This week, Kimberly Todd came across this passage and shared it. Is this not beautifully fitting for the Velvet Ashes Retreat weekend, for us, the daughters of the new Israel?
“‘Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have dispersed them, and will bring them back to their own pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. I will also raise up shepherds who will look after them and pasture them. They will no longer be afraid or terrified nor will any be missing,’ declares Yahweh.”
This is our prayer for you, for each of the 1,250 participants spread across 121 counties, that you all experience a safe pasture of refreshment through the retreat. That you are shepherded during this time towards communion with Christ and freedom from fear.
Today we want to open up the conversation. We want to dig in to reflect and share our retreat experiences. Each time you articulate an experience, it sinks deeper into your heart and mind. We want to honor and mark what God has done in each of us.
We also want to offer a safe place to process the hard stuff that came out during this time. It can be scary hard when we get real with God and identify what’s really going on inside of us. You don’t need to come with your story tied up in a happy bow. You might be knee deep in the mess right now. And that’s okay. We’re here to be a sisterhood for you.
We want to create space to share with each other and let these lessons and encouragement go a bit deeper into us by discussing them here.
A significant time was spent reflecting on Psalm 23. What are some of the thoughts God prompted in you?
In Luke 24 one of the key phrases was “but we had hoped.” What were some of your but I had hoped?
Can we all thank again the women who were willing to share their testimonies, stories, and hearts with us? Elizabeth, Molly, Karolyn, Heather, Elaine and Kenna, Corky, April, and Anna, what a difference you made for this retreat!
We could spend time talking about each of the testimonies, couldn’t we? The beautiful part is how God will take their words and stories and speak to you, sharing what you need to hear. Feel free to share from as many of them as you want. Where did God encourage or challenge you?
We also wanted to incorporate a variety of ways to commune with God via the music, food options, holy yoga, spa treatments, and coloring pages. How did God use those during your time?
The final piece of the retreat (not that you needed to do it in this order!) was the session with the four editors looking at the relationship between fear, desire, and God’s invitation to you. What fear did you identify? Was it easy or did you need to dig to find the desire tied to that fear? What did you sense God inviting you into as you went through the process?
What has God spoken to your heart that you want to carry with you into this coming week?
A final word about the upcoming week. We found last year that a number of rather distracting things happened to retreat participants the week after the retreat—be they health related, visa related, team related, or some other form of distraction. We understand the enemy of your soul does not want you to be farther from fear and closer to Christ. Instead, he wants you to believe that what you heard during this retreat isn’t really going to make a difference in your life. So, this week, as distracting and unexpected things happen, tell your connection group, your team, and us so that we can be praying for each other.
We love you and can’t wait to share with you in the comments what God has been up to!
If you missed the live chat, we recorded it and will get it up on the retreat site soon!