I was really good at multi-tasking. As a doctor with three kids, my busyness brought me a sense of purpose and value – I was doing a good job! And church involvement was part of the package. So, when I was invited to our church’s women’s retreat, I signed up.

Arriving at the retreat center, all the women were unloading their bags and laughing about the supplies of Kleenex they brought along. I didn’t get the joke. I couldn’t imagine what the great need for Kleenex could be.

30 years and many boxes of Kleenex later, I look back on my younger self and recognize how disconnected I was from these women who were moved to tears at the Spirit’s work in them at that retreat. I was disconnected from myself and from God, and completely unaware of what I was missing. I was busy doing all the right things, following the road that I thought would lead me in the right direction, but I was lost on the journey to my own life.

Thank God, He found me. And I found a spiritual side of myself that needed to be nurtured after suffering years of neglect. I awoke to the realization that what I had missed for so long was a connection with my own spiritual depths – the crying, unmet needs of a soul desperate for God.

This is what fuels my passion for the work of spiritual formation – the knowledge that without a reflective life, so many of us are disconnected from the truest and most meaningful realities of life. For me, diving into the spiritual depths has required more Kleenex than I ever thought imaginable. But, with a crumpled pile by my side, I am ushered into the presence of Christ and invite others to join me.

When was the last time you cried? What did your tears reveal about your heart? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.


Shauna Schneider
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