Refuge SSI

It’s been a month since I was in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia retreating with other ministry leader types at Refuge.

I’m not sure what I was expecting in this whole ordeal… but what I got was worth more than any dollar amount.

Upon arrival, I was:
** tired
** burning out
** lacking creativity
** boxed in
** breathless
** restless
** spiritually dry

What I expected was some down time, get to spend some time with friends, moments of intimate worship (not planned out or developed by me) and a brilliant speaker to help re-align me and put me back on the Jesus track. And I got that… and SO much more.

In my time at this retreat, I found and got connected to the most healing peace I have ever felt. Nothing was rushed, the Holy Spirit guided… and we followed. Ian Cron (by the way… do yourself a favor and pick up his newest book, Jesus, My Father, The CIA and Me: A Memoir… of Sorts this Christmas holiday. One of the best books I’ve ever read!) was our main speaker, and he guided us through a journey of shalom, allowing us to address and recognize the parts of our lives that aren’t usually safe to mention in some Christian circles. He gave us time to grieve, celebrate, worship & just be.

For the first time in a long time, I felt truly pastored (and that’s coming from me… as a Pastor).

Personally, I found myself forgiving my mother at a whole new level. I forgave myself, the adulteress, at a whole new level, and forgave myself as a mother, the ways I’ve failed my boys already… and the ways I know I’ll fail them in the future. I like to call that “preventative forgiving”. One of the greatest things was getting to do this with others just like me.

It was profound.

Most importantly… I got REAL, HONEST time with God. In the few days I was there, God filled me fuller than I have been in years… maybe ever… and released me to be exactly what He created me to be. Flaws and all.

Upon departure, I was:
** revived
** ready
** full of creativity
** released
** excited
** rested
** spiritually drenched in Truth

I’m so thankful I got this opportunity to be even more restored. I’m grateful to get to take another step in my journey towards freedom.

I don’t know if they’ll hold this retreat again next year… but I hope they do. And if they do… I will move mountains to make sure I’m there.

Because in the end… I’m better for it.
What’s something you’d move mountains to do/keep doing?

5 Responses to “Refuge SSI”

  1. Jason November 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    I’m glad you were able to have such a wonderful retreat. It’s so important to have people who pour into your when your focus is pouring into others.

    As for moving mountains…well, I’d probably be better off not answering that right now. :)

  2. mandythompson November 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    You know… I’m still sifting and sorting through all the elements of Refuge. And, honestly, I think our conversations were the most impacting element of the whole week.

    Here’s something your post has made me wonder: How can we add some Refuge elements to our regular everyday life? Like, maybe once a month or something? Some way for me to pull back and pull in for a bit. Some way to stop and reflect and slow. And breathe. And shalom. I climbed in Drew’s truck this afternoon and a beautiful piece of choral music was playing… It took me right back.

    How can we bring those elements of Refuge into our rhythm of life? Any ideas?

    • jenni November 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

      that is a great question, mandy. i really wonder. i think part of it is leaving your surroundings or bringing someone else into your surroundings.

  3. Donnie November 30, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    Preventative forgiving… Hmmm…. I think I like the sound of that.

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