Author: Melissa Barber
Happy 28 Day of Thanks Everyone!
Knowing that I was completely overwhelmed, over-stressed and under-helped, but pressing to achieve excellence, my Mama and sisterhood sponsored me to attend the annual Soul Sister’s Retreat in Los Angeles, California. They knew that this Sister’s Retreat would rejuvenate me, give me clarity, and send me back into the belly of the beast with reminders of how loved, cherished, and supported I am. Because I had no idea what to expect going to this retreat, before arriving to LAX, I vowed to be open to see/hear/feel everything within the experience. There was not one activity, workshop, presentation or experience that did not make my heart sing.
I love music and to sing from the depths of my soul; it has been something that has gotten me through my entire life. So, the fact that I was immersed in music during the entire retreat (as I learned more about sisterhood, as I was given tools to continue conquering life, as I got free, as I let go of some big weights and as I forgave a little more), I allowed the “Spirit of the Lord to be upon me” and I basked in that glory the entire weekend.
One of the greatest moments of the retreat took place at 5am. (Crazy right?) Each day, there were droves of carpoolers that crammed in cars just to get to our morning activity. After a 10 minutes drive, we made it to the endpoint of our journey. Moments later, we were engulfed in sand, feeling the cool wind hitting our faces and hearing the sound of the crashing waves hit the shore. Our morning activity involved music (again), several stretching exercises, and emotionally liberating activities with a partner. After the activities, most people stripped and ran into the ocean. (That was not happening for me because I was cold!) I kept all of my clothes and layers on. One of my soul sisters commented that I should get rid of some of my layers because I looked like I was stifled and carrying too much weight.But, what she didn’t know was that as I stood flat footed before the ocean with my arms wide open and my ankles and feet buried in the sand, I let the sun kiss my face; I had a talk with God and I let the ocean purify my soul. The ebb and flow of those waves were so calming to me; they soothed my aching heart.
For the first time in a long time, I partook in the ritual of going to the water and laying all my burdens down. In those remaining minutes, I had a conversation with God and told Him about each of my troubles. I even asked for the healing of my broken heart. As I cried tears for all of those burdens, I decided that it would be my last time crying over them. As I was cleansed, I finally found the courage and the strength to let go of those troubles and threw each into the water. Symbolically, I let the ocean carry them away.
That trip to the ocean was such a pivotal moment; it defined a shift in my life and declared a new season. I was released from my old season and everything that was attached to it. (That old season consisted of many dark nights of sowing in tears, sacrifice, deceptions, heart brakes, denials and more delays.) This new season was the joy that comes in the morning and I needed to make room for it.
I not only left the ocean freer that day, I moved one step closer to divine destiny.
Today as I give thanks for the ocean and its ability to purify, I highlight the organization Charity: Water https://www.charitywater.org the spring) whose mission is to get clean drinking water to people in developing countries. They’ve funded 38,113 water projects for 9.6 million people in 24 countries around the world. In the last nine years, the organization dug more than 16,000 water projects, raised more than $200 million from donors, and set new standards for donor engagement and public communication. 100% of all the money given by donors goes directly to the water projects. Please give as much as you can to this wonderful organization.
Have a Great Day of Thanks!