In my previous post I briefly mentioned my 6 months of CRHP. After the initial Renewal Weekend, the team goes on to "formation." Formation is a 6 month process of spiritual growth. Every one on the team has a "role." Some of the roles are small in commitment, others are big on the commitment front. The roles are not picked or assigned, they are prayerfuly discerned. We were all given a couple of weeks to read about each role and then we had an Evening of Discernment.
Before I go on I should back up. During the initial renewal weekend, I actually questioned if I was going to go on to formation. I spent much of the first day of the retreat asking God why I was there. I really felt like I was just in a different place with God and that I didn't "need" healing like I was witnessing from everyone else. At the conclusion of the first evening of the retreat, I asked God for a sign if I was supposed to continue on with formation or if I was being called to do something else. At that exact moment, I turned my head to the left and I saw 2 Stations of the Cross. Station 13 and 14. What were the chances? I got my answer. What was the answer exactly? To surrender. This CRHP wasn't about me or what I wanted or needed. It was about God. It was about what HE wanted for me. You see, I was now a sister of the CRHP 13 team, and if I continued with formation, I would be part of the team giving the next renewal weekend to the sisters of CRHP 14.
Back to the Evening of Discernment...I KNEW God was calling me to be the Lay Director of CRHP 13. Lay Director would be a "big" one on the commitment level. I would need to be at every meeting, every activity and every CRHP activity. Chris travels so much I knew this was going to be impossible. I was in complete denial and wouldn't admit it to myself or anyone. I wanted an easy job, one that wouldn't have a lot of responsibility or time commitment. Since both boys are in school full time now, I was ready to be selfish and spend my days exercising, scrapbooking, reading and decorating the house. All things I had been neglecting. God sure has a sense of humor, that's for sure! So, because I was in such denial about the call to lead, I was physically ill. The entire day of the discernment I was sick to my stomach and couldn't get more than 2 minutes away from a bathroom. (Sorry TMI.) While at the actual discernment, I thought I was going to be sick. However, when the time came, I made a deal with the man upstairs. I told Him that I was just going to write down "Lay Director" on my sheet. I thought for sure there was another one of my sisters better suited for the job. As soon as I wrote the last "r" in the word director, I instantly felt better. It was as if I had imagined my entire day of intestinal "distress." Talk about an instant reward for surrendering! I wish I would have figured it out a little earlier in the day. I was ready at that point to get going and head out for fellowship. I was ready to celebrate that I was able to surrender and I truly felt free!
As it would turn out, no one else in the team felt called to be the Lay Director. 6 months later, I am able to look back and see God's plan for me and how beautifully it all worked out. He called me to do HIS work, and because I trusted Him and Fully Relied on Him, He made it all work out. I didn't miss one meeting after I discerned the role of Lay Director. AMAZING! I did have to sacrifice time with my family and friends, but I knew it was what God wanted me to do at that time. I grew so much over the past 6 months both spiritually and personally. I practiced patience (although I've not mastered that virtue yet), acceptance and compassion. I learned to Let Go and Let God. It was a life changing experience. It didn't happen all at once, but little by little and day by day. My heart will always carry a soft spot for the 18 women I now call my sisters. My life will NEVER be the same. It has been forever changed, but in the most amazing way possible.
As I sit back and reflect on the past 6 months, I am in shock and awe that I almost missed out on this whole experience. I shudder to think if I wouldn't have done formation. If you ever have a chance to go thru CRHP, do it. Yes, it is a Catholic program, but I'm sure other denominations have something similar. I promise you, it will be one of the best gifts you can give yourself. God will give you so many blessings in return. Remember surrender it's not up to you and never was" - Sara Groves.
So, what's next? Rest. Lots of rest. And time with my family. I'm catching up on all the things I put off the past few months and I'm enjoying reading and running! Until God calls again, I'm going to enjoy this time to focus on myself and my family.
Here's a picture of my CRHP 13 Sista's. Aren't we a beautiful bunch of ladies!