It is the first time that I agreed to share my testimony. It took me a long time thinking about what I should tell you and where I should start my story. It was my first time at Acamps and it was a huge gift from the Shalom Community to me. I say this because I couldn’t participate in this event without their help.
So my trip started on 30.06, my friends from Shalom and I traveled for 4 days in Italy before arriving at the camping place where the Acamps was going to take place. We visited holy places like Manoppello, San Giovanni Rotondo, Padua and lots more. But actually, this trip started with the sacrament of confession. I went to confession after several years of not doing it. I felt I had to do that even though my faith was weak and it was very difficult for me to believe in God and trust in Him. I was scared to go to Acamps and I was thinking: why is this happening, what will happen there…?
During our journey I was amazed; I saw beautiful places but I couldn’t feel anything. I saw people crying, smiling, I saw something on their faces, in their eyes but for me… there was nothing. When I saw the Face of God in Manoppello, the Eucharist miracle in Lanciano, the body of Padre Pio… I felt nothing. In Manoppello I tried to physically, if I can say that, experience what my faith looks like because I couldn’t see God in my life. I sat close to the church’s front door and from that distance I couldn’t see His face even though I knew He was there. Like in my life: I know He is there but I can’t see Him, I can’t feel Him, I can’t experience Him.
But something different happened at Acamps. I experienced something good by meeting new people and while I was talking and sharing about me and listening to other people’s experiences. However, I continued feeling a void throughout our camp. I couldn’t see God. I felt that I was not able to experience His presence. On the last day during the speech, I was asked to go to the front to perform a short scene about the one heart of God the Father, and Jesus, Father and Son. And in this scene I could finally experience from God, how He fills my inner emptiness with His heart. But I still felt nothing special. And with this emptiness I returned to Poland. Some time after my return I was looking for pictures for a spiritual diary to describe my trip to Italy there. I found a picture of Padre Pio signed with these words: “Do not be afraid if you feel nothing” and it felt like a shot to my soul. I didn’t know that these words had a continuation. “(…)These are the trials of a soul that God loves. He wants to test that soul when he sees it has enough strength to withstand the battle and to weave a wreath of glory with its own hands.” When I read the whole quote I realized how much love God has for me, but in order to receive it I have to persevere in small but difficult things for me like prayer or confession and He will do the rest. And then my heart will be changed by His heart.