I don’t know what I was thinking! All those ideas about having a nice, clean, regimented, scheduled retreat… it’s like I was daring the Holy Spirit to take matters into His own hands. And did He ever!

The short version of the story is that these last two days have not gone as planned at all. In fact, I’ve been rather miserable. But–and this is the important part–I have learned a lot. And grown a lot. And grown closer to God. And become a bit truer to myself as well.

I wanted to just withdraw and rest. I wanted to meditate and contemplate. The Holy Spirit was having none of that! He likes to throw me into a fire and have all of my flaws and impurities be burned away and all of my soft spots and jagged edges tempered. He likes to throw me off a high cliff and see me learn to fly. While my soul is screaming and crying and begging and flapping around for dear life, I can sense His delight through it all. I can almost hear His laughter.

Of course, He knows what sort of creature I am. He knows that when He tries me and when He takes delight in it, it ratchets my determination up to the max. “I’m not going to fail,” my soul says with gritted teeth. “I am not going to give up!” And my soul strives ever harder toward God, toward faith, toward love.

I guess I should be thankful that the Spirit allowed me at least one day of relative calm. I might say that I hope He allows my coming days to be full of calm… but I don’t want to tempt Him! I’m not sure how much more of His tough love I can stand just now.