Posts tagged: Retreat
Today, I am going to journey to Orange County beaches I don’t normally go to. I am going to break my normal routine, get out and have a day of honest, heartfelt conversations with Jesus. I am going to create space to hear from Him. I am going to, have to, need to, hope to, still my heart and soul, so I can hear from and receive from the Holy Spirit.
I need this.
There are so many things to process. So many things to wrestle with God about. So many things to let my soul grieve about. So many things to let my heart mourn over. So many things to celebrate over. So many things to just let my mind clear space for - so I can hear and listen again. So I can receive again. So I can run the race to the fullest.
If I don’t do this, I don’t know how much longer I can make it. My tank is on empty.
Holy Spirit, I need to hear from you. I need you to breathe life into my soul today. I need you to show me how near you are. You are the Comforter and I need comfort. I need your presence. I need to be filled with strength and energy.
There are rhythms and seasons in life in ministry. Inside this one, I desperately am being reminded about my inadequacy and my inability to do this life on my own. Not only do I need the Holy Spirit, but I need my community. I cannot do this on my own.
Conversely, I am reminded how much I do not want to do this life on my own. I want to do life in community - even when it means I get to bare the authenticity of my fractured and shattered soul.
So here I am, typing out the thoughts of my head, heart and soul.
I am fractured.
I am shattered.
I am splintered.
I am being broken into something almost unrecognizable.
I wonder constantly why I can’t just flip the switch and be okay?
I wonder why I am even sitting in this season to begin with?
I know I am strong like bull, yet still, I have never encountered this season before.
I don’t ever want it to not break me - death should; it better; it must.
But, let me tell you, I need the Holy Spirit to breathe me life so I can run the race God sets before me. Holy Spirt speak. My hands are open. My soul is as ready as it ever will be in this season. Will you please show me the next, best, right step?
America dubs the month of March as “Madness”. That or “Moustache March” - but for the sake of this post, let us focus on the idea of “March Madness” because my month of March has been madness.
March has broken and beaten me.
March 100 - J-Welch 0.
Spiritually - empty.
Physically - shattered.
Emotionally - conflicted.
Intellectually - drained.
I knew I have been in the process of breaking, Sunday night I realized I was no longer breaking - I had been broken for quite some time. I knew the fuel light of my soul was on; now I understand the lever has broken off the fuel gauge and all I have left are fumes. I really do not know how much longer I will be able to keep running the race.
Yes, I have brothers around me. My community is great. I am not in this alone. Yet, my brokenness is still real. The pit of mire and murk is engulfing. I know there is hope, yet hope seems distant, far and not for me. I would love to wrestle with God - but this involves energy; I am too wasted to wrestle with God. I am too tired and conflicted to clear my head and hear from God - this is where I am.
I need permission to understand this is where God wants me to be in this season.
I do not want to be in this season.
I did not choose it.
God has me here for a reason.
In the same way I felt convicted to sabbath once a week this semester and begin to implement it as a rhythm and discipline for the rest of my life, I know I need to use the few, precious days of Spring Break I have next week - with no work - to get away and have a sabbath retreat. An extended time of intentional rest. This does not come easily, because I know there is much I should do on those days off from school and work.
There are papers to write.
Yet, I need to remember God will provide. I cannot earn it. In order to run the race I need rest. I need to reorient my soul. I need to clear my head so I can hear clearly again. I need to begin to have the ability to wrestle with my God. I need rest. I need a sabbath retreat.
I need to take this risk, because I am afraid of what it may do to my grades and classes - but I also know I will not survive the semester if I do not take it. I need to let “March Madness” transition into “April Showers”, so “May Flowers” can be grown.
People have been asking me why San Diego for my retreat of solitude?
Honestly, the answer is simple - it is here God has shown Himself to me in new and powerful ways. This city has grown my passion for Jesus, His Kingdom and the lost in ways I never knew were possible.
For some reason, God has used San Diego as a conduit for my spiritual growth and journey. Thus, when I was given the opportunity to choose where I could go for my retreat - San Diego was the first place I thought of. It has everything about a city that can speak to my heart and soul - beach and people.
When I need solitude or refreshment I don’t run to the mountains or woods. I go to places filled with people and the beach. It is the way God has wired me. It is the way I process. It is the way my brain works. It is a strength and weakness.
San Diego has spoken truth and hope in my life several important times before; I am expecting God to do it again.
My week has been leading to this. I’ve been preparing my heart for San Diego. God has been preparing me for this weekend.
Pray for me.
Tonight, after work, I am driving down to San Diego. I get off work at 5 p.m. and I will begin my retreat of solitude to process my calling and vocation. I am really excited.
I will be staying at a hotel in one of my favorite cities in the world, within walking distance of the bay and beach to encounter God. I am expectant this will happen. I have been taking all week to intentionally prepare for this weekend. I have been longing to be able to get away and process all God has been doing. Let me tell you, He has been doing a lot.
It is going to be a good weekend. I ask you, my tumblr followers to do me one thing - when you get a chance over the next 24 plus hours - please, please pray for me. Pray for God to speak. Pray for God to move. Pray for me to listen. Pray for me to encounter God in fresh ways.
Can you do that for me?
I am expectant.
Can you please pray for me?
For the past fifteen months I have been attending and studying at Talbot School of Theology - seminary - at Biola University. It has been a time filled with the ups and downs of life. The educational process itself has been one full of the good, bad and ugly. It has been a love-hate relationship. Sometimes more hate then love.
One of the biggest reasons for this dilemna has been the Spiritual Formation track they make every Talbot student take. It is a series of classes that must be taken in succession your first three semesters. It also includes Spiritual Direction two semesters (my second favorite part of the track). The first two semesters, the classes were dry, long and not worth my time. The second semester had it’s moments, but in the overarching perspective it even fell flat.
However, semester number three has been increasingly different. Our subject matter is calling and vocation - two subjects resonating with my heart and soul right now. Plus, it is material I find deeply important - stuff that even though it is not new to me, is so great to hear more thoughts on and different perspectives. It has been exciting. It has been a powerful reminder of who God has created me to be.
In the same way, I get to pursue this idea even further this weekend. This class has me going on a twenty-four hour retreat of solitude to pray through vocation and calling.
I am excited to do this.
It could not come at a better time.