This weekend I had the awesome opportunity to speak to a group of women from Word of Life church. The group was from Niverville but the retreat took place at the ever-beautiful Red Rock Bible Camp. Red Rock has always felt like home to me, so even though I only knew a few of the women, I was very comfortable right away.
On the drive out I had some awesome time with the Lord, preparing my heart, praying for the women and enjoying the amazing sunset. At one point I actually had to stop the car, run across the highway and snap this photo. The view was arresting.
After arriving and getting settled in to my room we had our first session and right away I knew it was going to be an amazing weekend. Sometimes when I speak to a group it feels like I have to work really hard to keep everyone engaged, but this group was so present and obviously so hungry for God. And even though I struggled with wondering how effective it was or whether I’d spoken the right words, the sessions seemed to flow right from the Lord’s heart to each and every one of us.
The theme for the weekend was “Dream Big”, based on my devotional book. I’m always excited to speak on this theme, and even though I’ve done it dozens of times, God always seems to teach me something new. That’s really what I love about speaking. Not that I get to impart all my wisdom to people (really? I know it’s not me!), but that God always teaches me as I prepare and even as the words come out of my mouth to the group.
One of things God spoke the most clearly to me about was the idea of being “rooted and established in love”. He reminded me that my roots need to be firmly established in His truth, His word, His presence, and His love in my life before I see any growth above the surface. In fact, if the above-ground growth happens before the roots have had time to deepen and strengthen, the tree will actually fall over, unable to sustain the growth.
And the roots, oh the roots.
My friends, the roots grow in the dark.
So many of the women present were just like me – struggling with worries and stresses, yet longing to see God do abundantly more in their lives. To know that in the midst of our circumstances, sometimes even because of the struggles we face, our roots are growing deep and strong – to know this brought hope. It brought comfort. It brought peace.
“Though the sorrows may last for the night, his joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5