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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)

TITLE: I Went By Myself!
By Claudette Wood


It had been a long year. I was tired, and for days I just cried--over nothing, over anything, over everything. My husband was concerned, because I’m usually very strong emotionally. So he made reservations for me at a local retreat center for pastor’s families. By myself. I was going by myself!

I headed off for my weekend alone after work on Friday afternoon. On the way, I stopped at one of my favorite restaurants for supper. As I sat in the restaurant eating my meal, I prayed silently, “God, are You there? Do you see this mess of a child here? Will You be with me for a while? I’m desperate to hear from You this weekend.”

God’s answer to me was immediate. After finishing my meal, I looked over my dinner check, took my wallet out of my purse, and stood to leave. As I did so, a lady sitting at the table beside of me stood and came to my table. Leaning toward me, she very quietly said, “I am a Christian woman, and God has just instructed me to pay for your dinner. May I please have your check?” As quickly as I had stood up, I sat down—hard. When I found my voice, I responded, “I am also a Christian. Don’t we serve a wonderful Father?” She responded in the positive, took my check, and walked back to her table. I thanked her and left the restaurant.

Once outside—you guessed it—I cried. These tears were different, though. They were tears of joy and thanksgiving. My Daddy had just come to me through a faithful servant and reaffirmed to me that He heard me and loved me. It was the beginning of a wonderful weekend. I spent time in the Word of God, reading aloud His timeless promises. I wrote page after page in my journal. I prayed continuously, mostly out loud (I was by myself, after all!). And I slept—as often as the urge struck.

When I left my little nest at the end of my retreat, I was closer to God than I had been for a good while. My spirit was renewed, my emotions were back under control, and the revival fires were back in my soul.

God is SO good!

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This article has been read 1143 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debra Brand08/08/05
Yes He is! Thanks for sharing this story.
Anita Neuman08/09/05
What an amazing example of how God meets us in our hour of need. How beautiful!
Linda Watson Owen08/09/05
Very effective writing! I was right there in your shoes!
Katherine Douglas08/10/05
isn't wonderful how HE can take tears of sadness and change them into joy suddenly! this was written well.
dub W08/11/05
Thanks for sharing.
Shannon Redmon08/11/05
What a great story of God's goodness! Try adding a few more details to paint the picture-(setting, more about the characters) and what a beautiful message you will have!
Shari Armstrong 08/12/05
A good God and a good husband -awesome!
Beth Muehlhausen08/13/05
What a sweet testimony to God's grace. If I could suggest anything at all, I would like to have had more specifics about the person who paid the check - just some descriptions to make the scene more real. Great job with a great story.
Alexandra Wilkin08/17/05
A lovely moment - thank you. I also admired the discipline and tightness of the writing, which helped to make the point so effectively. Often when we are tired and low, all we need to do is re-connect with Our Father in Heaven, whose love and reassurance is always there and freely given. God bless.