“You seem to be very quiet for someone who has just stepped out of Awaken”, said Swee.
Like a melody produced from the plucking of guitar strings, my heart echoed homogeneously.
I vividly recalled waking up to the realization that I was going for Awaken.
Unlike the many who awaited in excitement and expectation, I was on the opposite of the spectrum.
Heavy, I had to coax and remind myself to remain open constantly.
The first two days of awaken were very trying for me.
I saw myself in the shoes of the usual participants I facilitated in camps.
I was like a hard oyster in the reefs, closed up.
And though I benefited tremendously from the various talks conducted by Your Grace, there was a creeping and growing heaviness that I had to keep battling.
When I meant ongoing battle, I really do mean it where I even found myself doing peculiar things like counting down, talking to myself into being vulnerable.
On a completely genuine note, I felt like I sat through every session and sharing as a third person, looking upon everyone who seemed to be enjoying and relishing every moment spent in the retreat.
Thankfully as the days went by , Jesus untangled every knot that trapped my heart and unlocked ever door that I shut.
The more yes-es I said to Jesus, the quicker he ran to embrace me.
Because I allowed him to. I allowed him to love me.
I saw myself being forgiven to forgive and being loved to love.
On hindsight, I went into the retreat as an individual with pride, self-hatred, and un-forgiveness of myself.
I was plagued with sin and insecurities that choked me.
These obstacles were like the haze at the present, though a hindrance, I could live through.
But the grace and love of God rescued me.
Magnifying into a distinct event, when I received the Holy Spirit, I rested in his peace.
There in that completely paralyzed and God-dependent state, I was brought through many memories of abandonment, sin, past hurts that left me screaming and crying.
As I was screaming and crying out loud, the conscious me tried to be in control.
I told myself to be quiet. But who wouldnt?
In the past, I used to fear as I watched people screaming and crying, sprawled on the floor.
I never expected the same to happen to me.
But I wanted to trust him more, so I gave up battling.
As I screamed and wailed, the pain and unforgiveness within me seem to seep away slowly.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. As my pain slowly seeped away, the love of Christ just engulfed my entire being.
In the last moments, I had a vision of Heaven and Purgatory.
I remember lucidly, blue and white fluffy clouds being present everywhere and Jesus at the centre of these clouds.
He stood there, in the centre. And behind him, I saw Mother Teresa, Mother Mary, Jon, Thaddeus Cheong, my grandfather and many other deceased that looked upon me.
As I walked towards Jesus, he stretched out his arms to me.
Signaling me to enter into his embrace.
There his heart just shone brightly, and as I entered into his embrace, an immense peace rushed over me.
Everything stood still in perfect peace.
After, I looked down and I saw purgatory.
There were many souls and i couldn’t make out their un-distinctive faces.
But I knew that they were waiting to be saved.
Then, I woke up.
I woke up to many things, not just literally.
I was awaken to the love and grace of Christ that he just wants to pour into our hearts.
Again, I don’t feel high or anything of that sorts. (Which explains my passiveness)
But I feel restored.
An unexplainable peace, joy and love that fills my heart.
The knowing that I have greater capability to love authentically brings me great comfort.
Like a pearl in an oyster that requires to be cultivated, Jesus was cultivating me.
Though I know that there is so much more to come- so much more discovery and even greater haze situations?
I want to live in the present.
But with the resilience and child-like faith that my father who is greater above all things will bring me through it all.
If I had to describe how my awaken experience was?
It was, Humbling and Healing.
So thank you, for every individual who supported me throughout my journey of faith.
This beautiful experience could never have been possible without each and everyone of you.
Thank you. (‘: