To say that I’m grateful for being prompted to go away for a Silence and Solitude retreat would be a profound understatement. When I first heard about it, I was truly giddy inside. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time but just needed the permission to do so. In the past, I have felt selfish for wanting something so grand. Some of that still lingered when I shared it with my husband. “It’s an assignment”, I said. “It’s something they are asking me to do and a I really want to do it. This weekend”. He looked at me and said, “Then do it, go, you should”. But something in me still felt like I was doing something wrong. I had to work through some of the lessons from MKE and restore my sense of self. I was able to help myself see that becoming the best me is what the world needs.
I booked a charming Country Cottage south of Lawrence, KS. It was secluded and away from everything! It was next to an 80-acre wildlife preserve that I could walk on. I was so excited even though I only had about 24 hours for the process. I even enjoyed the drive out there. I drove past countless places that resembled my DMP-sprawling farms with barns, animals and gardens. I pictured myself in these places and soaked in my future reality.
The first thing I did after getting settled in this 60’s era well-kept, yellow cottage on a hill was to take a long walk. I was thinking to myself, “Am I really doing this? Am I actually taking time for myself out of the hustle and bustle? Yes, yes I am and it’s about time!”
I went back into the cottage, pulled out my Bible and my notebook and sat down, pulling a cozy blanket over my lap. I closed my eyes and asked. What am I pretending not to know? What do you want me to know? Holy Spirit, what do you want to show me? I sat there for a few minutes and then a Bible reference popped into my mind. “Go there”, I heard. I looked it up and it was Isaiah 46:10 ; “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, “My purpose will stand and I will do all that I please”. This prompted me to ask Him, what is Your purpose God?
Over the next several hours of sitting quietly before Him, He proceeded to share His heart with me. In answer to my question, He showed me that His purpose is that man would enjoy his life and the world around him, Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in it’s time, He has set Eternity in their hearts.”, and 22, “So I perceived that nothing is better than for man to enjoy his works, because that is his portion. For who can bring him back to see what will be in His future?”
This rings true with many things we are learning in MKE. The true source of happiness and bliss is found in our inner man as we become one with our Creator God. We find our purpose in serving and loving others, including Him. This brings a mutual joy between us and Father God. I found true joy and contentment just focusing on these truths. I had no distractions, no obligations and no outside noise pulling on me. I could literally bask in the presence of my Maker for hours and hours with a peace that surpassed understanding. There were moments of conversation that lingered into moments of silence and grace. It was a truly beautiful experience.
“The Glory of God is man fully alive”. -GK Chesterson
I always find it interesting the that experiences we know we want to have, and yet, we think we need to have permission. I loved the passage you wrote “moments of conversation that lingered into moments of silence and grace”. Thank you for sharing.
Glad there was no clash over air time during your silent retreat, Teresa! 🙂
Teresa, I’m glad you gave yourself ‘permission’ to get away. The silence is a renewing and fulfilling experience if we allow it to be. The old saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” is something I’ve always thought about regarding this exercise. Thanks for sharing!