I moved around my house picking up toys and sweeping crumbs. My students were coming over soon for class. Outwardly, I tried to keep calm, even as I tossed toys in the closet with more force that was needed. My heart pounded. My mind swirled.
We had just received news that to me was writing on the wall. Our dream was crumbling. I was afraid and confused.
An inner debate raged:
I have every right to be freaking out right now.
What about what God has been revealing to you about fear and communing with him, you know, the whole theme for the Velvet Ashes Retreat?
But I have real reason to be upset and afraid.
Reason or not, you know what you should do.
But I don’t want to do that right now. I’m on this fear train, and it has already departed. Plus, I have a house to clean.
What good is it to learn truth if you don’t live it out? What you’ve been learning is exactly for such a time as this. It’s now a matter of obedience.
Gah… well, fine then.
I tell Aaron I really need a moment and can he put the kids to bed? I turn my back on my still-not-clean house and I lock myself in my room. I strike a match, light a candle, and turn some music on.
I breathe in.
And then the tears and the prayers gush out.
I hold nothing back. I tell God exactly how I’m feeling. I lob big “why” questions at him.
What happens next is one of the most intimate experiences I’ve ever had with God. I’m still struggling to put it into words. Maybe someday I can. What I can say now is this – God met me. He spoke clearly to my heart and I’ll forever hold that moment as an altar in my heart.
I patted my face dry. I gently blew out the candle. I breathed in with a lightness in my chest now. A lightness that doesn’t exist when fear consumes. A lightness that comes only from communion with Christ.
No answers were given. No circumstances changed. But I had met with Jesus and that changed it all.
Friends, this communing with God thing is real. It’s not a nice religious idea. It’s a reality we choose to experience or an opportunity we turn away from.
This getting away to be with God, to be real and raw before him? It’s a matter of life-changing obedience.
You might be wrestling big heavy fears right now, or you may be dragging the daily fear-stresses.
Whatever it is, do you believe God cares? Do you believe he really, truly actually cares and is involved in the little big fears of your little life?
Do you believe he will actually meet and change and heal and redeem…you? Do you?
Dear ones, this Velvet Ashes Retreat is an invitation to intimacy. It’s an offering up of our fears and struggles that pull us away from Christ. It’s a digging in to identify those fears and to find the glorious freedom that awaits us. It’s a sisterhood of support for the journey.
Can you believe that over 1,100 women in 112 countries are participating in the Retreat? The Velvet Ashes Team has specifically been praying for the last minute people, the ones who have been debating whether or not to join, or the ones who have just found out and think they can’t make it happen. If this is you, can I nudge you to simply show up and see what God does? Show up, offer whatever time you have, and see how God meets you. It’s not too late to join.
Today at The Grove, we’re here to share and process our retreat experiences.
If you’re heading into your retreat time…
– How is your heart?
– What are you longing for from this retreat?
If you’ve had your retreat, or are in the middle of it…
– What has the experience been like for you?
– How has God met and spoken to you?
We invite you to share in the comments and/or link up your own blog posts. Share on Instagram with #velvetashesretreat.
Join us Saturday as we process all the different elements of the retreat in our Retreat Reflections. And don’t miss out on the Live Conversation with the Velvet Ashes Leadership Team Saturday April 16, 9am EST. Register for the Live Conversation here.
Let’s mark what God is doing here in us, in you.
Share your #velvetashesretreat images on Instagram!
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