I have been searching for the right words to describe what this weekend’s Women’s Faith Retreat means to me. Knowing that words are important and that God spoke the world into existence with them, I wanted to find the perfect articulation of my heart’s response to learning, serving and laughing alongside 55 amazing female employees and wives of employees.
And then I realized, this weekend would mean little to me if it would have meant little to those who attended. This weekend was amazing and completely life giving because of each one those who attended! They came with great attitudes, ready to engage with one another, move out of their comfort zones and be vulnerable. They joined their voice with the women beside them and together made a beautiful, joyful sound to the Lord. They listened well, with open hearts and open minds, and were blessed with three amazing messages. They learned – about God’s loving and sometimes difficult plan for our lives, about how God will one day wipe away every tear, and they learned about one another.
And they smiled. And laughed. And played Bunco and painted their nails (or someone else’s) and did those things girls love to do. Yes, even adult girls. They stayed up past their bed time discussing the real meaning of worship, making friendship bracelets, and simply “being” with one another.
Then they enthusiastically went to work serving our community, making blankets, soup, care baskets and memory boxes. They wrote notes of encouragement. They made things pretty. They prayed for the women and families who would receive these items. These ladies were a beautiful representation of exactly what the body of Christ should look like and it is a picture I will treasure forever.
And in all this reflection, I realized the perfect words I had been looking for are right here in front of me. They are all words that have come directly from these ladies, as they reflected over the weekend.
“I saw a glimpse of heaven on earth this weekend. I still can’t believe God has allowed me to work for a company like VU. I am excited to see where the faith filled future holds with my VU Family.”
“He is real! There is no other explanation. I am forever grateful for this weekend.”
“Words can’t describe how truly grateful I am for this opportunity. Working at VU has deepened my faith and changed my life.”
“My heart is so full and this weekend was such a blessing.”
Hebrews 10: 24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
This verse and this weekend is yet another reminder that doing God never meant us to do life alone. He never meant for us to be a lone sojourner on this faith expedition. He wired us to go with a friend, to build community and to strengthen one another in the process.
One way each of you can do this is by joining a small group. If you have already signed up, then great. If not, please consider doing so. You can check out our group offerings on this page under Small Groups. We tried to create groups so that there really is something for everyone. Group sign ups close on Friday and most groups will begin meeting the week after Labor Day.
I hope you will sign up and come with an open heart and open mind. And if you do, I will be excited to hear how the experience enhances your life.