Monday, September 15, 2008

Preparing to Return - part 1

I have recently finished reading "The Shack" by William Young. For those of you who haven't read it, it's a story of a man named Mack, who returns to a place - a shack in the deep woods - which holds a link to his "Great Sadness". There, he meets the Trinity. (You'll have to read the rest for yourself!)

I have also been reading a book by Jan Johnson, titled "When the Soul Listens". It was recommended to me by one of my walking buddies. She said it reminds her of me. It is a book about contemplative prayer, and the importance of taking time in our daily lives to just BE with God. No agenda, just quiet time in the presence of God. YES! I like that!

My friend was sharing her desire to take a weekend away to do just that. However, time and money were presently obstacles. I encouraged her to take SOME time, even if it couldn't be a weekend and we tossed around a few inexpensive alternatives.

As we were walking and talking, I kept feeling like *I* wanted a retreat! On the quiet drive home, I kept hearing "Come...." The Gentle Voice Within....."Come". I knew I must. But when? Where? I had the same time and financial constraints as my friend.

Then, I heard the words of encouragement I had offered my friend. "It doesn't have to be a whole weekend, just a day - or part of one". "It doesn't have to be expensive" Ahhhh....yes... but where would I go?

Then, it hit me. I knew exactly. I went directly to my calendar. Wednesday September 17, 2008. My retreat day. Just me and God. In ink, I wrote "Montgomery Bell State Park".

There is history there. And there lies my "shack". Tucked into a corner of the park, is an old stone chapel. There, nearly a decade ago, I was married.

Now, please don't hear me wrong, I am not saying my marriage is my "Great Sadness". It is not. The grieving of the wish and mourning the loss of the hopes and dreams of a young(er) bride come closer. Had I been pulled aside and shown the events of these past 10 years just prior to being married, I would have chosen the same.

It has been many, many years since I set foot in that chapel, yet, I need to return. I need to go - there - and be in the presence of God. I need to allow Him to heal my heart.

I have receive confirmation after confirmation since setting the date. My favorite, thus far, occurred last Monday Night. I have joined the fall Women's Bible Study group at my church. We had received our books. Out of curiosity, I checked the topic for my bible study for that day: "Getting rid of busyness" and taking time to be with God. Seriously.

So, return I will. No agenda. Just me and God. From there, we'll go where He leads.

1 comment:

Pam said...

September 17... that's the date in 2005 that HSSH left us... still reading... mouth still open...