Retreats

To my Friend who Hates Women’s Retreats

Dear Friend-Who-Hates-Women’s-Retreats,

I know you hate Women’s Retreats. I know you hate the thought of sharing a bathroom. You hate that your snoring, or their snoring, will interrupt sleep. You hate the thought of that many women in one place. You hate your image of what a Women’s Retreat looked like in 1958 and you’re pretty sure it still looks like that today. You hate picturing all that pink and all those crying women.

You hate Women’s Retreats. I get it. I like my space too. I live by myself and even my dog sleeps two rooms away.

But, if your church is holding a Women’s Retreat, go.

Please Go. Here’s why:

Women need Women

I get that all women are different. Not all women are emotional or chatty or given to large gatherings. But there is something unique about women walking out life with other women.

When it’s round six of infertility – we need each other. When the loneliness of singleness is so deep we can’t seem to crawl out of the fear and pain – we need each other. When the hidden addictions become way too heavy – we need each other. When we celebrate a birth, a graduation, a wedding, a promotion and a personal triumph – we need each other.

We need each other for all the downs and all the ups, and for this we need to know each other.  Retreats are a unique environment to form new friendships and deepen existing ones. There is something about being together and spending the night in a beautiful space that affords us time for deeper conversations and endless laughter.

Women Need Time and Space

Whether it’s our 60 hour work week or tiny littles that never nap (or both), we need a break. We need to get out of the city and into open spaces where we can sleep in and someone else prepares breakfast. We need a place where we’re not on duty, a place to sit on a log and not even think. We need time to take a hike, to pray without interruption and to stay up late laughing with new friends (or pop in the ear plugs and go to bed early). This is the beauty of a retreat: time and space.

The Local Church

I believe in the local church. I believe in it with all its warts and disappointments. I believe in it because it is the place where our normal, everyday, mundane faith is lived out with other normal, everyday, mundane people like me and like you.

I believe it matters to be with our local church tribe – with people we would not hang with if it weren’t for Jesus: older people, younger people, people like you and people nothing like you.

We need to be with those who will be near when the crisis comes or the celebration is to be had. Your local Women’s Retreat won’t necessarily have all the bells, whistles and amazing speakers of a national conference, but it will have you and it will have your people.  And that matters.

Much love,

Cheryl

P.S.  If you’re a part of my local church tribe, join me on retreat for all the reasons listed above (www.cawomensretreat.com)

4 thoughts on “To my Friend who Hates Women’s Retreats

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