Last weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of directing/leading the Idaho Women’s Retreat for women living with HIV/AIDS for the 2nd year. I may be the director of the retreat, but these women give me so much!  I learn so much from them each year…about strength, forgiveness, and so much more!

I had such a great time with them last weekend, and we even ended it in time for me to head to church.  Last week’s message was on Joy being the a quality of God.  I love “Joy”.  I feel it  every day, and after hearing about it at the end of the Women’s Retreat, I just cried…big ol’ crocodile tears from joy over flowing!

Rev. Jackie showed us the difference between Happiness and Joy.  Happiness is a reactionary emotion (something you feel because something good is happening) and Joy is a causative emotion (we act FROM joy not because of joy).  This is what I feel in my every day life. I feel joy in everything, even when some things just don’t look “joyous”.  Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)  Joy is INSIDE us already; we carry it with us at all times.  It just needs to be revealed to us..by surrendering our worries and cares.

I have been told lately that I glow.  I believe I glow because it is the joy radiating from inside of me.  I live a life that is truly blessed, and I believe it is blessed in every area!  That doesn’t mean I don’t have my hiccups in life, it just means that I recognize the perfection in every part of  my life.  It also means that I listen to the GUIDance of God…my divine discernment.

Have you ever looked at the word “guidance”? Rev. Jackie, reminded me about the word’s significance in the message yesterday.  The word DANCE is the majority of the word.  Who doesn’t feel joy when they just dance?  Whether they just let go on a dance floor or find themselves dancing through life.  I tend to do both.  But the first part of the word is GUI (God U (you) and I).  God, U (you) and I DANCE.  When we ask for guidance from god and we let go and trust, then we will find oursevles dancing with God.  When we fight it..that is when we struggle and we lose our joy.

So how does this all work with the Women’s Retreat?  Well…here it is.

This year, no matter how hard I tried, I could not find presenters to present at the Women’s Retreat.  I asked everyone I knew.  Even the ones from last year who said they wanted to participate this year wouldn’t return  my emails or phone calls.  It was crazy.  So I asked God for discernment and GUIDance.  What I was told was that it was all perfect and that it was time for me to present my own workshop…one that I had prepared years ago.  The Hero’s Journey.  I was to present this to the women to help them find their own Hero inside their HIV journey.  Once I realized this, I was completely at ease.

And of course, it WAS perfect.  During the workshop, one of the women said that her boyfriend had been studying alot of Joseph Campbell’s work and now she has a better understanding of what he has been looking at.  It has really helped her understand.  Not to mention, the original intention was to help the women find their own Hero within, and that is exactly what we did.  There were some “a-ha moments” over the weekend.  We had a great time!  The weekend was relaxing and done perfectly…time to learn..time to reflect…time to laugh..time to share stories with each other.  It was beautiful and easy.  We “danced” through the weekend.

These women are beautiful and powerful.  I have learned so much from them, and it is my pleasure to be of service to them.  One of them kept saying how good I am for giving so much for no monetary value.  I don’t know how “good” I am, but I do know how “blessed” I am.  This is my calling, and when you follow your calling, all things fall into place.

As I prepared for the weekend, and I surrendered to the will of God and what was supposed to be, I watched everything unfold.  And I remembered the very moment in which I was called to be a retreat director.  The vision I had for the women’s retreats was completely different than what I do now, and there is no question in my mind that what I do now is EXACTLY what I am suppose to be doing!

Psalms 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  I have listened to the divine discernment and GUIDance given to me and I experience the fullness of joy at every turn!  I am so very grateful!

When was the last time, you just let go and Danced with God and felt the Joy that is within you already? Just try it, you won’t regret it!

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