Monday, February 10

2014 Retreat

I think that I am out of words.

At least I'm out of any words that are cohesive, informative, and profound. So instead you'll get my stream of consciousness blog as I attempt to sort out the details of the past four days of the Hope Mommies 2014 Retreat.

I am amazed at what God can accomplish through a team of people. The Leadership team and the volunteers arrived there on Thursday and Friday, and spent our time setting up, praying, preparing a comfortable and beautiful space for these women to fellowship. Seeing their gifts come to life after MONTHS of preparing and emailing and talking and budgeting and praying --- the space was amazing. The room was beautiful. It was inviting and unique and filled with tangible reminders of God's truth and the validity of each baby that is now in the arms of Jesus.

As a few of the leadership team and volunteers (LTV? Sure.) were praying as women were arriving, two of us had this picture of Jesus whispering to each of our babies, "Guess what, little ones? Your mamas are all getting together this weekend to search for Me, and remember you, and look ahead to eternity because they love you so much!" And perhaps, as these Hope Moms were gathering together down on Earth, in hope I think that perhaps God was gathering those precious Hope Babies together too.

I had the privilege to speak to these women for the sessions this year. Do you think it takes until you're 30 to realize a gift God's given you? Or to be okay embracing it because you're finally realizing that IT-IS-NOT-ABOUT-YOU or boosting your ego or boosting your story, but because God calls you to it, and you MUST obey? Personally, this is one of the big things God gave to me from this weekend. I had felt so unsure, felt so inadequate, felt like speaking could be perceived as prideful, as if I have the corner on healing from infant loss. I FELT. And then God reminded me, "Erin. What about my Word? What about my Spirit in you, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead? All these things are your FEELINGS. You know my Word; You've hidden it in your heart; I will fill your mouth and teach you what to say. I AM all they need. So point to me." So after I was effectively chided by Abba, I was able to be emptied of myself. And, let me just say it wasn't all fireworks and "huzzah!" type of speaking sessions. But I believe that God's Word is powerful, and that He can/is working it out in their hearts.

Not that that was my only take away. Seeing these women and hearing their stories... well lets be honest. It's exhausting. Grief is exhausting and death is horrible and reliving it is so heavy. But to see them also EMBRACE God's truth and hear them laugh and talk about normal things and sing worship songs to Him and raise their hands in praise... that is the broken made beautiful.

Worship was led by Sandra McCracken Webb and L.E. Taylor --- both of whom are dear friends (Lauren was already, but I'm claiming Sandra as one now!) I was reminded how God moves us through music. How profound (and theologically correct) lyrics lift our soul and breathe on us of God's refreshing Spirit. I was moved to tears multiple times as I saw them genuinely engage and meet God during those times.

There were so many humbling moments of wishing Blair could see this too. That he could see what God wrought out of our agony on October 20, 2010, when Gwenny went home to Jesus. And I will confess: when I was surrounded by these women singing, "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus"... women who were commanding their hearts to obey, recognizing that in that moment they might not FEEL like it's so sweet to trust Him, but they are putting their faith in the fact that He says He IS... I felt broken and hopeful yet again. Broken because I would never have chosen this. In my own humanity I would always have chosen Gwenny's life here on Earth. I did not go searching for a ministry to consume my family for the rest of my life. But God knew that drawing other's to Himself was more worth it. Because in the end, He's really giving me the best- I have Heaven with Gwenny, and I have Earth to draw others to Him. So I wept and prayed, "You're more worth it, God. Your gospel is worth it..."

So this week I need to eat my own words and look up to God for the strength to continue out however many days here He gives me; wisdom to know when to set down my computer and pen and to take care of my family and community; diligence to pick them back up again when He tells me it's time to get to work to see all families who experience loss be given the truth of Jesus, our Savior.

No comments:

Post a Comment