Sunday, April 10, 2005

Woman of Grace

Just got back from a weekend retreat that focused specifically on living the life of a Christian woman solely by God's grace alone. It was a very empowering encounter with the Lord, and I must admit that I was guilty at first for dreading being at the retreat the moment i set foot on the floors of the retreat house. I already knew for a fact that I was going to go through with it alone, without the comfort of knowing that my sisters in Ligaya would be there to experience it with me. And for those who know me well, to be around total strangers for a whole 2 days and to sleep in a place far from my husband and my son, was extreme torture. I hated being alone. I hated having to make small talk with people who I know I must speak to eventually (it's a retreat -- so in the course of 2 days i would have to pour out my heart and woes to them at some point...). I dreaded the thought of sharing a room with an unknown woman whom i wasn't even sure i would get along with. In short, i had thoughts of making an escape by coming up with some lame excuse that my son missed me and could not bear being away from me for more than day (which was far from true because he hardly even noticed my absence... sigh*) But God's grace was with me from the onset. I made the decision to receive this grace, and with a deep breath, i said yes to the invitation and went through with the retreat.

And i'm glad i did.

I discovered so many things about me that i never did quite figure out before. It really helped that it was a retreat that centered on the frustrations, fears, needs and aspirations of a woman. Somehow i felt that being in the presence of other Venusians helped me confirm some of the doubts and uncertainties i've had on past decisions and nagging feelings i've been having had i discussed them with my Martian partner. As each hour passed, i felt more secure, refreshed and strengthened by the knowledge of God's constant presence in my life. Something that i know for a fact (of course) has always been there, but time and again forget when the going gets tough and i start to rely on my own strength instead of receiving His grace.

It was by obedience alone that i decided to stay at the retreat, and God has rewarded that act by gifting me with new insights, new directions, new friendships, and a renewed faith in Him who directs my steps. Having to accept His grace to face life's challenges may seem like an easy task at this moment (believe me, I am at a difficult fork in my life and His grace is all i have right now), but the real challenge lies on whether I can actually remain consistent in my promise to live out the life of a woman of grace.

By his grace once more, I am hoping to fight my battles with confidence and a winning heart.

I pray for God's grace to also be with all of you who are facing difficult situations at this very moment.

Pray for me too...:)

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