Retreat. Withdraw. Retire. Ebb.


By Victoria Utman

Do any of these words resonate with you? Do they strike a chord? Do you know the meaning of these words? Have you heard them in a sentence before? Read them out loud. Reflect on how each one feels in your mouth, on your tongue, ringing in your ears.

For me, withdraw smacks me upside the head and makes me pause. I’m not good at withdrawing. That doesn’t surprise anyone who knows me. I’m loud. I like being the centre of attention. I am always busy and on the go. Even the connotations, the underlying meanings, associated with withdrawal make me squirm. What do you think of when you hear the word withdraw? I am immediately struck with the image of an old hermit or a delicate wallflower. Which, I’d like to point out, I most definitely am not. Yes – I know what it means to withdraw, yes – I’ve seen this word used in many sentences.

I think that Retreat and Withdraw and whichever word resonated with you is worth our consideration.

These words are on my heart and in my mind because for one weekend, one weekend in my year, I pack up my suitcase, call my mom, aunt, grandmother, and sisters, and we attend Sister Triangle’s Ladies’ Retreat. There it is. That word again, Retreat.

I don’t always retreat well. Some years I don’t even attend and other years I have attended, I am present, but not present. Even this year I brought way too much work with me but I am delighted to say that the majority of that work stayed tucked up in my bedroom and was left unattended while I spent time with my Lord and retreating with my Sisters in Christ.

I need this weekend in my life. I know that. I need to be surrounded by generations of Christ-like women. I need time to reconnect with kindred spirits. I need this Ladies’ Retreat as much as a dehydrated soul needs water but I also need to retreat back to God more than once a year. That’s a confession by the way, I confess that I need to go back to the Lord more, and that’s also my prayer. I pray that I learn and practice retreating this next year; that I run to my Lord more frequently with a full, broken, empty, overjoyed heart. I pray this for you and I hope that next year, at Ladies’ Retreat, withdrawing and reconnecting with God comes easily for the both of us.

Matthew 11:24 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Let us rest in our Lord all year round.

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