the inn at half-mile farm (highlands, nc) 2002
"...He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul..."
re·treat (rĭ-trēt') n.
- The act or process of withdrawing;
- A place affording peace, quiet, privacy, or security;
- A period of seclusion, retirement, or solitude.
until this moment in my life, i've always considered retreat a form of defeat, a reactive less-than-mature inward turn when faced with something painful or difficult. as someone who was on the run for most of her life, the last thing i want to do is run away... and yet, at times, running away is all i've wanted to do. this has been one of those times. instead, the Lord firmly presses His truth onto my heart, the very first verse i ever truly felt Him speaking to me: "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)
being still is not something that has ever come naturally for me. i have been an overtly social, hyperactive, talkative busybody since my preschool days. i have spent a lifetime building and maintaining relationships with so many people from so many different places and seasons of my life. throughout the last year and the new found freedom in Christ, it was the first time in my life that i felt as though i had nothing to hide, no gaping holes to cover. perhaps it was because i felt i had nothing to hide that i felt so comfortable - and so compelled - to simply share everything. all of me.
i realize now, it was all too much. i have spread myself too thinly across, allowed too many people into my life, made erroneous decisions in whom i could place my trust in and in doing so, placed myself in an extremely vulnerable position: one that left me wide open for a devastating and crushing blow to my spirit.
and so, i am taking a retreat. . .
not from the non-negotiables in my life like my family, my job, my college course load, my small group, my church... but from the blogging and facebooking, the perpetual sharing and baring all aspects of my life with people who aren't truly a part of my life. i have four hundred and eight-two friends on facebook. four hundred and eighty-two people who have a virtual window into my life. the thought occured to me that some of these people i wouldn't know [or desire] to speak to if i ran into them at the grocery store and yet they have access to know everything about me and my life. literally, my whole life. photographs of my friends; photographs of my family; my children; a link to my blog. suddenly, that thought was overwhelming to me... and i deactivated my account. i don't know for how long, but at least until i have the time to go in and delete at least four hundred or so of my not-so-close "friends"....
retreat, by definition, is not forever. it is a period of time. a season. a season in which i hope to learn how to balance sharing my life and my faith and my heart while maintaining a sense of self that cannot be so easily shaken and broken; and one in which i look forward to lying down in figurative green pastures and beside figurative (and literal) still waters. and find rest in the peaceful quiet of a place that i have never truly known: solitude.
i will not stop writing. or seeking. or living. i can't stop any of those things because all of them are things that occur in my life without my choosing them. i will only stop sharing; and only for now. this is my retreat, but not my defeat.
in Him, Nadia