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Lent Photo-A-Day (February 10 – March 27, 2016)

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Day 16 — Retreat

My mind didn’t go where I thought it would when I saw this word. You’ve all heard me go on over the months about my fondness for Our Lady of the Mountains Retreat House where our women’s group met every year and how I loved it there. But strangely that’s not what I thought of.

I looked at Dictionary.com and found two main ideas for the word retreat. The first was a military term, the forced or strategic withdrawal of an army or an armed force before an enemy, or the withdrawing of a naval force from action. The second, a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy; a retirement or a period of retirement for religious exercises and meditation. But what came to my mind was more of a behavior.

I’m not a person who likes confrontation and will do just about anything to avoid it. I also really struggle with feelings of inadequacy and shame when I think I’ve done something wrong. It’s not uncommon for me to simply run and hide, keep my head down for awhile if I think I’ve hurt someone, offended someone, acted like an idiot, said something stupid, or was embarrassed for nearly any reason. I’m that way with most people — sometimes even Lord Drollery and my kids — and I’m certainly that way with God. I’ll pack my emotional baggage in a knapsack and retreat to a hiding place inside where no one can get to me while I process what the heck happened.

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runaway

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This past year I’ve worked really hard to be able to say what my truth is without feeling like I’ve made a faux pas, a mistake that makes me want to hide from the world, to stay out of people’s way until they forget what a blockhead I’ve been. It’s really hard for me to do with people, but I think it may be even harder with God. He’s a little hard to hide from, but I give it my best shot.

So when I find myself in those situations where I feel like I’ve let God down, my first reaction, just like with the people in my life, is to run and hide emotionally and spiritually until I think the coast is clear again.

Who knows how I ended up that way? I don’t. I just know I’m weary of feeling like I’m always saying or doing the wrong things. This is a wounded place in my life that desperately needs to be healed. And with God’s help, I’ll keep working on it.

I feel that as long as you’re honest, you have the opportunity to grow. It’s when you shut down, go into denial, and try to start hiding things from yourself and others, that’s when you lock in certain behaviors and attitudes that keep you stuck. (Tracy McMillan)

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Picture Credit: jixifox.me

 

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