do hard things

We journeyed there because we felt the calling. We didn’t know what the weekend would hold…but we believed.

My heart was full with the knowledge that God would speak that weekend. We just didn’t know the words would come streaming out of us…as doors flung open, burdens were released and broken things were made new.

It was early Saturday morning. I was looking up some terms for art-journalling. She said she was in the midst of a praise party and did I want to join her. I felt seen.

She asked me what I wanted to listen to, and while I wasn’t sure…we found some songs together, closed our eyes, held each other in a loose embrace and swayed in worship before Him…knowing that He held our hearts.

In that quiet moment I felt that I had to tell her. I had to tell her one of the reasons I was there. Something that had been laying heavy on my heart for some time.

You see…when the group started coming together for the retreat. We had a private group on Facebook so that we could better connect. And as names were added, I could see God at work.

and then her name popped up and I caught my breathe. There was a piercing through my soul…and I realized, I have a problem.

because of a snap judgement I had made when we were gathered together in another place. Words said. Panic evident on her face. And instead of understanding, instead of seeing her on her journey, I judged. And I labelled.

And it had been bothering me. And when I saw her name pop up on the list of attendee’s…I knew that it was a God moment. But I didn’t want to deal with it. Because, no one knew but me…and the Holy Spirit. Why not just let it go…why not ask for God’s forgiveness and just move on.

Because I knew that this was a God moment. That these things don’t happen simply by accident. And I knew that she had made the choice to come of her own accord, unknowing the need for forgiveness I was going to seek from her.

So it was in that quiet moment, as the sun came up and revealed the beauty of the parkland around us, as praise worship filled the room with its haunting strains of mercy and grace that I took a deep breathe and turned to my heart friend and shared what I thought  I must do…one o the reasons why I thought I was there. And my friend, she turned to me with knowing in her eyes…and met me where I was at, and shared her own need for forgiveness after a misunderstanding with someone else.

The other ladies began to trickle in…I ran back to my room to dress myself in proper clothes, after all while it was a retreat, pajama’s are only good for early morning worship…not necessarily wandering around with the others there at the park for their own getaway.

Upon returning, most of the woman were anticipating breakfast, we were gathering plates heaped high with wonderful breakfast and preparing for our keynote of the weekend. She spoke of quiet and coming int God’s presence. The night before, my heart friend had spoken of our hands wide open…full of surrender. and  I knew what needed to  be done, though my heart pounded at the thought.

I approached her, introduced myself (yes, she didn’t even know me, since we had only met in passing at the other gathering) and then poured out my heart to her. It was so difficult to acknowledge the darkness of my heart. THings that she hadn’t even known that I was thinking against her. And she listened and then spoke the backstory to what I had only glimpsed and I began to understand. She offered me forgiveness and a hug and in that moment…a piece of the dirt on my heart slipped free and crashed to the ground. I could breathe a bit better.

I am thankful for her presence in my life now. We were part of a very small gathering there in the midst of beauty and each of us continues to remain in touch. She has been a blessing in my life in so many ways. Its totally a God thing. And to think that I would have missed out on so much grace and beauty, if I had continued to live in that assumption.

thankful for the restoration of relationship, for the strength God alone bestowed on me to have that hard conversation, and for the beauty of what is now a growing sisterhood.

1 thought on “do hard things

  1. Janel, I see so much courage and humility here. You did a hard thing that could have easily been tucked away, and look what beauty is springing up from it. You have a tender heart for God and it shows. Love you.

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