We all think about running away at times.
Life can be hard.
We don’t because we’re grown-ups. Grown-ups don’t run away. They face their problems. Or so we tell ourselves while we push our bodies and souls to a place of fatigue and doubting.
But, running away in the right way could be the beginning of resolution. Not running away from the problem, but running into the arms of the Lord Jesus with the problem.
The Lord Jesus took off on occasion and coaxed his disciples to do the same.
Mark 6:31, “He said to them, “Come apart by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”
Know the feeling of being too busy to eat? Sleep? Care for your own needs? Yes, you are called to care for others in your home, business, church, and ministry, but there are times when your needs are more important than theirs. Take care of yourself. The Lord will take care of them.
But it’s more than mere physical fatigue that drives us to despair. In the past few years we’ve received a lot of hard news concerning people we love. Gut-wrenching hard. You have to learn to live with the new situation, the new diagnosis, the new problem in a God-honoring way. When the blow is very new and fresh we gasp for air. We can’t envision what the rest of our life will look like with this new trial-colored view.
If you’re doubled-over in agony, disbelief, and questions, maybe it’s time to run away. You don’t even have to go far, you can retreat in your own home. But you need to retreat.
I’m not talking about entertainment or playing, although that could be a part of it. I’m not talking about letting people down who are depending on you. I’m talking about setting yourself apart to hear the voice of the Lord and heal. I’m talking about distancing yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally from the immediate feelings of overwhelm and despair that keep you from adjusting to your new situation.
Then picture yourself ten years in the future and determine how you want to look back on this time. With victory? Grace? Faith? You want no regrets. Then your prayerfully ask the Lord for a path from the present to that future. And remember, it is a walk by faith, and sometimes He only reveals each step as you lift your foot in faith.
One Sunday we received some particularly hard news. I couldn’t face anybody. I didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want to have to carry anybody else’s reaction. I could hardly bear my own. So, hubby and I decided to runaway.
We cleared our calendars.
We agreed to be off social media for the time, so I scheduled posts on various sites where I have a presence.
We informed key people we were taking family time so we didn’t disrupt or cause concerns.
We talked about what each of our needs and visions for the time. We set spiritual and physical goals for the trial.
We explained our vision to our daughter living at home and included her needs.
The basic setting was a no-brainer for us. We both love water. We love non-touristy places. We craved solitude, which is hard to come by in the Seattle area. It was during the week, so we had that that advantage. We chose a vague area but planned to let the adventure unwind. Part of my husband’s relaxing is NOT having a schedule. So I relax my OCD and let him plan to not plan.
Not just clothes, we brought items for our solitude times. Bibles, of course, but I also brought books. I wanted to write, so brought paper and computer. Camera. Snacks. Blanket and ziplocs for beach time.
We ran away.
The next morning we were off. We knew we would stay 24 hours for sure. We stayed 48.
I can walk a beach and pick shells and rocks for hours. Hubby loves to nap in the sun on the beach. Daughter hangs with a book and music.
We were rested, refreshed, and renewed. Through time with the Lord and each other we had formed a clear vision of how to approach the new situation and the outcome we wanted to seek.