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Change of heart

Hi Fontbonne!!!

How is everyone doing today? Good, bad, sad, crappy, etc? Well, I sure hope those negative ones have disappeared!

When you have a bad day, it’s hard to stay positive and do things well. I definitely know how that feels because I sure do get grumpy when I’m upset. However, I don’t like to let it control my mind or actions. It’s just not worth it. I tell myself that it’ll get better. I also thank God for that.

Speaking of God, my blog today is about the Metanoia #8 retreat that I just returned from. Metanoia means “change of heart.” In other words, you open yourself up to God so he can give you the love, strength, support, and care that you need. Also, you open yourself up to others. You may not know them or even met them before, but the retreat changes that. There were people that went to the previous retreats as well, including myself. This retreat was my second trip. Why did I go again? Well, I loved it the first time and God continues to surprise me! I also got the chance to understand the people who I already knew and who I just met.

God is not just anybody. I won’t say that I know exactly who he is because I’m still getting to know him. So let’s be patient. I have come to learn and even feel how God has changed my life. There were many times when I’ve doubted myself (actually I still do but not too often) or even hated myself for crazy reasons. But I think about Him, and I know He comforts me every time. I love God.

So, the retreat included Campus Ministry Director, Sarah Boul, Sister Amy Diesen, team members: Isabella (Izzy) Liu, Cassie Dougherty, Catherine Jaeger, Andrea Artz, Andrea Coffey, Sam Beaty, Tyler Fernandez, and Jes Stevens, and retreatants: myself, Hayden Pattinson, Rachel, Brittny Radley, Ana Soares, Chantal Brown, Andrea Bailey, and Deanna. This was a smaller group compared to last year, but we still had a really amazing and energetic team.

Our retreat location this year was in Dittmer, Missouri, about 45 minutes from Fontbonne. It was a very beautiful place and the building is very warm and comfortable. We were divided into different rooms, so I was with Jes, Andrea B., and Sam. Later, we were split into our small groups with a team leader. In my group, I had Jes (team leader), Hayden, and Rachel. I got the chance to know Jes even more and Rachel and Hayden. Hayden didn’t talk as much, but we all hoped he will open up.

Compared to last fall, I was much more outgoing and I talked to almost everyone there. Everyone’s personalities were great. During reconciliation, we had sat in our own spots to think about our lives and how God has influenced us. I thought about my family, especially my mom, and my boyfriend, Michael. I also thought about my friends from high school and the friends I’ve met at Fontbonne. In the small booklet that we all received for the retreat, I wrote down little things and questions from my mind. When I thought about my mom, I teared up a little. She has done so much for me and I hope that she knows how much I care for and love her. God has shown me how to work my way through my struggles and pain.

During reconciliation, Sarah and Brother Brad (I’m not sure who he is or what he looked like!) were doing the “confession” times for anyone who needed to confess or to just talk to. I didn’t feel too much trouble so I stayed at my spot the whole time. We had a long reconciliation, but I was patient and just thought about good things. I prayed for everyone in my life, even for people who I barely talk to.

The fun things that I got to do were games, bonfire, and movie. We played Uno then Phase 10 at one point. I played Uno before, but not Phase 10. I had so much fun with my fellow retreatants. Oh, the food there were very delicious, too.

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