One of the biggest lessons I learned this weekend was to be careful of what you pray for and/or think is best for you. I’ve never been met with such an answered prayer as I was at this retreat.
I heard about this retreat months ago, deep in the midst of a really hard emotional and anxiety strewn time. I jumped at the chance to get away, in the woods, with people I didn’t know and didn’t know me and with the intention to spend some time processing what the Lord had been throwing at my heart.
During these months leading up to the retreat I so often complained to the Lord (and others) that I just wanted to be anonymous. I was tired of people knowing me, expecting things of me and me having to live up to this standard that I had set for myself. So often, I longed to leave so many responsibilities in my life: my church, Bible study, this town I live in. I wanted to be at a place that was so large that no one would know me or expect anything of me. I wanted to be unknown. It wouldn’t matter if I didn’t follow through, if I made a mistake, if I made someone mad or if I didn’t do something perfectly, because no one would know.
Well, this weekend the Lord answered that prayer. I walked into probably the hardest and most lonely 24 hours I’ve ever spent. I truly was anonymous. No one had any expectations of me. No one knew me or my story or seemed to want to know. I really think that was all of the Lord. He wanted me to experience what it was that I thought was going to be best for me. What an amazing gift.
I ended up leaving late Saturday night mainly because a way opened up for me to leave. I sat in this room full of 38 other women and have never felt so alone. I was crying out to the Lord from the moment I arrived for a way to get me home. By Saturday night, I had gotten to the point that I understood what the Lord was trying to teach me and I had truly reached that point where I couldn’t handle it anymore. And as He promises to never give us more than we can handle, He sweetly provided a way for me to get home.
What has been so precious for me in the 24+ hours that I’ve been home, is the overabounding love I have for my husband, my children, my home, my church and those people in my life who do KNOW me.
It is so good to be known.