Today started out rainy and gray just like many others in the past few weeks. I thought to myself, here we go again. Then I walked into Fraunfelder’s Hall located in St. John’s United Church of Christ in Nazareth, and everything changed. The first thing I notice was a glow of busyness. A good busyness of getting everyone registered, collecting lunch bags, and handing out black bags filled with supplies needed for the upcoming adventure. As I looked around the room, I actually felt like I was at the beach. Color filled the room with bright beach chairs and large towels here and there. Tall colorful umbrellas, full-length pictures of palm trees and a sandy beach covered two doors bringing the feel of a warm sunny day inside. It was delightful.
There was happiness in the air as old and new friends sat together enjoying a light breakfast before the clanging of the bell announced the beginning of the retreat; the Sea Side Escape retreat.
Since it was my first time to participate, I did not know what to expect. However, it did not take long to realize that this day would be one, I would not forget. How could I? It was upbeat filled with games, singing praises, prayers, lessons from the Bible, activities that got us thinking, and techniques to teach us how to relax. I could go on and on but will stop here because I think you get the idea.
I loved everything about this very special day, especially the new friends I made. They were kind, accepting, and made me feel like I was an old friend. I learned so much and felt refreshed and renewed.
In fact, as I left the room, I had peace in my heart. Often times when life gets tough, it is difficult to feel God’s love. But I want you to know that He is always with us. He loves us in the tough times, and He loves us in the good times. Yes, this was a great day to learn more about the loving Man who created us, who loves us beyond words and who is always ready to forgive us. Love is the answer, and love is what I saw today, in the faces of the beautiful women I shared my day with.