At night, my friend, Sue, and I were anything but silent. I have sleep apnea, so I sleep with a “breathing” machine that blows air into my nose. After the first night, Sue kindly told me that my machine didn’t bother her a bit. She said that it just sounded like wind blowing as one walked on the beach. Sue said that the only thing that bothered her when she was trying to sleep was a ticking clock. At home her clock ticks so loud that she has to put it in the bathroom and shut the door.

Before we agreed to share a retreat room, Sue had informed me that she talked and even walked in her sleep! So I wasn’t startled when — in the middle of the first night — my friend’s voice woke me. Sound asleep, she was talking frantically and sounded frightened. I couldn’t understand what she was saying. The next morning she said she had a nightmare that someone broke into our room and his hand was covering her mouth. The second night she talked in her sleep again, but she did not sound so desperate. I figured she was having a better dream.

On the last day the two leaders and the departing ladies were all standing by the doorway and on the porch saying farewells when a station wagon drove up. A man, a teenage boy, and a little girl got out of the car and climbed the steps. As the teen reached for his mother’s suitcase he said, “It’s time to get back into the real world.”

And here I am — back into the real world, too. After my experience, I feel like I can handle anything with God by my side.

Lynan, (Mar.’11) adds, “I loved the silent retreat. It was an uplifting experience and a great way to spend my weekend.”

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