Wednesday, May 4, 2011
A Weekend Away
I spent last weekend at Bethany's Women's Retreat across the mountains in the beautiful, Bavarian town of Leavenworth, Washington. I was honestly a little apprehensive about attending, but I kept feeling a little nudge from God telling me I should go. And I'm honestly glad I did. It was a great opportunity to get a away and get to know some of the amazing women I'm surrounded by on Sundays, and put faces to the names I'm constantly emailing about classes, service times and room availability.
I think I was scared for a few reasons. First, I had never been to a retreat before. Being new(ish) to this Christian walk, and having never gone to summer camp (from what I hear they're fairly similar), I wasn't quite sure what to expect. And I will admit, I can be pretty intimidated by the unknown. Second, I didn't really know anyone else who was going. Which, for an introvert can be exhausting to even think about. Third, I was afraid that spending the weekend at a work sponsored event would make me feel like I was at work. And darn it, I wanted a retreat from that.
But I'm slowly learning that God has a funny way of providing, and blessing me while pushing me outside of my comfort zone. This weekend He gave me a mini, grown up version of summer camp. It wasn't quite the Bug Juice experience I've always wanted, but I did sleep on the floor in my sleeping bag in a room with five other girls, we did stay up late talking about boys, and there were moments of slight panic about who to sit with at breakfast and lunch (yes, I am 27 going on 12). This weekend I was also given the opportunity make new friends and build stronger relationships with ones I had previously only known on the surface. And thankfully, it only felt like work for the first 10 minutes.
It hasn't been a great week so far, but it has been fun to think back on the weekend, and those encouraging moments of connection with friends and with Christ. I'm so grateful that I got to know God a little better. To dig into His word and to have someone smarter than I am explain it to me. To spend time in prayer and share questions and concerns with a group of women not only willing, but eager to hear my story. It's nice to not feel alone, which reminds me a quote printed on a packet of seeds we were given by the leaders of the retreat:
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
- C.S. Lewis
Especially in moments of frustration and sadness, it's helpful for me to remember that I am not alone, in more ways than one.