Truth be told, I was terrified to come to Gethsemani and spend 5 days in silence. Yes, it was scary to think I would be disconnected from my family, but the most terrifying part of it was the silence. When you are silent, it causes you to look inside your own self. It causes you to look at your own life and reflect on things you may not want to admit to yourself. I knew God had many things to reveal to me on this trip, and that terrified me. There was a part of me that wanted those things revealed, and another part that wanted them to remain buried. By revealing them, you are forced to make a decision, do I continue the way that I am, or do I attempt to change?
No one likes change. Change is hard. Change makes you feel uncomfortable. Change makes you work. It makes you constantly revisit conversations or interactions you have during your day to check yourself’ and make sure you are striving toward a different and hopefully better you. It also requires others to help you along the journey. People whom you trust to keep you on the righteous path.
I have shed many, many tears this week as different things were revealed to me. It made me realize, I have come a long way, but I still have many mountains to climb.
I will miss this place of solitude; the simplicity, the comfort, and the silence. As I sat in the church this morning, I started thinking about how much I would miss these men; men who I have never spoken to and men that I don’t even know their names. I have developed a deep love and respect for them. Many of these men are old, frail, and have been here their whole lives. They pray fervently every day, seven times a day as a group praising God through the liturgy of the hours. They are praying for us and for this world. I can’t even fathom the prayers reaching God’s ears from these holy men. I can’t imagine the world without them in it. I am having a hard time imagining my new world without seeing them seven times a day to bring me back to Christ. This place has left an impression on my soul that will not soon diminish.
I pray God will continue to work in me and continue to bless me. I pray for these holy men, that their deep love for Christ will bring them joy and lead to a happy death many years from now. Thank you Jesus for bringing me here. Thank you to my family and friends who made it happen. I am beyond blessed and thankful for this time away.