“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
For quite some time now, I have been vaguely hearing God ask me to “Be Still”. In fact, we ask our mission teams to come up with one word that describes their trip, or a word that God is speaking to them. With the last two teams, my word has been “Still”. I wasn’t exactly sure what He meant because I couldn’t quite hear Him over all of the hullabaloo of my world. Yes, my current culture is much, much louder than my passport culture. However, that wasn’t the noise that was preventing me from hearing His voice. It was too much scrolling, not enough quietude…too much talking, not enough listening…too much doing, not enough being.
For many years, I have been wanting to do a silent retreat. I have asked numerous friends to do one with me. Each time, my lady friends laugh and say, “I don’t think that I could be quiet for that long.” It’s true…when women get together, we just want to talk and talk, and then talk some more. It’s one of our favorite things. We have a love for words that men just can’t seem to understand.
I mentioned all of this to my best missionary friend here, and she thought that it was a fabulous idea. She had been hearing God telling her to “Be Still” also. So, we marked a weekend off on our calendars, made a plan, and met up for this interestingly, strange weekend of quiet. To prepare for that weekend, I decided that it would be good to cut off social media to begin to quiet my mind.
Also, in complete transparency, we decided on 24 hours of silence. I mean, we were at the beach without husbands, kids, or ministry pulling on us. We couldn’t NOT talk at all…
During this time, we could pray and journal. We agreed to no music (because that was more noise) and no books (because that was still words). We stayed in the same room, and went for a walk early Saturday morning. We ate dinner and breakfast together, and even sat beside each other in our lounge chairs on the beach. ALL of this was done without talking. FYI, eating with someone without talking is very difficult and awkward!
We were both happily surprised at all that we were able to experience with God. Once we cut out all of the distractions and commotion and sat quietly with Him, God spoke into our hearts. In that short 24 hours period, He healed some wounds, spoke many truths, and showed us how He was molding us closer to His image. Life is not perfect, and neither are we! I am so thankful for that truth. God loves His broken people because they know that they need Him. I am thankful to be one of those broken people!
He showed me how He has provided for us here in the DR in so many ways. One of those ways was simply being able to go away with a friend that loves God, lives and understands this crazy life we are living, and loves so many of the things that I love. This friendship is so special to me. I am in complete awe that God cares so much for me that He would send me a friend here in the DR to love. That seems like such a minute detail in His grande plan. It was important to Him because it was important to me. I fell more in love with Him that weekend!After sitting in silence and coming back together to share what God had spoken to us, we did a craft. Then we just filled the rest of the time with words. Neither of us was ready for our time to come to an end, but life was calling.
I still haven’t ventured back into the Facebook or Instagram world yet. I am sure that I will eventually because I miss seeing all of the people that I love. I just don’t feel like it’s time yet.
Could you do a silent retreat? We are considering doing another one in the Spring. If you are interested in attending, let me know!