Last night I was greeted at the airport by a tired but beaming face--Joel had surprised me by meeting me at the gate! It was wonderful and pretty romantic for my hubby. We then had dinner before I had to leave Joel for Mound City.
During dinner Joel asked me what was the most fun thing that we did while in Arizona. It was strange because, the word fun totally through me off. I couldn't think of anything that struck me as "fun." Don't get me wrong, it was a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed it but "fun" just didn't seem to fit.
I spent much of the non-class time at the retreat center alone. I needed the silence and the time alone. Like everyone else there, I was tired from Holy Week, Easter, and a Celebration of Life for a true saint. I was totally drained. I loved listening to the others' conversations and laughter but for whatever reason I felt as though I needed to hold back.
I told Joel that the best part of the retreat was simply being there with 19 other women who understood what it is to be in ministry, to love it but to also be drained from it. We're all very different and yet we share this life of ministry. Not all of us were clergy but those who weren't clergy are doing ministry nonetheless. It was a place where I was truly safe to be myself, without the need to prove myself or try to fit in. It was absolutely lovely, wonderful, affirming. It was just what I needed.