Friday, January 29, 2010

The Walk to Emmaus

I want to apologize to my devoted blog followers for the 2 week hiatus. As some of you know, I went on the Alabama Walk to Emmaus (#363), through my church to Camp Sumatanga. I left last Thursday afternoon and didn't return until Sunday night. We were told to leave all of our luxuries of the secular world behind (i.e. watches, cell phones, etc.) so we could fully dedicate ourselves to the spiritual weekend. That was a difficult thing for me to do, as I have never gone ONE day without talking to Steve since we began dating 6 years ago. In addition, it was hard to cut ties with my children and trust that all was going to go well at home without me. Of course it did, and I am so happy that I went.

This experience was so valuable to me, and I hope that the feeling of gratitude and closeness to God that I am feeling right now lasts forever. It was such a good reminder of what Jesus did for us, and it made me even more thankful for the things in my life. I have always viewed myself as a Christian, but after having my children my feelings deepened. After going through the whole process of each pregnancy and child birth, and holding these little miracles made me ever thankful for my healthy beautiful children. Then as Steve and I each experienced job headaches in a terrifying job market, and things started to change and look up for each of us, once again I knew that God was looking out for us and had a plan.

Long story short, I knew I needed this. I wanted to thank God (as I do every night in my prayers) for everything that he has given me, and continues to bless me with daily. But what I didn't expect was to learn so much, and feel so much love from him. It was an emotional weekend, and anytime I slow down and just recall things about it, I cry again. I know I am an emotional person (I have always had the ability to cry at a drop of a hat), but this weekend I cried a river. Some of them were tears of sadness after listening to other people's journeys to God, but most of them were joyful tears.

I am so thankful for everything in my life, and my family and friends mean the world to me (I hope you all know that). However, I learned that I need to reprioritize things some. I really need to put God first, and continue to trust that he will guide me down the right path. I know I will stumble, but I am confident that I can lead a more fulfilling life if I can do this.


Lindsey Smith Photography said...

That's awesome Julie! I've heard that "the walk" is a really powerful experience! I recently heard someone say that in your relationship with God that you should:
Daily: Recommit
Weekly: Renew
Monthly: Review
Yearly: Retreat
Sounds like you got in your Retreat!

Lisa said...

I just read your post out loud to Mark - Thanks so much for sharing!! It was so special to be at camp with you. Made my heart feel good that you are thinking about those priorities. In that talk, there is no mention of God - on purpose - so that each individual can start truly thinking about their own priorities. God is the top priority in our marriage and it was so hard not to "say that."