I had the blessed opportunity to attend my 5th course with the TOB Institute two weeks ago.. This one was called Theology of the Body III: The New Evangelization. I am not sure what I was expecting.. I was excited and nervous because God always seems to make me a “new creation” at these courses. G-Man says I always come back a much better wife which is a very good thing because I have a lot of improving to do.
I started just writing about a few of the blessings I received but then I realized that God worked on me this week in a linear fashion and without the timeline of the week, the blessings can seem a bit one dimensional.
So you, the wonderful reader, will get a full snapshot of the week.
Starting with Sunday:
So I left Sunday and I met a great lady on the way that drove me the rest of the way so G-Man can have the car while I was gone. Letting someone else drive me was my first blessing. God was trying to take the control out of my hands. I can be a bit of a control freak. For example, at previous courses, I would arrive quite early, get settled in my room, find the perfect seat in the classroom and go to dinner exactly at 5 pm. Well, we didn’t arrive until 5:30pm. And then I find out my room, instead of being in the main building, is in a cabin up the street. So I just throw my self in the gym outside of the kitchen, eat a quite dinner and then try to find the cabin. This cabin is about a 7 min walk away. Not a big deal, but the control freak in me was freaking out because I was going to be late to my first session at 6pm. Believe me, I got the message immediately. God was saying to me, “Sit back, let me take control. Everything will be fine but it won’t be at you would like to have it. Allow yourself to come unhinged so I can start building you back up.” This was uncomfortable but good. And I was so grateful to be here again. This little upset prevented me from falling into a routine since this was my 5th class.
There really aren’t words to describe what happened on Monday morning between God, myself and Rebecca. I suggest maybe reading her blog about the course. All I can say is that it was intimate, beautiful and was my first taste of the GLORY of infertility; of just how much of a gift suffering can be. I was crying so hard. But I was also almost laughing! And sharing this spiritual moment with Rebecca just made it all the better!
As St. Paul says, “Furthermore I count all things to be but loss for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ:” (Philippians 3:8)
How awesome must God’s plan be, must His love be, if all my suffering can’t hold a candle to the GLORY of God. Indeed, what I learned over this week is that suffering can be a great blessing if you allow it to stretch you open to receive more of God! I want more of God in my life, thank you very much!
Confession and Penance: Since I had been to other weeks, I knew that they offered a penance service, adoration and confession on Wednesday evening. I also knew that because of how many people there are at this course, if you went to confession at that time the majority of your prayer time would be spent in line waiting for confession. So, instead, I went to confession the first chance I got, Monday afternoon. I hadn’t went to confession in a while and this confession was nothing special really until Father started asking me questions. I revealed my infertility struggle and how I feel I sometime use that as an excuse to put up walls around my heart; to remain separate from other people. Then, he looked at me and said, “For your Penance I am going to ask you to do something difficult and you probably won’t like it at first. I want you to spend some time over the week meditating on the glory of infertility.” Now, this would have sounds strange, almost impossible and even cruel if this wasn’t already on my heart. I had only been at this retreat for about 24 hours and God was already beginning to show me the ecstasy that can be found in the agony of infertility. So I started to go deeper.
To Be Continued…