Being a wife, mother, full time employee and attending RCIA can make it hard for me to find much time for anything, let alone quiet time for myself. To fix this, I had told myself I would pray a decade of the Rosary everyday for the 54 day Fatima Novena. To my disappointment, things just kept getting in the way; I couldn’t wake up early enough, I was too tired after my daughter fell asleep, I couldn’t pray peacefully while she was awake, the list goes on. Not only that but I couldn’t get around to personal prayer either, I was just too busy. I saw in the bulletin at church a retreat where I didn’t have to stay over night and knew it was just what I needed.
I had no idea what to expect and I was hoping to learn more about what the retreat was focused on; the Holy Spirit. Little did I know that I would be learning about myself through the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to give too much away about the retreat for anyone who is planning on attending in either March or September of next year, so I will share my personal testimony of how the Holy Spirit worked through me.
During the first adoration on this retreat, I walked into the chapel and took a seat in front of Jesus. As I sat there trying to clear my mind and connect, all that kept coming up was the word “surrender” I thought to myself, “surrender to what? I have surrendered everything to you.” But the word kept coming up; surrender, surrender surrender. I wasn’t sure what exactly this meant at the time but I got on my knees and prayed to God to show me how to fully surrender when I thought I already had. No answers came, but the question still lingered in my mind.
After a day of activities and inspiring talks, we had another hour of adoration and this time it was scary. I couldn’t connect to God, I couldn’t feel Him, I couldn’t hear Him, and I couldn’t talk to Him. I was under serious attack and the only thoughts coming into my mind were pure evil. Everything sin my life I had committed was flooding my mind and the thought that God didn’t hear me and never would was at the front of it. It was like the Devil was laughing in my face for all the bad I had done in my life and thought he had won. It was pure torture, and the scariest thing I’d ever experienced. I didn’t feel strong, but I had to fight these thoughts away, and I asked God to cast them out of me over and over and over again. The horrible thoughts and memories just got worse but I persisted in asking God for help, ignoring the thought that He couldn’t hear me. This went on for most of adoration and finally towards the end, there were no more evil thoughts to have.
Shooken up, I was apprehensive to be open for the rest of the retreat for fear of this happening again; until it was time to rest in the Holy Spirit. This was something I’d never done but I knew I needed it more than ever. After praying about it, I told God that I was ready to surrender. When it was my turn to be prayed over, I felt the most peace I ever had in my life. I gave everything to Him and I felt so deeply connected to Jesus. I knew then why God told me to surrender. There was no way I would’ve been able to be so connected to Him, had I not handed over all of those sins and evilness which I had no idea was in my life. The devil had showed me all my sins and tried to keep me from God, but God took those sins from me when I asked for help and the Holy Spirit allowed this to happen.
Finally, I can connect with Him again in personal prayer without using busy as an excuse. Not only did he completely allow me to be cleansed and show me what needs to change in my life, He also told me in another exercise to make a commitment to pray the rosary and to pray to our Blessed Mother. The Holy Spirit called me to this retreat for all of this to happen to me, so that I could recognize the sin I was doing in my life and to reconcile me to Jesus. It has only been a few days since the end of the retreat but I have made sure to pray the rosary and to talk to Our Lady. Satan will make you think you’re not good enough for God in hopes to keep you away from Him, but call on Jesus and he will bring you to the other side even more open and connected than before.
The Holy Spirit didn’t come to make you feel comfortable, but to burn up everything that is not of God.