Have you been on the mountain?

Maybe you’ve had one of those mountaintop experiences… on a retreat / in prayer / during some quiet time / in nature / with family or in some other remarkable or unremarkable time/ place or space.  It’s that feeling of being supremely peaceful… or in awe… or just so humbled that silence is the only appropriate response.

I had one of those times and it was actually on top of a mountain.

Bighorn Mountains near Dayton, Wyoming... spectacular!

I was on retreat at San Benito Monastery with the Benedictine sisters who live in Dayton, Wyoming.  Tucked away in the Bighorn Mountains, they have been my sanctuary for many years and I love going there for alone time and quiet.

When you hike up the hill on the back side of their property, you come to an overlook that is a scene out of the movie The Sound of Music.  Wyoming mountains are simply spectacular!  You feel like you’re on top of the world!

When life was running wild

So this one day I was feeling pretty puny / like my life was totally out of control / I had absolutely no friends / no faith / no one who cared about me / not a hint of a relationship with God.  In short… I was a mess.

I climbed the hill and sat on a big rock overlooking the valley.  It was a cold, windy, blustery day and after a while the sleet pelting my cheeks really started stinging.  I pulled the strings on my hoodie tight so that only my eyes could see out but eventually I started crying.

I cried for a really long time.  Mostly because I just couldn’t get a grip on my life… and I knew I needed help but I didn’t know what to do.

Tears are words that need to be written.

I cried out all my tears…  I don’t remember actually trying to pray but I guess I did because then I felt / heard this voice inside me saying:

Before you were born, I chose you.

I have called you by name and you are light.

You are mine, my beloved.

Crazy??  Am I going nuts??  Those were my first thoughts… because the voice was so real.  I wasn’t sure whether to believe it or not.

I went back down the mountain to my little hermitage and thought about it all.  Later that night after supper, I shared the experience with Sr. Hope because I was confused and a little scared.  She smiled and said, “Did you know that all of those words come from the Bible?  From the prophet Jeremiah.”

She sent me back with the passages marked and instructions to pray and read… Lectio Divina.  That day changed me.  Funny how God can do that.

Jeremiah today

I come back to these words today because some events lately have set my life to spiraling again… and I’m feeling lost and out-of-control.

When a friend asked me to make a list of things to remember everyday, I found myself back on the mountain with Jeremiah ringing through my head.  I’ve added a little more now.

Before you were born I chose you.
     This path leads to your future.

I have called you by name and you are light.
     A city on a hill.

You are mine, my Beloved.
     My breath gives you life.

What do you need to remember everyday?  Share with us.

Peace out.


About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

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