Soul Searching

I’m in a very raw state right now. It’s been a very emotional two days for me. I’m not ready to go into too many details at this point, but I did want to share.

Yesterday we had a mini-retreat at work with just our small department (8 of us). Many of us are already close, but this time gave us the opportunity to take a day and discover what God has for us personally and as a team in 2011 (and beyond).

We started the day with a couple of worships songs from our youth pastor and the first one he had printed words for and I made the mistake of reading ahead while he was getting ready with his guitar. Before he even started playing, I was already starting to tear up.

I had never heard the song before, but wow, is it powerful, especially with some of the issues  I’ve been struggling with over the past few months.

Carry me, let Your mercy fall
Carry me, let Your mercy fall
Frail and week I run to You
Won’t You hold me in Your arms
Carry me, let your mercy fall
Jesus bring Your peace to my fallen soul

He will hold you
He will love you
He will provide for all your needs

He will hold you
He will love you
When you’re down and when you plead

The song is called Carry Me by Everman. I tried finding a YouTube video of it, but didn’t have any luck (even though according to iTunes, the album was released in 2003). I would encourage everyone to listen to this song. It will move you.

After our time of worship, we did an exercise with reading a portion of Scripture, in this case, John 13. In this chapter, Jesus illustrates the perfect example of servant leadership as he washes his disciples feet, even though Peter has some trouble with it. In this particular exercise, we read the passage three times – the first we were to identify a word or phrase that especially captures our attention, the second identify a personal struggle or opportunity God is addressing through the passage, and the third, identify what God is saying to us today.

Immediately, on the first reading, verse 7 jumped at me…loud and clear. Jesus is attempting to answer Peter’s question about why Jesus wants to wash his feet. His response…”You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”  Oh. Wow. Hit me smack in the forehead. And yet, though it’s so easy to say that I believe that in my head, it’s so difficult to feel that in my heart. To truly believe there is a reason I simply do not yet understand for why things are happening the way they are right now. The struggle I’ve had is not not accepting that, but rather, allowing myself to hurt and ache and cry and be in pain. I always thought that if I was upset or hurt by something that just wasn’t in the cards for me right now, it meant that I couldn’t believe that God really has everything under His control. I know this isn’t totally related to the verse, but it kind of came out of it as I was typing, so I’m going with it. Experiencing emotions as we do is perfectly normal and okay, even when we are question God with “Why?” As one of my co-workers pointed out to me, we have to “let God love us through the hard stuff.” Experiencing emotions is not sinful. It’s the actions and attitudes we can have in those times of extreme emotion.

Okay, I’m starting to ramble and I’m not really sure where this is going. I definitely don’t have it all figured out yet, but I’m working on it!

We met back in our group after some quiet time to examine the passage to discuss our findings as well as to share the joys we had in 2010 and the plans God had revealed to us for 2011.

After lunch, our boss led us through a series of activities to create a working life mission statement. I’m not necessarily surprised by what came out of mine (creative/artistic), but am intrigued at what wasn’t part of it (the organized, perfectionist side of me).

I’ll spare you the details of the process (since this post is getting on the rather long side), but my working life mission statement is:

“To create expressions of God’s beauty as inspiration for others to experience their own creativity and God’s love and grace.”

Then, this morning, I was reading Ann Voskamp’s blog post, aptly titled, “Why We Need to Listen to the Inner Voices of Creativity.”  Well, honestly, I was more skimming it when this just jumped out at me toward the end, “All our lives we all need to create because creativity is the life breath of our Creator Father and if we don’t create we breathe stale air and we wither dry.”

I realized I haven’t been creating enough. I am probably more naturally creative then a lot of people…it’s one of my talents…but I don’t think I’ve created for just me in a long time. It’s always been something for work or someone else or even a photo challenge on another blog. None of those things are bad, but Ann’s reminder to create because God created me to and if I don’t, I will wither dry (which is how I’ve been feeling recently), is something I needed to hear and put into practice.

Thanks for reading! I do plan to share my work as I explore my personal creativity again, since my mission in life is to have other people be inspired by my work, so if you want to hang around and check back every so often, I’d love to have you.

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Posted on January 21, 2011, in Personal. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I will definitely hang around…looking forward to being inspired! 🙂 Glad you had such a meaningful retreat!

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post about the mini-retreat that you have just been on and how worthwhile it was for you. Its’ great to have those initimate moments when our eyes are opened and truth is revealed.

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