Photo: Jeremy Bishop
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me.
Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with Me and work with Me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live free and lightly.”
- Matt. 11:28-30 MSG
Who comes to a women’s retreat like this…
Lunch and a three-hour “Listening Workshop” followed by hours of stillness and a night alone, concluding with a time of sharing.
What about the awkward ice-breakers, you ask? The long, sleepless nights, sharing rooms with strangers? The energy of loud worship and noisy laughter? The long conversations with good friends…or the pain of feeling left out?
Who comes to a retreat where the main speaker is Jesus and the main goal is listening?
I recently led a “Dare to Be Still” retreat in Florence, Oregon, and these were the women who came:
20-somethings to 60-somethings in age
single, married, divorced, widowed
careers, stay-at-home moms, retired
hurting, hungry, honest
hoping for peace, looking for purpose
These were the women who took the dare, believing life could go on without them for two days, and that when they drew near to Jesus, He would, indeed, draw near to them.
Did it happen? YES!
Rather than me re-telling, I’ll let some of the ladies share the experience in their own words. The stories all come from those precious hours spent listening to Jesus – the sweet, surprise Whisper from God to His beloved.
“God healed my heart. I had a lot of bitterness in my heart. I let it go. Now I can walk in the joy of the Lord.”
“God showed me that I have important gifts to share and use and that they fit perfectly with my love languages! What I thought were my natural tendencies are actually my spiritual gifts! God doesn’t force me to have gifts that scare me or intimidate me. My gifts help support those people with the gifts that further the Gospel on the front lines while I help with the details and serving.”
“He met me and led me and washed over me in so many ways. He healed old wounds and showed me a path and direction for my future. He gave me renewed faith in myself and my abilities. I felt him in the wind that pushed me, the rain that cleansed me, and the waves that washed away my worries. This weekend restored my soul, showed me my purpose, and gave me courage to accomplish my innermost desires.”
“The Lord affirmed me of his love, of His intentional forming of my gifts and abilities – that He has been leading me all my life – that there hasn’t been any failures, just lessons. That He loves me through His Word.”
“I read the captain’s story in Luke 7, a story of faith that amazed Jesus. I paused and asked Him for that kind of faith, and within an hour He brought me a reason to trust Him that was a stretch. He whispered, ‘Faith is Here and Now.’ God chooses how my faith grows. If not here, then where? If not now, then when? I left the beach with faith that amazed – at least me. “
“It was clearly God’s direction that brought me here, but I came with my own question. God told me that was ok, but I had to set aside how I thought he would answer…I have a new starting point, a new direction, and a new goal for every day and everything I do.”
Who comes to a retreat like this? Is it you?
TO CONSIDER: Would you like to keep company with Jesus and learn to live free and lightly?
Our final “Dare to Be Still” spring retreat will be May 5-6.
Registration is due April 9.
Slip over to Retreats for more information.
“Christ repeatedly escaped the noise of the crowd in order to hear the voice of God.”
- Max Lucado