Solitude can be such a formative time during Semester.
Every week there are 1 ½ hours set aside to take time to simply be. During this time it is encouraged to be in silence in your own thoughts. For this time I would find a spot on the mountain and sit in God’s creation. I start each of my solitude time in guided prayer to pray for the protection and joy of God’s people.
The time can be intimidating, the idea to sit in your thoughts for 90 minutes is definitely not something that is practiced commonly in our society; the time also flies by.
Having this time to contemplate the things going on in and around you is incredible for processing. And the days when I didn’t have anything to process I was able to sit and revel in all the pieces of nature God made for our enjoyment.
I enjoyed my solitude outside every week.
In the early weeks, I would lay in the warmth of the Sun’s rays. In the colder months, I would bring a blanket, curl up, and enjoy God’s creation. Both times have been incredible in giving me different times to experience different aspects of God’s creation each week. Every once in a while, one of the property dogs would join me in my solitude time, and I was given yet another example of God’s goodness to us.
Though I came to Semester with experience in taking time to be in silence, I enjoyed the new experience of the extended time to step away from the hustle of life to simply be.
When I return home, I will continue my quiet time as I had it before and my goal is to lengthen the time I do set aside each morning to be silent with God before entering the responsibilities my day will be filled with. From dog walks, meals, work, and finances it is vital to fight for time to have the opportunity to sit and be in God’s presence. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing how my relationship with God has grown significantly by carving out that time to be with Him. I was strongly convicted to make my schedule around God instead of making my schedule and finding time for Him later.
By Elisabeth van der Knoop: Elisabeth, Eli for short, has attended several Summit programs before. Unsure if Semester was the next chapter in her life, God made it clear that He wanted Eli here. She was raised in a Christian home and is constantly pursuing truth and growth. Eli is most excited to see how God uses Semester for her future!