There were no selfies. No video was taken to post to YouTube. There weren’t even blog posts to update the blog world and a handful of readers, what each week brought. No hashtags to tweet, follow or add.
It was perfect. Intimate. Personal. Powerful. And IN PERSON.
Twelve women, including myself, have an extremely difficult time putting into words exactly the experience we have had the past (almost) ten weeks. Part of me wanted to utilize the word encounter right there, rather than experience, because that is also what our time together became. We encountered one another. We encountered God. We experienced something so divine, words fail to appropriately and amply describe.
Yet we tried.
“The Holy Spirit was THICK tonight!!”, is how one described it.
Another expressed one of our gatherings as an, “AHH-MAZING Spirit filled night!!”
Rich, is the word I found myself using when attempting to describe it.
From the first night gathered, to the last, the Lord blessed us with His presence in amazing ways. And indeed, the atmosphere was plentiful, abundant, luxuriant, exuberant, and rich. His presence, and the fullness to which He made Himself uniquely known to each of us, certainly was astonishing, astounding, surprising and breathtaking! In my mind, I envision Heaven causing the same effect.
Many nights many of us would walk through the double doors bringing more luggage from the week than our backs or shoulders should have been able to bear. By the time we left, it was as if we’d spent eight ours at the spa with every pampering offering we could afford. Our cost? A willingness to arrive with an open mind, softened heart, readiness to pray, and adaptability to move as the Holy Spirit of the living God would lead.
Lead and move He did! On the night of our kick-off, He was seemingly able to alleviate many feelings of discomfort and awkwardness. He led us in a night of healing. He also brought to mind the importance of His Holy Spirit actively operating in our lives as the Bible describes – with no omissions. He compelled us to press in to becoming a truly peculiar people, and to be prepared for the persecution and praise that may result. He began to lay the foundation and magnify what VISION is, from His perspective. He then equipped us with the ability to build according to His vision. We sensed He was abiding with us this past Monday while we joyfully received communion together and humbled ourselves to wash feet.
Even in the resistance He was there. We had to cancel one evening, due to winter weather that made it unsafe for travel. He watched over His daughters and kept each of us safe. We had to cancel another evening, when flu hit me and tore through like a storm in our community. Again, He protected each of us, while compelling us to lift one another in prayer.
God established connection and community, while compelling us to draw closer to Him and others.
He changed lives. He provided clarity. He restored hope. He provided vision. He renewed. He provided contentment. He was with us.
He saw us where we were and met us there.
Now He is moving us.
We know He has only just begun. He’s calling for so much more. Yes, He increased our sensitivity to His Spirit as we incorporated devotions, whole foods, exercise, and focus on our relationships - the goal of the commitment. Yes, He oriented our lives towards Kingdom direction for 2018, another goal of the commitment. Yet, He is also calling us to RISE UP MORE.
More as Wives. More as Mothers. More in our homes. More in our places of professions.
More in our COMMUNITY.
Not only is He calling each of us to more, but we fully believe He is calling us to grow. In the days, weeks, and months to come, there will be opportunities for you to encounter God right where you are, as well as connect with the RISE UP movement, and become part of the Rise Up Community. We are praying for you already.
Please stay tuned. There’s much on the horizon, He’s only just begun…
The Rise Up Commitment is a ten week program designed to help women grow closer to, and increase awareness of, God. Participants read the same Scripture each day, eat whole foods, exercise, focus on relationships with family and others, and engage with a community of other like-minded women.
If you would like to learn more, please CLICK HERE - or - leave a comment for Shanon, below.
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