Unplugged: Time to Hear God
BY HEATHER DROZ, GRACE ATTENDER
As a mom and teacher, being still is VERY difficult! My to-do list is always calling me, so being still makes me feel like I’m not getting things done. Unplugged is a one-day retreat Grace offers to give adults a chance to get away, be free of distractions and “make an appointment with God.” During Unplugged, I have been able to listen for God’s plan, feel His support in a season of change, and be still in His presence.
Held at Fatima Retreat House, located just behind Cathedral High School, it’s an easy commute for the day. I’ve attended a number of times over the past few years, giving me a refreshed spirit, a feeling of contentment, and a sense of connection with God. I look forward to my time at Unplugged and am intentional about it, often needing to get a babysitter or taking time off work to be there. Unplugged gives me a dedicated time to allow myself to be still and LISTEN.
Each time I have returned to the grounds of Fatima, I have spent my time in a similar way. After our opening conversation with others from Grace, I immediately go outside and walk along the prayer labyrinth, located in a courtyard behind the chapel and surrounded by flowers and shrubs. As you follow the directed path, it twists and turns, making your way into the center. I like to pick up a rock on my way in and use it like a “worry stone,” rubbing all my prayers and thoughts into the stone. When I get to the middle, I leave the stone, setting my worries down. I walk out of the labyrinth with a sense of peace, a clear head, and having prayed for my family and friends. I am excited about what God has in store for my day!
Next, I follow the path that leads away from the building. It is important to follow the path through the big steel tunnel (a hint I share with others: the good stuff is through the tunnel). As the path winds around, there are wonderful spots to sit: a single chair by the river, stacks of rocks, stumps that have been placed in circles, and a wonderful old fountain with steps leading up to it and space to sit. I spend about two hours just wandering, stopping to listen, pray, read, journal, whatever feels right. There are also benches, tables and even a wooden swing. Finding a perfect spot to be with God is SO easy in this setting.
Around noon, the group from Grace gathers back together for lunch and a time to share. It is amazing to hear how God has worked in others during their day and often we find themes in what we are each taking away.
The past few years I have been a season where I have been searching for a new career path. I have been looking for something that will bring me more joy and sense of fulfillment. Each time I have been at Unplugged, I feel God has spoken to me specifically about this area of need. I see the path through the woods as symbolism from God. The staircases that lead in many different directions seem to be telling me that there are many options ahead of me. Some of those pathways are blocked by fallen branches and are impassable, meaning that some paths will not work out for me. Another staircase was especially interesting looking, but when I got closer I realized it had a creek in front of it. I took this to mean that some of the most desirable directions may take extra effort to get to. I am still searching for a teaching position that is the perfect fit, but my time walking the paths during Unplugged have brought me peace and reassurance that it will all work out!
It is so necessary to take the time to slow down, be away from all the distractions and LISTEN. I enjoy the beauty- listening to the birds and babble of the creek, and watching the animals scurry about. I use the time during Unplugged to re-center my focus, and find a peace in the midst of the craziness of daily life as a wife, mother, and teacher. I highly recommend this experience to everyone!
The next Unplugged Retreat is Friday, June 3. Find out more and register here.