As a junior at the University of Oregon, I faced a life-defining question. Somehow I knew – this “yes” or “no” would shape my life.
I met the Lord while in high school. That was the decision that made this second one so important. Would I now follow Christ or live life on my own terms with Him as a tag-along partner? I’d received a letter from a friend that spelled out the challenge.
With letter in hand, I headed to the forests of Hendricks Park, with a heart plea for clarity. Little did I know that those precious hours would set the stage for every other decision in my life. But I did walk back to my dorm with a new reality: if I give God enough time, He could change not only my mind but also my heart.
God’s specific answer was clear that fall day, and I realized the clarity came from being still before Him. I stated my case, for sure. But then I listened – long and vulnerably. Without realizing the connection, I had “pondered” for the first time, perhaps on a small scale, the way Mary, the mother of Jesus, did upon hearing of her pregnancy.
Those hours alone with Jesus were precious. The intimacy I experienced with Him birthed a craving for more. And so I began taking private retreats with God. In my circle of Christians, I didn’t know anyone who took such retreats and few seemed interested in mine. It didn’t matter. I didn’t take them for others.
Until one day the Lord asked me to teach other women how to do what He and I had done for years. And so what began as a book instead morphed into leading “Sacred Solitude” retreats, carefully crafting the environment to mirror what I had experienced in my own personal retreats.
Recently, “Sacred Solitudes” have changed in name only. “Dare to Be Still” replaces the holy-sounding “sacred” and the lonely-sounding “solitude.” The new name also reflects the courage that I’ve come to see is required for a woman to both believe she is not indispensable and that when she shows up… so will God.
I pray you’ll feel God’s nudge to “be still” and accept the Dare to come away.