I like my ducks in row – lined up and looking lovely. So when I go down the road of vulnerability (new word alert…) of Encounter God retreats and counselling – those ducks start fighting, crapping and generally going haywire.
Thankfully, I continue to live my calling amongst the quacking mess.
In my last post I talked about vulnerability, some were concerned that a little too much dirty laundry might not be useful for someone in ‘my position.’
The Encounter God weekend was good. It led me to feeling bare, wide open.
It left me feeling…vulnerable.
But isn’t that exactly what you were shouting from the rooftops last week?!
Yes, I still am. But this week from a different posture – on my face.
Where silent hurts are finally given a voice, taking new form in words.
Only this time they are clothed in love, grace and redemption.
Encounter God retreat. The word retreat was used to draw us. It wasn’t a retreat that you might be imagining. There were no spas or treatments!
The weekend consisted of 8 sessions.
- Spiritual warfare
- Darkness to light (There is no neutral ground in the universe, every square inch, every spilt second is claimed by God and counterclaims by Satan. C.S. Lewis)
- From impure to pure.
- The Cross
- Destructive Attitudes and Actions
- Inner Healing
- Generational Healing
- Holy Spirit.
No retreat..lots of surrender.
Each session was taught then we would spilt into our ‘triads’ (a term I’ve only ever associated with Jackie Pullinger…)
In our triad, following each session, we would work through a list of areas of possible struggle, sin, behaviour. Confessing to one another and praying a praying a prayer forgiveness.
My group were relieved to not to have to say after a short while ‘so, there’s no judgement here, right?’
We were reminded of the truth of the cross as we meditated on scenes from the Passion of the Christ, kneeling at the cross and taking communion.
Tears flowed as we were reminded of the sacrifice made. Reminded that we do not have to walk around with our collection of hurts. God has given us a way to get healed and clear the junk from our lives. We have grace through the Blood of Jesus. His mercy endures forever, and His victory is sure. We can exchange our hurts and even the consequences of things over which we had no control at the Cross.
Inner healing came. In this session we were asked to wait and listen. To see what the Lord highlighted and the area of soul sickness He wanted to heal. Many in the room were reminded of distant pains – wounds, abuse, hurts. Words and events that had defined and shaped us since childhood. When reminded of these, we were encouraged to invite Christ into those scenes.
We know the past hasn’t changed. The past has passed.
For some, there was an instant redemption of that dark place, others, the beginning of a transforming, healing process.
Jesus my redeemer. Name above all names.
So, we journeyed on into our worlds, some in cars, me on a Greyhound. My first greyhound journey – it was here I was reminded that this is not just a quick fix weekend, it is a daily choice to apply these truths.
I like what this does for a church community who take this journey together, beyond Sunday morning niceties to real raw living.
My kind of church.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world ” Matthew 5:8 MSG.
Did you know swans belong to the duck family? They are protected by royalty…
Have a great week,
Throw me some bread in the comments,
Love, Michelle xo