**something funky has been going on with my internet since Wed. its on and off every few minutes and I keep having to unplug everything and start over so I am behind on the Shack and comments. I am sorry! I am working on it as I have access**
“You need to get away for a couple of days,” Mom said definitively to me last week. “You know, just get away by yourself and think and pray and enjoy the quiet.” My thoughts instantly went to the time in recent years that Aunt Deb needed to get away and she drove this old clunky van of theirs all the way to Florida and spent a good solid 10 days by herself. Everyone was a little worried (and she certainly had some events take place that pointed out why women should at least travel with a cell!) but she had a great time with the Lord. My thoughts were interrupted as Mom smiled at Cohen, “I don’t have any ulterior motives, but of course Co can stay with us.” She added sarcastically, “I mean it will be a hard chore, but I guess we could do it.”
Have you ever had someone suggest something to you that you knew instantly was right (without even needing to think about it)? Mom’s suggestion was that for me- it sort of stuck to my insides. I thought about it for a few days borrowing ideas from Aunt Deb’s adventurous go at time alone with God and from retreats I had heard about. My dear friend, Al, from Nashville suggested a list of monasteries and nunneries. I emailed down the list until a place responded and told me they had availability just as soon as I wanted to come.
So on Tuesday morning, when all of my family has begun the journey back to their own homes, I will begin my trek to a nunnery about 3 hours away.
Although an Aunt Deb type of trip sounds wild and enchanting, the thought of a short drive and long stay in one simple place felt…well…right.
As I understand it, talking is only allowed in certain areas…meal time is early, prayers are throughout the day, there is 50 acres of land to walk, and I will have a room with nothing in it but a double bed and probably a Bible.
I am so excited to go and a little scared because of the detox that I know is coming. I can’t even remember the last time I was truly away from all things plugged in, you know? No TV, no cell phone, no iPod, no news, no computer. No talking. Not to mention no toddler. Serious Stimulation Detox coming right up!
There has been so much going on in my life over the last couple of years… marriage, moving across the country, buying a house, separation, pregnancy, a premature baby, separation, financial stress, moving back across the country, selling a house… Its kind of been a whirlwind and to be honest I am just beginning to catch my breath. In the last month, I have experienced God doing a work in my heart that I have been longing for… the depression is all but gone, my thoughts are becoming clear, friendships are being renewed, the Bible is coming alive to me again, and a longing for God has returned. My friend Sarah told me my countenance was different than the last time we had a play date, Tiff said “you sound different” when we talked on the phone, Mom and Aunt Deb have told me I seem like “myself” and Beth said “my light-heartedness is back since the last time we hung out”. I cannot tell you how HARD I tried to make all of that come back and I couldn’t and then one day I realized that unbeknownst to me God had come in and begun to set me free.
I feel like running and singing and dancing and jumping around and wrestling with Cohen. The air smells sweet again and everything around me is alive with possibility. I am seeing God in all of the small things again. It feels like a courtship.
My life is full of people whose opinions and words from God have oft sustained me. I have had to cling to their direction over the last year because I couldn’t get my bearings, let alone hear from God. I am grateful to every counselor, pastor, friend and family member who has helped us navigate these uncertain waters of separation.
But a new thing is happening in my heart… I want to hear from the Lord myself. We are at a crossroads and we have all felt a sudden shift. If there was ever a time in my life I needed to hear from the Lord, this is it. I feel my heart being called away to quietness and prayer and fasting and waiting. Even writing that makes me feel like a parched desert traveler who knows the watering hole is around the bend.
I leave Tuesday around noon and will be back Thursday early evening. I don’t want to be bashful in asking you to pray for me. I really want to hear from the Lord! I really need to. I don’t even know how to ask you to pray, honestly, other than that. I need for Papa to come to me and lay my heart bare and tell me what He’s doing and directing for the next step in my life… I need glimpses of the path in my immediate view.
I covet your prayer, friends.