It was an unforgettable scene as 125 women gathered on the beach of Inspiration Lake, surrounded by the staggering beauty of Rockridge Canyon, to witness a Holy Spirit moment. There could not have been a more beautiful way to end a retreat that was so meaningful than to come together to cheer on seven women who decided to follow Jesus in the waters of baptism. As they told their stories, we laughed and cried. God had moved in their lives as He had in each of ours. With outstretched arms we collectively committed to praying for them as sisters in Christ before we sung the doxology and headed home. Our hearts were full. God had truly moved in our midst.
It was what this weekend was all about. There was a resounding theme in our services – that God is at work in each of our stories. Throughout all our services we felt the Lord tugging at our hearts as one by one, women of different ages, nationalities, and seasons of life came forward to share the story that God has given them, and we saw how He is at work in each of our lives. Some women faced grief, others the overwhelming burden of fractured families, some had walked through cancer and others the pressures of motherhood and marriage – and yet there He was…beautifully threading the tapestry of His love through every women’s story – giving every story a greater purpose.
Some of the most meaningful moments were in the times of laughter around the tables at meals, the singing around the campfire, and the sheer craziness of our “eighties” banquet. We laughed until we cried as we realized how we long for relationship, we long for community and the opportunity to connect with one another, removed from the busyness of our day-to-day lives. We gave ourselves permission to pause and rest - whether that was an afternoon by the pool, a canoe ride with a friend, or a ride down the zipline. It was good to just be together.
We were reminded of the verse that this retreat, “HER Story” was birthed out of again and again, Psalm 37:23: “The Lord directs the steps of the godly, He delights in every detail of their lives.” Every single one of us drove away from this weekend with a renewed assurance that He is directing our steps – through anything we may face, He is the one is guiding us through all the details of our everyday lives. Yes, it was good to get away. We need each other and we all need more times of retreat in our lives where we simply pause and focus our gaze on Him.