“Laura, my life is so busy and hectic. I feel stressful all the time,” the woman stated. “Between the demands at my job, transporting the kids, laundry or cleaning the house, and volunteering at church I’m about to lose my mind. I’d love to discover a way to relax and enjoy life. But I don’t know how.”
This is the distressed cry of the modern woman, “Where is the pause button? I need a break—from life!”
Years ago, people found relief during a vacation. But today many women express that they are more exhausted after a family vacation than they are during the day-to-day living.
What’s a lady to do?
“Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while,” is what our Creator advises (Mark 6: 31) . And if God knew that taking a break was vital, what makes us think we can survive without one? Is there anyone who had a more important job, assignment, or purpose than Jesus, Savior of the World?
He knows that if we don’t hit the pause button, we will eventually crash and burn emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. And our frazzled, anxious, distracted brain will make poor choices along the journey. Our body, mind and soul was not created to function in high gear 24/7.
We need a pause button. That’s why I host silent retreats. 48 hours of fasting—from words, technology, and the pressure of life.
I went to my first silent retreat reluctantly, and pondering, “What the heck am I going to do for 2 days? I was BORN talking, how will I shut up for that long? “
I ventured into the unknown mute after a trusted friend shared her amazing experience, and an intimacy with God that was life changing.
I wanted that kind of an encounter with my Lord, so if I had to shut up for two days—so be it. At first, it was uncomfortable. I felt restless, edgy and fidgety. I needed something, uh to…to—to DO!! And therein lies the problem. I had spent my whole life so focused on doing and performing, that I never learned how to just be.
During the 48 hours each person had a 40 minute session with the retreat coach per day. I couldn’t wait for my time slot. Finally, I could talk!
To my surprise when it was my turn, tears replaced words. The mystery of His presence was so profound and the awareness of my soul so intense I no longer needed verbal expression. The coach helped me to understand that this was normal. He explained that when the soul and mind settles down, and we eliminate the distractions, we hear and sense God in a whole new manner. His wooing, soothing, and compassion morph from words on a page into reality. This rendezvous with the Lover of My Soul led to much change. I finally embraced that I truly am God’s Beloved.
Have you ever tried to explain the taste of something to someone who has never experienced it? Like salt–how would you describe that flavor? It’s salty! Portraying a silent retreat is similar. Until you have experienced it, words won’t do the occasion justice. A few have tried. “It felt like a Honeymoon with God,” “I’ve never felt this peaceful,” are common responses. One woman wrote a song to convey her emotions. For each person the encounter is different.
However, most leave with clarity on why God says we must escape the crowds and noise, and get alone with Him, if we want to live an abundant life. It’s amazing the things God wants to whisper to me, if I will only be silent.
It’s an comprehension and magnitude of God’s command to, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Currently Laura has a silent retreat scheduled near Tampa Florida on March 3-5th. A maximum of 6 women can attend. Register now—silence is calling!
Learn more about author, speaker and life coach, Laura Petherbridge