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Retreats for the Broken in Spirit

Retreats for the Broken in Spirit

Those with broken spirits need retreats--times of refreshment and a retreat especially for them can provide the kind of support the psalmist describes in Psalm 34:18,

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” 

The greatest gift that I received after our 14-year-old son went to be with the Lord was the gift of listening. I needed a safe place to share and cry. Several years later when our second son was killed suddenly in an accident, this intense need to be heard returned. I longed to be heard by others who had shared my type of loss. I needed reassurance that I was heard by God.

What I didn’t need was a packed conference with a schedule that would leave me exhausted. I didn’t need a world-class hotel, a fun-filled resort, a famous speaker or exciting prizes.

Over the years, I have participated in numerous live events, both as an attendee as well as a speaker. The ones that served as balm to my soul contained these key elements:

  • A Chance to Share My Pain. Those quiet encounters with other grieving women in a natural setting soothed my aching soul. Talking about our trauma one-on-one or in small groups alleviated my loneliness.
  • A Chance to Be Encouraged. Carefully selected scripture, music, and touching stories from others brought me back into the body of Christ. A weekend free from false expectations lightened my load and gave me the freedom to laugh a little.
  • A Chance to Pray Together. Many who have been traumatized will tell you that people pray for them, but it is a whole different experience to pray with people who share the same type of brokenness. Like-minded corporate prayer is powerful.
  • Resources. Being able to access a list of books, podcasts, movies, and support groups gave me new hope for the long days ahead. But the best resources of all are the human ones. I came away with new life-long friends.

We live in a fallen world with many types of brokenness. The simple guidelines outlined above will help you create a retreat that ministers to the broken in spirit while keeping in mind Hebrews 10:24-25,

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”


Maribeth Ditmars is an author, blogger, and speaker whose riveting life story includes her own battle with alcoholism and the loss of two children, one to cancer and the other to accidental death. Maribeth will have you laughing, crying and celebrating Jesus as your faith is inspired, your heart is comforted, and your courage is edified. Learn more at www.MaribethDitmars.com and invite Maribeth to share at your upcoming event HERE.

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