Times of extended retreat give us a chance to come home to ourselves in God's presence and to bring the realities of our lives to God in utter privacy.
This is important for us and for those we serve.
When we repress what is real in our life and just keep soldiering on,
we get weary from holding it in, and eventually it leaks out in ways that are damaging to ourselves and to others.
But on retreat there is time and space to attend to what is real in my own life--to celebrate the joys, grieve the losses, shed tears,
sit with the questions, feel my anger, attend to my loneliness
--and allow God to be with me in those places.
These are not times for problem-solving or fixing,
because not everything can be fixed or solved.
On retreat we rest in God and wait on him to do what is needed.
Eventually we return to the battle with fresh energy and keener insight.
(p. 123 Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, R.H. Barton)
This is what I've been doing in my time away. "Fresh energy and keener insight", this is what I've been hoping for.