God says, “I’m coming. Are you?”
Trusting God in times of doubt is a real test of faith. Being obedient is a real challenge in times of doubt. There were so many obstacles presented to us prior to the Journey Retreat. Doubt, uncertainty, Covid, airline travel, gas prices. Should we or shouldn’t we? Stay tuned for the rest of the story.
This was the first since the onset of the pandemic we were able to have an in-person event. We had to cancel two in person retreats. Now, we could dream about having an in-person residential retreat. But oh my, would we ever get tested.
First of all, I have to tell you that before we even had the retreat, we were challenged by the ups and downs of the Covid virus. We really were baffled about what to do. We had no idea if COVID would be still showing its ugly head, or if that was something that we could manage.
That was the first obstacle that we had to work through. Covid policy, check. Covid officer at the retreat, check. Covid supplies for retreat, check. Monitor CDC guidelines, check. Track infection stats, check. Mandate proof of vaccination or negative test, check. Be ready to postpone if rates climbed.
We felt that we had this obstacle managed as well as we could with the unpredictability of the virus. And we did, we said, Fine, we’re going to have the retreat.
Little did we know that there was going to be a war in Ukraine, or that gasoline prices were going to be sky high. Or did we know that the airlines would be dictating prices and travel arrangements for anybody that made a reservation.
In fact, we had individuals who tried so hard to come to this retreat. One woman experienced the airlines changing their tickets three or four times. Along with those changes, prices changed also. One woman’s ticket went from $300 to $800. Another woman would arrive four days later than the retreat had started. Another would have multiple connections and may have ended up sightseeing in an unknown place due to missed connections.
We were concerned about what to do. The ministry board of directors has the fiscal responsibility for the ministry. They also ensure we support our mission for those who we serve. 100% the retreat was a go!
In my morning devotions I prayed, “Lord, I’m really worried.” God clearly told me, “I’m showing up, I plan to be there, are you?” When God said he’s showing up, It seems a little trite to have any doubt. When I said, I am worried about this. God was saying, “I’ve got this. Have this retreat. There’s a reason why you’re having this retreat. It’s not for you, it is for those I am sending to you.”
This retreat was supposed to happen. And God was going to be there. He was going to be there to work through all the loss and the grief that these women were carrying.
When the retreat started, it was so absolutely amazing how ready those who came to the retreat were. In fact, one woman revisited her childhood home, revisited the church where she went to, and she revisited her mother’s grave before she came to the retreat. She hadn’t done this for many, many years. So why was she was nudged to do this at this time? Who knows. But I think we do know, I think that was a God-thing.
Other things that happen at the retreat, the healing and the unpeeling. The healing and the unpeeling of the layers of the grief-onion. When we call this retreat, Healing the Wounds of Mother Loss: one step at a time. That’s exactly what it is. A layer, by a layer by layer, it comes off.
One woman arrived at the retreat in a frazzle. She’d been driving for six hours and was absolutely exhausted. Anxiety was written all over her. I want to tell you, that women physically looked different after the retreat.
Women told us during this retreat as hard as it was, but that it was the best thing that they had ever done.
One said that she what she had paid for this retreat, she could not have gone to a hotel and had 9 meals for this cost. But what she got from the retreat was absolutely a true blessing. Let me share with you a little bit of what she had to say. Click here for their complete testimonies.
“Little did I know now the incredible value of the intangibles that I received. I don’t have photos, mementos, or social media shareable moments. But what I do have is sisterhood, bonding, a very large safety net and a place that will bring me comfort. This is beyond priceless. This is one of, if not the greatest gift I have been given.
Another said, “The Journey Retreat was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but it was also one of the most amazing and best experiences of my life. Sharing my feelings, my story, the life events that have been so difficult I didn’t even realize they were still tucked away inside of me. This retreat was challenging while also loving and compassionate. It was soul searching with a dose of laughter and friendship I have no doubt will last a lifetime.”
“I walked in meeting strangers, but I left with sisters. Sisters I never knew I needed, but they are now a part of my soul forever. I knew this retreat would be a journey home, to my home town, to my mom, to the feelings of my past. But what I found was that this was my journey Home. Home to my loving God that in retrospect had never ever left my side.”
“This retreat isn’t just for daughters who lost their mothers due to death. If your mother was narcissistic or emotionally absent, this retreat will greatly benefit you! I learned that even though my mother died, I still experienced emotional absence as a result of her death. This wasn’t by her choice; however, emotional absence was there nonetheless. My father remarried and I found myself being co-parented by a narcissistic step-mother. The nurturing that you miss due to death, narcissism or emotional absence has no doubt had a significant impact on me. This retreat helped me understand why I respond the way I do in relationships and certain situations. Furthermore, it gave me a closer look into my own marriage and the mothering of my adult kids.
I hope that you will consider coming to the next retreat that’s offered, Save the date for April 28-May 1, 2023. We will let you know if we can plan an additional retreat before then.
If you are ready to work on your mother loss. If you’re ready to lay your grief down at the foot of the cross, and you are ready to connect with a group of women who will surround you with unconditional love. And if you’re ready to be able to work on your journey and know that you’re not alone.
We’ll be waiting for you. I’ll show up. God will show up. When you show up?
My prayer for you is that you know you are not alone and find a way to attend the next Journey Retreat.