Recently I had the rare opportunity to be alone for a stretch of time. I had three days alone. Three days with just me in the house.
The first day I dedicated to be a day of total silence and solitude. I saw nobody. I communicated with nobody. On purpose. Sure, I was reachable in case of emergencies. But there was no TV, no computer, no radio, no phone.
It was extremely refreshing for my soul. I got to spend hours in the Word. I got to have long, uninterrupted conversations with God.
Back in 1997 I read a book that encouraged the occasional retreat spent in silence and solitude to spend fully focused on our time with the Lord. I remember that my pastor out in California took one night a year to go away to be alone with the Lord. And maybe it's the introvert in me, but I have always wanted to do it. I don't know why I didn't do it before I was married with children, and then once I was, I assumed I probably would never have the chance. But just when it was so needed, God made a way for it. And it was the sweetest time.
I won't lie, I felt like I was missing my arms not having my family home with me. I missed them so much. And the silence was so unfamiliar that it was, for the first hour, a little strange. But it was a really important, really necessary time. And what was supposed to be two days had to turn into three days, due to severe weather conditions. But even in my disappointment in not getting to see my family when I thought I would get to, I decided to just soak up one more day. And then when we were reunited, it was the most precious moment. :)
Lord, thank You for that sweet time with You. Thank You for making a way for it to be--for knowing that need, and the longing of my heart to have that time with You. And thank You that my day to day life isn't silent, but is filled with sounds that I love--like when Justin walks through the front door, and when Aila sings, and when Trevor makes "vroom"ing sounds as he plays with his cars. You've been so merciful and good to us, Lord. Thank You for the time alone, but thank You for the reunion, too. And thank You for loving on me not only in the quiet, but also in the smack dab middle of the craziness and chaos.