Author: Jane L. Hebert

I knew I was in trouble when I caught myself standing over the stove eating leftover creamed chicken straight out of the pot.  My life is unmanageable, I said out loud even though there was no else in the room.  It’s out of control.  Maybe I should go to a 12 step meeting.

I hadn’t meant my life to get so pressured, so noisy, so cramped with activity. Some of what filled my life was chosen, some was life circumstance thrust upon me.  I’d been in this place before, off and on, throughout my life.  I didn’t have the time or energy to enjoy my family, I hardly spoke to friends and my prayer felt hurried, without depth.  So here I am again, God, I said.  I have nothing left to give you or anyone else. What can I do?

The answer came easily—Find silence and solitude.  Rest your body and soul.  Linger in prayer and reconnect with me.

I made a couple of calls to set up a long weekend at the retreat center, turned off my phone and stuffed a few items into my rolling duffle.

It rained that weekend so I couldn’t do much but sit on the porch, walking the grounds during the brief interludes. At first my body ached, my mind raced and I was tempted to pull out a book to read.  But I made myself sit on that porch, taking in the smell of the wet earth, looking at cloud shapes, marveling at the layers of green in the leaves and grasses.  And in the quiet, the words from an old childhood song bubbled up: Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain.

Slowly then, alone and in silence, I became aware of God again—not only in the rain and lightning and splinters of sun but also in my heart. I lingered with God and found a renewed energy to return to a life that was going to be a little too crazy for a while yet.