I always feel a little awkward visiting the yearly, well-attended Women’s Retreat. About 700 ladies converge over three consecutive weekends in April on the beautiful grounds of Camp Au Sable.
This year, I brought along my inquisitive three-year old daughter, Olivia. I tell her, “It’s a church weekend where it’s all girls.” I add, “I’m there because I’m working!”
“Oh,” she says.
Upon arrival, I’m quickly reminded why this event is so popular. The divine message is uniquely tailored to the struggles and experiences of women. It's a message that men just can’t preach because they don’t get it. They can’t! The sermon by Dee Ann Bragaw is especially fitting to the theme, “Branded in Christ.” It hits the spot, like your favorite "go-to" soup on a cold day.
At lunch, I settle into my seat. Again, I feel a little out of place, but not for long. The ladies are warm and friendly. I ask them if there are any first-timers at the table. There isn’t a single one. All have been to multiple Women’s Retreats.
I go on to ask what it is about this event that has everyone coming back for more. They tell me, first and foremost, it’s about spiritual rejuvenation. There are many things that could’ve been said, but that’s the sweet spot. They connect with God here in a special way.
And you know what? I get it.
On the ride back home, Olivia settles into her car seat and takes a long nap. She’s been fed and nurtured by all the lovely ladies. They also understand and appreciate that a little girl was tagging along with her dad, and she needed the attention and tender care.