As I have mentioned, I attended a Ladies Retreat this past weekend. I have been to several in my lifetime and each one has had it’s own unique feeling.
Most retreats I have attended have had a feeling of getting through the speaker and sessions so it could be playtime. It’s not a bad thing to do this, as the playtime usually brings women closer to one another and forms bonds that cannot be broken. This is what I expected to experience this weekend.
How wrong I was! Yes, there was the chatting and laughter and joking around. Those of us with husbands commented on our husband’s quirks and how irritating it can be. To a casual person passing, the comments could be taken wrong. But, in looking into each other’s faces and laughing over the quirks,(which we determined was a common thing among spouses), you could feel the love each woman has for her spouse. The quirks just made our husbands who they are and they are an endearing part of them.
Other conversations centered around body image, scars, tales of how the scars happened, and laughter. Lots of laughter.
Yes, that was the normal part of a retreat.
Interspersed with each conversation women’s hearts shone through. The hearts continued the feeling of worship and praise. There was a continuation of the services we had. A genuineness.
Usually prayer is only for after the speaker is done. This weekend, prayer was as common as the laughter. Prayer and care were evident in each room you passed. The laughter would lift and then quiet and peeking into different areas you could see women hugging, praying and crying with each other.
Yes, friendship bonds were formed this past weekend. The thing I took away was the care and tenderness displayed through the women. Women are quick to share and get to the heart of matters. We will listen to the pre-story, the lead up and then the heart of a matter comes through. The trust in one another shines forth and ministry takes place.
This was a different type of retreat. The bonds of friendship were made. More important, though, was the bond of caring, of understanding, and of love, which broke through the surface and knitted this group together.
“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14 (NLT)