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Silence, Please

My turn was coming and I didn’t have an answer—at least not one that I felt comfortable sharing with the group.

“What are you hoping to get from this weekend?” the sister running our women’s retreat had prompted.

“Quiet,” was the word that instantly jumped into mind, but I was too afraid to seem anti-social or to close the door to some new friendships. I don’t completely remember what I responded with, maybe something along the lines of rest or relaxation?

I just know it wasn’t as brutally honest as, “silence, please” (cheesy smile included—and maybe a wink too).

Imagine my surprise when our next set of instructions included the rules of conduct for this silent retreat.

Sisters, I was floored.

It had been on my heart to attend a silent retreat in the near future. I had planned to go on one many years prior but discerned it was not the right time. And here God placed one neatly in my hands and allowed me to forgo the mental back-and-forth of whether or not I was ready.

God provided exactly what I was looking for and in the most beautiful way, at exactly the right moment.

Just like Jesus’ miracle with the loves and the fishes, God’s abundance was both boundless and precise all at the same time (see Mark 6:34-44).

I don’t know if you’ve ever planned a meal for a large group, but feeding five thousand people and only having a few baskets left of fragments and fish bones is in itself miraculous. That Jesus began with just five loaves and two fish is yet another layer to His greatness.

Even with these examples, I still need a gentle reminder that not all moments of God’s abounding generosity are as “in-your-face.” Sometimes our insecurities or fears can overshadow the abundance. And for those moments, I pray for the grace to see with clear eyes that God provides exactly what we need and so much more than we could ever ask for.

God provided exactly what I was looking for and in the most beautiful way, at exactly the right moment. // Sarah Rose Click To Tweet

If you need more encouragement on taking a retreat, read our blog post here.

Sarah Rose is a small town Ohio girl who is obsessed with all things Ignatian and is passionate about faith, social justice, and the intersection of the two. She left Ohio in 2012 and after a year of service in rural Alaska, earning her Master of Divinity in California, and working at a Connecticut High School, is officially back in Ohio serving as a university Newman Campus Minister. When she’s not working, she enjoys contagious laughter, clever puns, and finding the good in all things. You can find out more about her here.  

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Ida Adams
    January 7, 2020 at 6:45 am

    I love this! Beautiful piece. And oh, how I understand the need for silence and solitude.

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Lindsay Durrenberger
      January 7, 2020 at 11:20 am

      So glad this spoke to you! <3

  • Reply
    Mary
    January 7, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    Wow. Thank you. Sarah. When I read, “God provided exactly what I was looking for and in the most beautiful way, at exactly the right moment,” it really jumped out at me. How often do I not recognize God providing for me? How often do I have my eyes on something else and miss the gifts He is holding out to me? this was a beautiful reminder that I need to appreciate all of God’s gifts and be greatful to God for them.

  • Reply
    Sharon Buss
    January 7, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    God provided exactly what I needed at the right moment this morning in fact. I am dealing with the after affects of Cauda Equina Syndrome. I have nerve regrowth happening in my feet and am numb throughout my hips, the outsides of my ankles and my feet. I’m having to use a walker to get around and I’m just not the same woman now that I was before. I sobbed in the shower this morning due to being so mad of where I’m at right now but as I got out of the shower and dried my eyes the song “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave began playing and I smiled through the tears and said “Thank You God”. When I heard the first words of the song: “Seems like all I can see was the struggle” and then the other words” I am redeemed, You set me free, So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains, And wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be, I am redeemed.” I was silent and let God speak to me through this song.

    • Reply
      Lindsay Durrenberger
      January 8, 2020 at 12:19 am

      Wow, this is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Sharon <3

  • Reply
    Susan
    January 7, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Beautiful~ Thank you. Sometimes the noise in my head is so loud, I can’t hear clearly. I get lost in thought, what’s happening – or what’s not happening and making up stories for no reason. I now appreciate being still in thought.

    • Reply
      Lindsay Durrenberger
      January 8, 2020 at 12:18 am

      Praise the Lord, friend. Sending you prayers <3

  • Reply
    Lauren R
    January 8, 2020 at 9:11 am

    God’s abundance was both boundless and precise all at the same time.

    ^ 2020 Mantra. TY!! Praying for you sister.

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