Has this ever happened to you?
You go to a retreat/camp/mission trip/(some other spiritually-growth-filled time) and you have an awesome time. You are excited about the Lord’s work in your life and thankful. Then you get home and life seems to close in on you. You’re trying to love people well, if only they’d be more lovable!
I remember being in middle school and high school and experiencing this quite profoundly. I would often return from a spiritual mountaintop experience only to sink into a funk that would take weeks to recover from. God was gracious in those times. I felt like I was clinging to Him with white knuckles, barely keeping myself together.
Now I know he was holding on to me.
Mr. TommyD and I just returned from a marriage retreat. It’s our third year in a row to go and lead worship for the event. I love it. It’s a highlight of our year for many reasons. Time away from the kids and work. A chance to sing together, which is a rarer and rarer occurrence. We get to fellowship with friends for longer, more focused amounts of time. Space to evaluate our marriage and introspect.
This retreat met and exceeded my expectations. Great speaker, great friends, great time with Mr. TommyD. However, now that we’re home, I’m feeling spent. Emotionally spent. After a weekend where I’m supposed to come away refreshed, ready to dive into life, I feel like a need a week to recover. You can pray for me!
Praise God, it’s not like it was when I was a teen: a complete isolating funk. It’s more of a vague feeling of engulfment. I’m keenly aware of my sin and it’s a bit paralyzing. So I’m trying to move through the day embracing God’s grace, but not complacent about the sin everywhere.
I am, by God’s grace, thankful that He continues to reveal areas in my life that are sinful and dark. This in itself, is evidence that I am His. He cares for His children enough to show them the places of their sin and darkness and we all have them. If He didn’t do it, I should be concerned.
Seeing my ugliness, should move me to the cross and Christ’s beauty. That’s where I want to live in all my relationships: in the shadow of the cross. Right now I feel like I’m pushing through, gutting it out, getting on with life. The reality is, what feels like me “gutting it out,” is really Christ carrying me through. He’s gracious, isn’t He?
Thanks for letting me use this post to preach a little to myself. I need it.
Have you ever suffered from post retreat crash-and-burn syndrome? What’s it like for you? How do you deal with it?