This past weekend was Emmaus XXX! It was absolutely incredible. It's hard to describe what Emmaus means to me, but since Emmaus is part of the title of this blog, I feel it necessary to feign an attempt.
Emmaus has been a part of my life since 2005. My best friend introduced me to this retreat since she had made it a year prior and had family who were on team. Though my sisters had both participated in multiple Emmaus retreats during their high school years, I was a bit apprehensive since one of the ploys of Emmaus is that practically everything is a surprise. You're not told much at all prior to attending. Little did I know how that weekend would change my life and the person who I would become.
I can honestly say that Emmaus is one of the the most important things in my life. Without it I would not be complete. Growing up around such an amazing group of people I learned something very important that I feel like many people are not given the opportunity to learn.
I learned what love really is. I mean, yes everyone experiences love, whether it be with friends or family. But love on Emmaus is a completely different ballgame. Love on Emmaus is like that feeling you get when you're standing at the edge of a mountaintop, or when you accomplish your biggest goal. It's that feeling of being on top of the world, of complete joy; that feeling where you don't think life can get any better. The feeling when you're driving in your car and you smile for no reason. That's what love on Emmaus is like; it's like being on top of the world. I really am at a loss to describe it to be anything different from that. It's not like it's really something you can explain in the first place anyways, but I tried!
In any case, the love I have found through Emmaus also brought me to what I had always wanted. For as long as I can remember, I had a fantastic immediate family. When it came to my extended family, however, we were often broken. On both sides, there was little stability with the exception of a few people. We were never a close knit type, only seeing each other on holidays. And, for as long as I can remember, I had always wanted this other type of family. A family where you could show up at their house randomly; where you could talk to them about anything; where there are periodic picnics for no reason. Just like, real family. Since I understood at a point that my family could never become this thing that I was looking for, I asked God to send me a man who had a family like this so I could at least marry into one. Whatever it took, I wanted that family. I would do whatever it took to get there.
Emmaus gave me this family I had been searching for. They are what I had been looking for for so many years. I cannot even express how much they all mean to me; how much I love them. The unconditional acceptance and love I have experienced through these incredible people. It's hard to even form words beyond how amazing they are; if I could pour out my soul onto this blog and show you how much they mean to me, how they saved my life. They saved me. For that and many other things, I will be eternally grateful.
Hence, I come back around. Emmaus is the place where it all started. Emmaus, in companion with the amazing people on it and the love of the Lord, saved my life. I would not be here today if it had not been for them, or be the person I am without them. Emmaus is an integrate part of not only my life, but who I am.
I love you all. <3 <3 <3
Pass it on.