of me.
4. Don’t be afraid.
Related to having trust and patience, the message of having courage was also clear. I got to apply this when I had to fess up to Billy about something. He didn’t say anything but it doesn’t matter because I faced my fear. How Billy accepts it is up to him.
5. Bring others closer to God.
This was a big lesson for me. Over the last few weeks, I noticed that there were at least four friends, who sought my advice for their marital problems. I was a bit uncomfortable because what right do I have to dish out marital advice. I wondered why I was attracting these people.
One realization I had over this is that I was not jaded about love. I listened to their problems without feeling any bitterness. I also didn’t advise them to leave their husbands. Quite the opposite, I told them to take care of their marriages. When I told B about this, she said, “Good, your heart is okay.”
Yes, my heart nga is okay and that was a happy realization. 🙂
When I told this to my retreat director, what she said struck me. She said that maybe these people see that I’m in a good and peaceful place and it inspires them that one day they would be at the same place. She also said that when people approach me to share their problems, I should always remember to bring them closer to God.
It’s a good advice, isn’t it? It’s a good barometer of any word or action. It’s a good reminder that whatever you say or do, make sure you bring others closer to God.
This has also become my own benchmark. I should surround myself with friends, who bring me closer to God. For the record, my friends are great and have always been good influences on me. 🙂 And when I want to start dating again, then I should choose someone who bring me closer to God.
The silent retreat has opened my eyes to a lot of things. It affected my life and mindset in such a profound way. I’m very grateful. 🙂