Our electronic devices get charged on a regular basis or they simply stop functioning and are not there for us when we need them. What about us though? How often do we catch ourselves saying phrases like, “Oh, I feel so drained” or “I’m overloaded” or “I wish I could get a break!” As we ignore our need to slow down, we “overheat”, just like our devices. Yet we continually push ourselves and function out of drained souls. This causes us to love and serve others out of our broken hearts. So why, then, are we surprised when we offend and hurt, rather than help and heal?
Unlike the machines that need to be plugged in, we need to unplug from the demands of this fast paced rat race life on a regular basis. We need to give ourselves permission to get away for a reevaluation with the Lord and bring to him that which weighs us down instead of squirming around under the weight of our issues, or complaining and begging for the Lord to make them go away. These difficult circumstances could become our divine appointment, an invitation for deeper intimacy with him if we can just learn to surrender and lean into him.
In the most difficult time of my life and in my marriage, I felt as if I was suffocating and needed an escape. Things just kept piling up faster than I could deal with. As a result, I started struggling with depression and anxiety; I also physically began to experience frequent chest pains. So after seeking medical help — where I was told my pain was stress induced — I got away for a weekend at a hotel. I brought only a few essentials, as my main focus was to rest, recharge, and connect with God. I called it my “Jesus retreat”.
At first I only slept and cried, but eventually I began to pray, and most importantly, rest! I felt accepted, wanted, and loved. I sensed that I was exactly where the Lord wanted me to be. I noticed how tenderly the Holy Spirit ministered to me. I felt physically better, lighter in my soul and refreshed.
I quickly fell in love with that retreat, and my family began to notice a change in my behavior as well. They even began encouraging me to go away again!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).
This Scripture became foundational for me in that season. “What is good for the body is also good for the soul,” a wise person once said to me. And how true it is.
I’m in a different place emotionally now, but regular and intentional get aways with the Lord are still my high priority. Honestly, this is my favorite place to be! I often go expectant, trusting the promise in Exodus 33:14 where the Lord says, “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest”.
His presence is within us, mamas. If we practice rest, we’ll experience his presence.
Since God never grows tired or weary and he always operates out of a state of PEACE (John 14:27), might I propose to you that our spiritual and emotional well being depend on understanding who he is and who we are in him. We must therefore find out and learn what this gift of PEACE is and how we can tap into it, because it carries the potential to become our super power.
You can start by simply setting time aside when you don’t get interrupted for any amount of time. I would highly recommend places that are secluded and not busy, like in nature. These places automatically get you in an awe-inspiring posture where you can be without distractions. Visions, dreams, healing, and fresh revelations will follow…because it’s in God’s nature. (No pun intended!)
There are also prayer cabins, prayer interventions like “sozo”, or “selah” retreats that are specifically designed for prayerful intercession. All of these options will literally make you feel lighter as you REST, REFLECT and RECEIVE. God will honor your intentionality and planned time with him, and he will show up!
So whichever way you choose, I encourage you to make time and space for your “Jesus retreat” so that you may be fully charged with the loving peace of God as you step back into life’s demands with renewed strength.
Kasha Jankowski is a mom to two bigs and two littles and is originally from Poland and speaks three languages! She enjoys cultural diversity, food and music, and is even more passionate about loving God and loving people.