Although each segment of the retreat can stand on its own, it’s better to take them in order and not all in one sitting.
There is a reflective prayer at the end of each part of the retreat. Spend some time with the prayer to get below the surface of your life where you’ll discover the real answers to your questions.
You may want to keep a journal, noting what ideas and feelings come as you pray and reflect. This may help you reach some clarity rather than going around and around in your head.
This retreat will be most helpful for you if you realize that the call is within your very heart where God dwells. God’s call is spoken here and now in the ordinary experiences of daily life.
The best place to start making any serious decision is in the realization of God’s tremendous love for you and God’s assurance of being with you on this journey. Relax, take a deep breath and spend a few minutes reflecting on this passage from Isaiah:
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you; In the rivers you shall not drown. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned; The flames shall not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Saba in return for you. Because you are precious in my eyes And glorious, and because I love you…
Fear not, for I am with you.
Isaiah 43: 1-4
What thoughts are going through your mind as you read this?
God says, “I have called you by name… Do not be afraid… You are precious in my eyes…” How do you feel as God says this directly to you?
Let these words soak into you. Give yourself time to talk to God about your thoughts and feelings.