It’s been four years since I went on my first Life’s Healing Journey (LHJ) retreat. I first learned about LHJ when I received a small invitation to a vocational discussion after Mass. At the time, I thought I was being called to the religious life, so the card immediately caught my attention, and I decided to attend.
The first person I spoke with was Fr. Joseph Jablonski, who invited me to attend a Life’s Healing Weekend retreat. At the time, I wasn’t looking for a retreat, I was looking for answers and clarity regarding my vocation. But the experience ended up having a tremendous impact on me. I was given a new perspective on life. I discovered things that I had been avoiding for years, and found the courage to confront them.
Life’s Healing Journey helped me see the world in a new way
After my first retreat, I was really moved. I saw LHJ as an opportunity to grow, develop, and work on myself, as well as a chance to help others. By my second retreat I wanted to be more involved and become part of the LHJ movement. I began to dedicate more time to God and even volunteered as a team member, which I found to be the most rewarding experience yet.
LHJ helped me recognize the hurts I had accumulated through the years. When I was able to open my eyes and let go of the past, I saw the world as a different place; the world was no longer my enemy. After the retreat I began looking at people with a greater sense of compassion. I used to be very judgmental and thought everyone was out to get me. I also began to see God differently and acknowledge that he is accepting, loving, and caring. I started to to get to know God better. I got the chance to take a good look at my life and notice how others hurt too and experienced painful moments just like I did. I got to see the true image of God through the healing process.
I was able to witness the transformations of others
When I hear that the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart are going to host an LHJ retreat I get very excited to know that I will be part of God’s healing plan for other people’s lives. I always pay close attention to people’s faces on the first day; their expressions and how they behave, and I compare that to their last day. Everyone leaves Mass on Sunday with a completely different attitude! Everyone walks away filled with hope, which is exactly how I feel knowing that there is more to life than pain and negativity.
The clarity and peace of mind you get out of it is incredible. Once you hear other’s stories it helps you accept your life and be grateful for what you have.
The clarity and peace of mind you get out of it is incredible. Once you hear other’s stories it helps you accept your life and be grateful for what you have. Once you’re able to share and let go, you start to feel all the heavy burdens being lifted off your shoulders; you become light as a feather! I love being part of that process and witnessing the transformations in others! Although I didn't end up following that initial call to vocations, I found the same fulfillment through a different approach – by being a servant of God and a compassionate member of the community.
I am honored to be part of this healing ministry
The beauty in this retreat is that you can share as little or as much as you want to, it’s about your spirituality. Even those who resist, end up seeing their life as it really is. You will have to confront your biggest obstacle; you will have to face it. And the silence of your heart will give you answers. The closing service is probably the strongest, yet most beautiful, moment of the retreat. You are given the choice to finally let go or to stick to your old ways. You face that decision with such clarity. The reason I keep coming back year after year is because of that moment, and to continue to serve others and accompany them through their transformation.
I hope my story can touch the hearts of others who are struggling to find peace. Everyone deserves to be free of guilt and hurt, and to live fully by simply being the best version themselves.
I hope my story can touch the hearts of others who are struggling to find peace. Everyone deserves to be free of guilt and hurt, and to live fully by simply being the best version themselves. We shouldn’t feel trapped by heavy baggage that keeps us from moving forward. LHJ helped me find myself, and it continues to guide me through my darkest moments. I don’t know where I would be if I had not attended this retreat. I will always be thankful to those who put this together and continue to donate their time to make a difference in people’s lives. It is a beautiful ministry, and I am honored to be part of it.
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