Two weeks ago I lived a new type of retreat called Kairos. This was more of an outdoors, camping retreat. I have been wanting to live a new retreat for a while now and get that experience of experiencing God and learning about him with other people. It is one that I have been wanting to live since last year and the opportunity finally came.
It was a two and a half day retreat; April, Friday 13th, Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th. I was very excited for days and days before the retreat just thinking about the new experiences I would live, the people I would meet and the new ways I would see God.
There was a part of me that was missing before the retreat. I would go to mass but that never seemed to be enough, and it wasn´t. I knew I needed to do something else, and make a change spiritually. I knew I was missing a sense of belonging especially in the church community. It is what I missed the most. Living this retreat introduced me to so many new people around my age that go to my parish. We were broken into groups during the retreat and those people were the ones who I lived most of the retreat with. Those people have now become good friends of mine. My group was literally the best. We are all so different yet we were able to work against our differences for the one thing we had in common; to experience God, and to learn about him. We experienced so many obstacles together and together as a group we were able to be the strength of others’ weaknesses. The obstacles that either we had to complete as a group or as individuals were made into beautiful metaphors that we are able to use today in our personal lives. Seeing the support and the encouragement that was given to everyone from everyone in the group was so uplifting to see and personally experience. It makes such a big difference what the support from those around you can do to you mentally. I was able to do things that I did not think my body could handle but with the support and them believing in me, I was able to get farther than what I thought I could. Throughout the whole retreat, through everything I lived and listened to, I started to gain more and more confidence with the ones who were perfectly chosen to be in my group. 13 people were in my group and I can confidently say that we have all established trust and a good friendship amongst one another. I have missed being in a group. I missed being involved in a community serving God. One of the things that stuck the most with me was the phrase “live your kairos”. At times I would be worried about the time, or things of the world outside the retreat or what other groups around me were doing, and I would kindly be reminded to ¨live my kairos” which means ¨live your time with God.” It was a reminder for me to focus on my time right now with God, and not worry about what anyone else is doing. I needed to focus on what God had for me at that moment, in every moment of the retreat and now outside of it. Too many times we get caught up in the things that people around us are doing and we don´t focus on our lives and what God is doing with us.
During this retreat, I learned a few things about myself and that is to have patience with myself and with God´s will for my life and I also learned that I need to have more trust and confidence in God. Knowing that everything is possible for God, why fear? That was important for me to be reminded of the things God is capable of especially in my life.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Jennifer Baker – Writer, unparalleled love