I remember the tension of arriving and not knowing anyone, and the pit in my stomach when it was time to reveal the story of my abortions. For 34 years I had carried a deep isolating loneliness because of the secrets in my life. Then, with a roomful of strangers, I found acceptance and mercy. Through the grieving and healing process of the retreat, I left that isolation at the foot of the cross.  Even if I never see the other retreatants again, I know that I have friends who really love me.