This past weekend a group gathered in person at Windrush for A Day Away for the first time in over 18 months. It was an amazing time and God showed up in real ways and I believe most people left a little different than how they arrived.
Throughout the day I found myself both feeling like God was speaking and moving and at ease which was encouraging. But I also felt a tension wondering if anything would really be different next week, next month or next year. I was worrying about the future and whether or not anyone else (or myself) would really have any lasting impact from the day. I desperately wanted to carry that real life experience to every other part of my normal and chaotic everyday life.
In His grace, God reminded me that day, and in the days since, not to worry about tomorrow and that I’m on a journey. That journey will ebb and flow, but He is with me on that journey and cares deeply about me. I’ve also been reminded to be kind to myself as I will forget what my true identity is, I’ll get distracted by the things in the world, and I’ll make plenty of mistakes along the way.
There was a song that was impactful by Anna Golden called “Peace” about finding His peace basically everywhere (deserts, streams, mountains etc). His peace is accessible to us—not in some future day or time, or only in heaven after we die, but right now—we just need to breathe it in. His Kingdom is right here, an arm’s reach away all the time. It’s in us, it’s with us, it’s in nature, in others, it surrounds us. Do I really believe that, and if I did, how would my life look different? How can I be kind to myself when I forget that? Because the reality is that I will forget it all the time in the whirlwind of everyday life.
There isn’t anything particularly special about Windrush, or the Day Away, or any time we’ve “felt” closer to God. It’s simply a space created to encounter God (and it’s done really, really well and has a slightly better mountain view than most of us have each day). But when I pause, reflect, am quiet, and breathe, I can see the tender and loving eyes of Jesus and hear his quiet and encouraging whisper that tells me he loves me and wants to continue to heal me—the real me. He wants to continue to walk alongside me and pick up the pieces of my broken heart as I’m able to let go and be authentic. He wants us to see the lies that we’ve been believing about ourselves or about him and replace it with his Truth. That’s his desire for me, for you, and for all of creation. We are lovable and loved, and nothing could change that regardless of what we do. It’s our core, our roots. He sees us as only a masterful potter would see all the potential in simply a lump of clay.
When I stumble or lose sight of the things that matter or of who God is or of who I am, I have an opportunity. The opportunity is to slow down, to pause, to rest in who God is, to choose to be honest and vulnerable with myself and others. When I do that I’m reminded how much he loves me, and who I truly am in Christ—a new creation. The identity statement is one daily reminder of that. Not because of my performance or my actions, but because it’s my birthright. The most beautiful part is that I’m not meant to do this alone but have a community of people around me that is on the same journey and in process just like me. The living room at Windrush is a reminder of this truth as people share and are vulnerable with each other. And since we are all on this journey together, let’s encourage one another to try pause, slow down, and just breathe in what God has for us, available right now. And when we forget, we can do our best to remind each other by his grace to be kind to ourselves and others.Momentum was built and we are ready to build out a stronger team and distribute tasks, use gifts and share the workload. Prayers that this process will strengthen our community, bring new gifts into practice, lighten the load and overall be a pivotal step in the growth God seems to be calling us towards.