So, I’ve spent two days trying to find out what the heck is going on with my emotions and feelings.

All this time, I had a verse from Psalms popping in every 5 minutes when I tried to pray… It is 139:23-24, from the Message…

Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong – then guide me on the road to eternal life.

The last thing I want is to fall into a trap of thinking I am right and be entirely wrong. Therefore, I tried to find the reasons why this silly bitterness would stay in my heart even after I made a decision to let the matter die… as well as the reasons for me to want to go to that pastors’ retreat.

Reasons for wanting to go:

I like to be involved and I would’ve gone for all 5 days if not for my work. Considering the amount of projects that I am running right now, it would’ve been irresponsible of me to leave work for 3 days (2 out of 5 were the weekend)… I was told that it’s all or nothing and… I did not go. Only to discover that people did go there for a couple of days.

Learning something. There were many questions to ponder lately and I’ve been struggling. And I just needed a way out of Kiev so I could go somewhere and just talk to God… YES, I know I can talk to Him anywhere, but…… there is a reason people go on retreats.

I wanted to spend time with mom outside of Kiev. With my work and her reluctance to travel, we never go anywhere. Last time was 2 years ago when she was translating the Doctrine of Holiness class and I decided to go and take the class so that I could learn more and be with her. Yes, I do like to spend time with my mom.

The reasons why it hurt:

I thought my pastor knew me better. When he said that “In a book you don’t read only the last chapters. Same with the retreat – you would’ve sat there trying to figure out what is going on. And if you wanted to go just to hang out, what’s the point?”…. *wince*…. from a person I trusted…. from a person who I thought knew that my last reason would be just to hang out…. no comments really. It just plain hurt.

A few people from Church who aren’t leaders or pastors went. My pastor’s son and another guy went there. Okay, fine… and he wants to tell me they came there to be involved in the conference and not to “just hang out”?? Oh, give me a break! And yes, if my pastor likes to spend time with his son whenever he can, does it mean my mom doesn’t like the same? How is he better than my mom?

It hurt because I don’t like to give up many opportunities to learn / travel just because of my work. It’s like choosing between parents, which one you love more. Not that anyone would’ve done anything here, except me, but it hurt nonetheless.

It hurt being told that “it’s all or nothing” and then observing a different set of rules applied to other people. At least try to be fair…

The reasons why my not-going was good:

People got sick with some kind of flu there and there’s a possibility that if I went I would’ve gotten the same sickness and ended up missing work… which, once again, I love.

I spent a Saturday with a friend of mine, Jess, cooking lunch, and watching Thr3e and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs together.

I could play my bass on Sunday morning (even though I was moody) and I spent the afternoon with my friend Tonya, drinking tea, munching on pretzel sticks, and watching Lie to Me.

Maybe there were other reasons I am not aware of that would’ve been bad if I did go to the retreat.

And whatever the case is, I am doing better and this is not the worst thing that could’ve happened. It did hurt, but there were lessons to learn anyway.

Whatever happens, He is still in control (that’s a statement as much as a reminder for me).

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

Psalm 139:1, 16, MSG

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