As Communications & Events Director for If Then Movement, I have had the privilege of attending and helping with a few ITM events since I took on the job almost a year and a half ago. (I usually just say Communications Director… but the official title sounds schmancy right?) Each one I go to speaks to me differently, as I see God working in both my life and the lives of those who attend.
(Their decor was ON POINT, people. It was a fabulous fall explosion. But in a good way. Though, come to think of it, I can’t really imagine how fall could explode in a bad way…)
This weekend’s was no exception. It probably held greater depth for me in part because it took place at the church where I grew up, watching my parents minister on staff. I love that place!
And I love seeing what God does through our retreat called “So Be It: Brave Surrender to God’s Call Every Day”.
This is my favorite retreat that we do. Because it gives women a chance to dig deep and let their hearts open up to the truth that surrender is how we experience the goodness God intends for us.
Sometimes I have a hard time yielding to that process. Sometimes, all I can do is put one foot in front of the other, rejoice in simple things like autumn wreaths, incredible things like God’s grace, and continuously surrender moment by moment. And sometimes, surrendering is putting pieces of a necklace together that function as a small, beautiful, brave stake in the ground for the kingdom of God.
That’s what attendees got to do together this weekend. My dear friend chose this necklace, and I confess that the phrase is one of my favorites. (I have a necklace with this same artwork in it… because we’re the same person. We even wore matching colors.)
What you don’t see in the picture is the small piece of paper that gets buried behind the artwork and the glass tile; that piece of paper serves as a place to write something you feel God laying on your heart to surrender to Him, or a verse He’s leading you to cling to, or a person you need to keep praying for, etc. I love that it’s a tactile, tangible representation of the message.
The other thing that gets buried in this necklace is a tiny seed, which represents the fact that in order to bear fruit, the seed itself must die. This stands out to me especially, because God has been reminding me that even if I’m afraid of losing or surrendering something to him, doing just that is what bears fruit.
(This is a candy bar. Get it?)
For someone who professes to be a creative person, I can be really uncreative when it comes to looking past what I think is good and instead trusting that God’s best is better. (Or best… or something.)
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.– Psalm 36:7-8