Six months into starting my own business, the dread of having to sell my services, the lack of consistent income, and a feeling of incompetence had me focusing on my fears. I needed a place where I could pour out my fears to the Lord and listen. God seemed far away.
Retreating to Nature
Penuel Ridge Retreat Center provided that place to retreat to nature, providing time and space to stop the swirling in my mind. God had often spoken to me through his creation and I was trusting He would again. I began slowing down and watching birds feed. I didn’t realize how tired I was until I woke a couple of hours later from a deep nap. After spending the evening reading, reflecting, and journaling, the swirling fears in my mind were slowly being replaced by tiny moments of peace. If He provides for the birds, how much more would He for me? God was near.
Listening to God
The next morning, ready to listen to God, I explored the High Ridge Trail. The path was covered in brown leaves, broken twigs and branches, the aftermath of a cold winter. The trail was steep, and my lungs strained. Halfway up, a small bench appeared. As I rested, I noticed a sea of spring beauties, tiny flowers of pink, shining amidst the dead leaves of winter. They reminded me that He calls us to rest and to wait patiently for Him. I journaled about how starting a business is full of strenuous climbs and often feels like a cold winter. Just as I couldn’t climb that mountain without rest, Jesus was reminding me I can’t fight my daily battles without times of quiet and rest each day.
At the top of the ridge, a yellow butterfly rested on the path. As I approached, it flew on ahead and landed. Over and over, it led me down the path, as if the Holy Spirit was leading me. When it alighted, I would sit and listen. I journaled that God would be with me as my business progressed. He would make known to me the path of life. Just as there was joy in following the butterfly, in His presence is abundant joy.
Descending down the other side of the ridge, I saw a waterfall – living water, refreshing my soul. After hiking, I spent several hours in quiet, realizing my fears had been washed away as I talked with Jesus, my living water. God is with me. He always is.
You will show me the path that leads to life; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever. Psalm 16:11
Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7
“If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:10