The Familiar Peaceful Presence of God

We recently received this story from a lady who spent a day here on a personal retreat. What a blessing to provide a place where people can come and experience the peace of God in their lives!

I ended 2014 feeling weary and on the verge of a measure of burnout. I work for a ministry and have had the blessing, for the past 18 months, of being the caregiver for my parents, 84 and 87, who live with me. They both show their age in different ways, one primarily physically, and the other increasingly with memory loss. I am single, and my only sibling lives in another state, about 1,500 miles away. It really is an honor to be with my parents in this season of their lives, but it is also a responsibility that can be wearying and challenging. A few days before Christmas, a friend strongly encouraged me to take some time to pull away and spend with God. The holidays are such a busy season, it takes a determined effort to walk the path ‘less traveled’ and seek quiet. Yet, I was desperate. My own resources had been expended and I felt I was drained of any reserves of grace that I had stored. I often felt I simply could not keep up with the demands of life. I was functioning and performing duties, but joy was lacking and my spirit and soul felt withered. My words and tone of voice were getting short and little things that should not have irritated me were triggering anger. I was in sin and a pattern that was just wrong.

So, around the 29th of December, I took the step to care for my soul, and made a reservation at the WCRC. A dear friend came and stayed with my parents. I arrived at the center the afternoon of New Year’s Day for an overnight less-than-24-hours-personal retreat! Though I arrived after the front office was closed, an envelope with my name on it welcomed me at the front door.
I arrived in my room and felt relief, peace, and hope begin to fill my heart. The room was simple and free of distractions. There was a sense of the familiar peaceful presence of God in the quiet. I felt His invitation. As I read, thought, prayed for the next stretch of hours, and then again for uninterrupted hours the next morning, fresh vision and faith began to dawn in my soul.
Back in our home and my work, I still feel the grind, but my bearings are more clear and I have hope and greater faith to seek God in the midst of MY circumstances knowing that He will be my Help and Supply. In particular, there has been a shift in my serving’s purpose. I find that I now am serving with a greater freedom and a desire to be a vessel of love to my parents with an eternal perspective. I also experienced a reset in seeking God’s strength and wisdom rather than just jumping on the ‘hamster wheel’ of duty.
God knows what our spirit and soul need and meets us right where we are.
I am so very grateful for the time I had with my God and loving Father. I want to prioritize personal times of retreat. I need it and it was the best investment of time and resources I could have made, not only for me, but also for my family, friends, and colleagues. It has borne good fruit. It refreshed my weary and depleted heart!
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