The Day I Retreated from a Women’s Retreat/Podcast


I’ve been enjoying fabulous fall colours in my garden. Almost every sunny afternoon when I attempt to get an early start preparing supper for my family, I end up outside instead taking photographs of God’s glorious artistry. This autumn beauty, pictured above, is visible from my kitchen window. She beckons me to bring my camera outside and partake of fall’s splendor. And let me tell you, I’d rather lie on my back under a Japanese Maple tree than hang out in a room full of strangers and acquaintances.




Years ago, one of my family members told me that when I was a toddler she noticed that whenever we entered a room full of people, my entire body would stiffen up. According to her observations, I’ve been apprehensive of crowds right from day one.

Over fifty-something years later this still rings true for me. I’m slowly learning how to overcome social anxiety. At the end of this post I’ll place a link to a rather revealing podcast I shared on HopeStreamRadio about a recent Women’s retreat I retreated from. In it you’ll find out how God comforted and encouraged me. He’s such a good Father.




I sought the LORD, and he answered me;

He delivered me from all my fears.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:4 & 18 NIV




When Fear Comes

When fear of rejection

Weighs down my weary soul

I long for God’s unfailing Love

To shine and make me whole

When fear of others

Takes over my thoughts

I need to focus back on God

To provide what I have not.

Wendy/ 2016




Have you been blessed with an easy-going crowd-friendly personality, or have you been blessed with an introspective and analytical mind? Perhaps you’re a mixture of both. I’m nosy-to-know?

Loved and Accepted As-Is Blessings ~ Wendy

Here’s the link to the blog post on HopeStreamRadio that also links to the specific podcast I mentioned: Retreat From a Women’s Retreat (I love the pictures they posted on it, especially the one with the person hiding under the pillows–it’s so me.) And here’s my Walking with Hope  page on HopeStreamRadio where you can find a list of all my podcasts in case you’ve already listened to the latest one. A new one shows up on it each Tuesday.  If you have a moment, let me know what you think. Did I encourage you? I hope so. <3

49 thoughts on “The Day I Retreated from a Women’s Retreat/Podcast

  1. I could’ve written most of this Wendy. I deal with social anxiety myself and would much rather be out in nature than surrounded by people. I was also this way as a child….I didn’t want to be held by strangers and I would recoil if they came up to me. Thank God for photography which has given me an anchor in my life. And you will rarely see me take a people photo. Gee…I wonder why? 😉

    1. Laura, I sure can relate to rarely taking people pictures… it’s got to be a really special shot to capture my heart (Next week I actually have a person in my post.). But I did take a ton of pics of my children. They prefer me not to now. <3

    2. Wow, you sound so much like me!! I much prefer to be out in nature with my camera. Bless you.

        1. Thank you, Wendy. Forgot to mention earlier that I love your beautiful photos too. Blessings ♥

      1. Really? It’s nice when we see things in others that remind us of ourselves. even though we’re never really alone, sometimes it seems like it. Happy Clicking isabella!

  2. “I’d rather lie on my back under a Japanese Maple tree than hang out in a room full of strangers and acquaintances.” Oh, I so identify with this, Wendy. I’m with you, girl! He speaks to me in nature, too. 🙂

    1. Susan, sometimes I wish I was literally invisible so I could watch and listen to everyone talking to each other. My goal is be able to observe and enjoy while being comfortable in my own skin. One day. 🙂

  3. No, I don’t like being somewhere on my own and walking in to a room full of strangers who all seem to know each other is excruciating. And yes, I have quietly left before one now. But I’ll try again in the Spring! 🙂

    1. Maureen, my heart goes out to you. My dentist accidentally provoked an anxiety attack in me while I was in the dentist chair. He doesn’t use that particular freezing in my mouth anymore. I’d hate to have been in a crowd when that happened. As it was, it felt like I was dying on the spot. 🙂 Not fun.

        1. I watched someone go through that. It was a joyous occasion when the person was eventually able to overcome it. Thankfully the success stories of others help those still in the battle. A story shared can save a life. <3

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I’m in the middle ground on the introvert/extrovert scale. It might be hard for me to break into a group of strangers that is already engaged in conversation, but I am much less averse to meeting new people than I once was. I learned some of this at Teacher’s Conferences. Maybe it’s my curiosity. I would pick out the sessions I most wanted to attend. If my friends were interested in different sessions, I’d go off on my own. Often I’d sit beside someone who appeared to be alone. If that person wanted to talk that was okay. If not, I always had a book with me. I’ve had some interesting conversations with complete strangers by being open or by making the first comment. I suspect/hope I’ve eased other people’s anxiety, by opening up to them.

    1. Dear Sharon, I like the thoughtful wisdom you model in focusing on how you can reach out to someone else who is alone. It’s also a way to bring two introverts into the safety of a one on one conversation. Practice has obviously helped you perfect your navigation of conferences. I’m making mental notes for my next venture into a crowd. 🙂

      1. By reaching out to others, I become more comfortable myself and then I enjoy having conversations with people whether I know them or not. I am not exactly forward, but I am more outgoing that I used to be. Eleanor Roosevelt said, ” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

        1. Sometimes my nosy-to-know factor kicks in and motivates me to reach out and ask questions. I’ve learned that most people don’t try to belittle others. Those that do are the ones who are broken. I like the Roosevelt quote. 🙂

  5. Loved the podcast! I related to many of your comments about being an introvert…you’re not alone! Psalm 34:4 is one of my favorites:) I also like Hebrews 13:6 “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'” Keep up the great work, Wendy!

  6. It’s so comforting to read the reinforcement that it’s good to stop pretending. I’ve been a counselor for 30 and have led groups with purpose but social mingling is still not comfortable unless I know the people well. I can do a one day conference, but I just backed out of being a leader at a four day event where I would feel overwhelmed. I have to have my quiet time. At 60 years old, I’ve decided it’s time to stop fighting and honor how God made me.

      1. Thanks for the link to the article. I’ll read it shortly. I have to be honest, I might not have backed out all the way. It seems that the leader of my group is being supportive about the concerns I expressed, so I’m praying about it. Trying to stop calling myself wishy-washy and recognizing I’m setting boundaries to take care of myself. Thanks for letting me process.

        1. JoAnna, I like the sound of “supportive” and “setting boundaries”, it reminds me of the flexibility of a healthy backbone. I think you’ll do well walking in this balance.

  7. Social anxiety can be tough to overcome.. I find I have to mentally prepare myself.. I love the photos and the POEM!! Fear is so powerful.. let’s use it to motivate not contain us <3

    1. Wise words, Christy: “… let’s use (fear) to motivate not contain us.” <3 I'm motivated to grow stronger than my fear by focusing on what needs have my name on them, and then I want to fill them according to the will and grace of God.

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