One year ago, my friends and I sat around the living room of the cabin where we were retreating. Each of us was sharing, processing the journey of our lives.
Someone blurted out, “I just want PEACE!”
All of us nodded and echoed agreement. This was the common thread throughout each of our unique stories. And yet we agreed that “peace” didn’t quite articulate the longing in our souls. Each of us was craving something we couldn’t quite put into words.
The word “peace” brought to mind a tranquil lake, or that “peaceful easy feelin’” that felt impossible in light of the realities of our lives.
I don’t remember who said it first. But somehow the word came – “shalom.” We began looking up the definitions and translations of the Hebrew word.
“peace, wholeness, completeness, fulfillment, security, harmony, well-being, contentment.”
Yes. That’s what we were longing for.
Thus began this yearlong journey of diving into the concept of shalom. Friends, I can honestly say I am forever changed because of it. I will never think of the word “peace” the same way. The concept of shalom has reached the innermost parts of me. It has ushered me into new depths in my relationship with God, and it is permeating every aspect of my life.
I am changed by…
- Scripture – from beginning to end, it is the story of shalom.
- Prayer – deep interaction with the Trinity, inviting me to the intimacy of shalom.
- Teaching – sitting with our Retreat leader, Donna Cole, brought new depths of insight I wouldn’t have on my own.
- Stories – fellow sojourners sharing stories of shalom: freedom from guilt, comfort in grief, trust in fear, connection in loneliness. Shalom lived out in the real flesh of life.
- Rest – physically caring for my body as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Shalom has a home in me.
- Worship – my heart is so filled by shalom, worship becomes the overflowing response.
You, friends, are invited into this experience. This weekend, all across the world, we, the Velvet Ashes community, are retreating with God and this concept of shalom, his intent for us.
The table is set for you. All of these elements are waiting for you. Will you join us? (Can’t do it this weekend? Access is open until May 28!)
Friends and I just did the Retreat together and here’s what we have to say about it:
“I felt like I went in with high expectations and still underestimated how rich it was to have uninterrupted hours with friends, the Word and prayer.”
“Studying the shalom passages was like eating a decadent pie. About a third of the way through, my heart was so full I had to stop and take a break! Praise God for making a way for us to be whole and complete!”
“Layers of my false self fell away as God spoke my true identity over me. The intimacy of that moment is one I will hold in my memory forever.”
We are so excited to hear how God meets you during your Retreat. The Velvet Ashes team is praying for you. We are praying a spiritual cover of protection and anointing on your time of Retreat.
If you’re doing the retreat alone and would like to process and debrief the Retreat experience with a group, we invite you to join the Velvet Ashes team for a Live Chat.
Who’s excited to retreat?! We’d love to hear!
Where are you doing your Retreat? It’s so fun to know the locations where everyone is. It reminds us that while this in an intimate personal experience, it is also a shared experience with our global sisterhood!
What are you most looking forward to for your Retreat?