“Ramblers in the wilderness
we can’t find what we need
We get a little restless from the searching
Get a little worn down in between
Like a bull chasing the matador
is the man left to his own schemes
Everybody needs someone beside ‘em
shining like a lighthouse from the sea …”
I retreated last weekend with some of the best women on the internet.
I really never imagined myself saying something like that. I’ve made good friends and real connections on the internet. But, honestly, this group of other bloggers surprised me.
I accepted an invitation from Kayse several years ago. Some did some others and then we befriended each other in a Facebook group. We gathered in person for the first time last year we gathered together for a weekend last year and have been voxing about way more than writing since. We’ve prayed for each others’ families, laughed at funny life stories, and anticipated gathering together again this weekend.
“Writers’ retreat” is what I called this past weekend when I’ve mentioned it to other people in my life. Really, it was so much more than that, and I didn’t actually do that much writing. Rather, the time together was soul-filling, brainstorming time with my dear friends from other states who understand all the ideas and directions that pull my mind in different directions.
“… Brother let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home …”
We came up with great ideas, recognized what is and isn’t working, and accepted there are seasons in life. We talked about our writing desires, explored social media strategies, discussed personality types, shared the good and bad about marriage and motherhood, and laughed until we cried.
After more than 60 hours together at my lake house, which is appropriately named Shelter Point Retreat, we held hands and prayed together. We praised God for what He has done and was doing, thanked each other for being available, and asked for what has begun to continue until next time.
“… Face down in the desert now
there’s a cage locked around my heart
I found a way to drop the keys where my failures were
Now my hands can’t reach that far
I ain’t made for a rivalry,
I could never take the world alone
I know that in my weakness I am stronger
It’s your love that brings me home …”
We’ve discussed how God put us together long before we witnessed the friendships that would develop. I’m grateful for this provision of both this group and this weekend.
I pray you have experienced this kind of meaningful community in your life. I’m blessed to have these women plus friends in my everyday life right here in Kentucky. Maybe you’ve been the one to extend the invitation or perhaps you said yes to someone else.
Deep friendships require bravery,
vulnerability, and availability.
May you be that for someone and may someone else be that for you.
Oh, and, if you’re looking for some encouragement on the internet, you should let my friends into your life: Kayse Pratt. Mary Carver. Anna Rendell. Christen Price. Erika Dawson. Amanda Conquers. (And perhaps you should listen to that Needtobreathe song I quoted throughout too.)