That click-bait title totally got you, right? Experimenting, I think I’ve #nailedit. So anyways…
Eleven years ago I needed to get away. Get away from the noise, from busyness of life, from opinions, and everyday clamor that left me feeling overwhelmed and losing my center. I needed to reclaim my soul. Without any experience or knowledge (like ANY) I decided to take a 3-day solitude retreat at a retreat center near my home run by Catholic nuns.
I was in over my head, folks.
But the rest of my life I felt “in over my head” so I figured being “in over my head” with God was a better choice.
I settled into my simple room with a single bed, one chair, a desk, and a sink. The shared shower was down the hall. The Sister who would be my spiritual director (someone who helps you listen to God’s movement in your life) was supposed to meet me at 4pm, but got held up until 9. This gave me hours to fill with fumbling attempts at studying, reading, a walk, and beginning to design a “schedule” for the next few days away. I felt unsure of what to do, and how to position my heart to meet with God.
So I tried to fill space instead of create space.
A Sister in a habit arrived with a soft knock on the door and confidently walked into my room to listen to me ramble on about what I was thinking about God, how my “soul” was doing, and what I was going to do for the next few days. Waiting for me to take a breath, she interjected, “You need to put your books back in your suitcase, slide them under your bed. Then, I want you to spend the next 3 days considering just one Psalm.”
ONE PSALM!!? I had packed NINE books (including a Bible commentary and dictionary), I was ready to do some serious damage to my inner noise. The only problem is I had armed myself with…more noise. I swiftly panicked and simultaneously realized she was right. She was listening to the Holy Spirit with me and God knew exactly what I needed.
I took her encouragement and packed my books away and committed to just one psalm (Psalm 139 if you are wondering). Three days later I left the silence with something I hadn’t expected:
I had come to enter silence, I had not been prepared for the silence to enter me. This was an entirely new experience, and if I was just reading those words right now, I would have absolutely no idea what that means. But let me tell you, it’s transformational.
If the Sister had not listened to me and to the Holy Spirit, I may have squandered my whole silent retreat in (albeit ironically) noise. Inner noise, but noise nonetheless. Her gift to me of spiritual listening and discernment has forever changed my life. Without her my inner journey Godward these last 11 years would look rather different.
All these years and countless retreats later I am becoming a spiritual director and am launching a personal retreat planning ministry called Reclaim Your Soul. I want to serve leaders and God-seekers like you in your pursuit of soul-peace and a Godward heart.
There is so much to explore in the world, but I really believe the final frontier will forever be the human soul. When we create space to connect with God, our souls flourish (and heal, and find peace, and renew hope, and and and and and…). This can be true for you. (Even on a 1/2 day retreat, retreats don’t have to be days long).
Reclaim Your Soul is about making space in the noise for whatever your soul needs, even if you don’t know what it needs…especially if you don’t know what it needs. I am coupling spiritual direction with personal retreat planning (see below), crafting a rhythm for you to get away and create space. You can click on the one sheet below to email me directly with any questions or to set up a time to chat.