This last weekend, 34 of our women from our Corsham Baptist Church families came together for a week end retreat about an hour from here at Lox Lane near Shaftsbury. It was a great time away as we feasted on Psalm 23.
It was an emotionally joyful time for me personally as I was able to witness the fruit of God’s amazing grace in these women’s lives. This is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and love for us, and a timely example as I prepare for our next Living Out God’s Grace bible study! On 21 May, we will consider the grace habit of belonging to His body in fellowship within our church community, and why it’s important to our growth IN CHRIST.
God gave this amazing gift of grace to us to be able to physically remove ourselves from life’s distractions, the call of chores and responsibilities, and the demands of people- in order to make space for God and each other. We were given the bandwidth and atmosphere to learn together about our precious God and Saviour through His Word, led by Sharon Durant on Psalm 23. We were able to share our insights, learn from our varied background and ages, and experiences to help us grasp more of Its truth.
Our singing praise and worship songs together to God was a precious time. It softened our hearts and cleared our minds of ‘fog’. By the end of the week-end, I could feel the unity and oneness of spirit we shared during this time.
We prayed together. It was an awesome sight to see God working through the beauty of both laughter and tears, meeting us at the point of our needs, and to slowly help us step out of our comforts zones to embrace this gift of communication with God. Together we bore each others’ burdens, encouraged, comforted, and strengthened one another.
We also played together! The team put together a great evening of fun and games. It gave us a chance to relax and enjoy each other in a bit of a different context. We dressed in fancy dress. I was a lamb! (that explains the photo!)
Through all these areas, God truly made us stronger, closer. It built trust, acceptance. It gave us that sense of community IN CHRIST that we are not alone! Many of us learned it is not so scary after all, to show our underbelly of vulnerabilities. Many experienced that God’s love does indeed cast out fear; that the light of Christ dispels the darkness in our hearts! It reminded us that we need each other to walk this journey IN CHRIST! We need each other to spur each other on to love and good deeds as we grow to be changed to be more like Christ every day.
Thank you to Anne Holmes, Sharon Durant, and the team, who made this weekend happen through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.
Community in Christ- an essential gift of God’s grace given to us for our growth in Christ.