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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)

TITLE: "A Birthday Getaway"
By Gloria Laroza T.


Title: “A Birthday Getaway”

Some days, I just longed to be alone! No gadgets that go with modern day life to distract me. No cell phones, no television, no computers to lure me to living a life of idolatry. Noises barred, I just wanted to get away from vain, ungodly voices filling the fast-paced world around me.

As if God heard my silent cry, that one December of 2002, my husband asked me his usual yearly question, “So, what do you want for your birthday?”

Instead of answering , “Oh, you don’t have to worry about giving me a gift,” I unhesitatingly replied, “I want to be alone in some hotel room somewhere…anywhere!”

My husband didn’t question my sanity. He knew I needed it. I was in a brink of nervous breakdown. Call it physical exhaustion, hormonal imbalance, or simply winter blues. But I knew deep within, it was much more than that. I was dying to regain a fresh new spiritual direction. I wanted to recapture my lost intimacy with my First Love, My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I needed so much to be alone with God.

“Are you sure you’ll be okay?” My husband’s loving gesture never cease to amaze me. Our trust for each other deepens as we get to know each other more through the years.

Oh, how I long to know God more and more, too !

“I’ll be fine. Believe me. Don’t worry about me, Honey.”

So that cold, December morn, I locked myself in a lonely hotel room. But I wasn’t lonely. I just received the best birthday gift of all- those precious moments spent with God.

Equipped with just a Bible, a journal and a meditation tape, I submerged in the Holy Presence of God. In repentance, I felt peace in His forgiveness. In stillness of the night, I’ve seen the Light illuminating every dark corners within. In aloneness, I felt His ever Endearing Presence. I bathed in the warmth of His Mighty embrace. I clinged to the grip of my Heavenly Father’s gentle touch. As I lay myself to sleep, I felt I was lying in geen pastures with My Shepherd. That was the best sleep I ever had!

How I wished that birthday week-end would never end! But then, I needed to come back home. Reality sets in. Noises were deafening. Worldly distractions surrounded me once more. I had files of laundry waiting for me. Housework to do. Family responsibilities to tend. Full-time job to go back to. E-mails to check. Enemy to face.

But I came back with a refreshed spirit , a grateful heart, and a brand new attitude. I was armed for the battle. I found the God of Peace again.

And that makes all the difference.

*Dedicated to all my dear and precious sisters in the Lord who are doing everything for everybody each day, not to mention bearing children, trying to be a good wife , a responsible mother, a dedicated daughter, having a busy career outside home, or being a devoted homemaker with a job that never ends, consider a retreat. Refresh your spirit. Get away for awhile. Try it. Who knows? It could save your sanity. It may even save your life. It surely saved mine.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Schravemade08/10/05
I enjoyed reading this. There's nothing like retreating into God's presence!
Debra Brand08/10/05
Good story. A couple of grammatical errors to be fixed. (I always find mine after I submit). Thanks for sharing
dub W08/11/05
Have some proof your work, otherwise a nice story.
Karen O'Leary08/14/05
Sounds like the perfect birthday present. Too often we get caught up in running so fast we forget how to rest. Thank you for sharing this piece. A little reworking and you've got a winner!!!