Retreat Vulnerability and Belonging

By Julia Pearson

My husband and I moved to the area less than a year ago, and one of our deepest desires was to be able to find a church that our little family could call home. Within a few short months we found ourselves falling in love with New Life Dresher.

NLD had so many of the things we were looking for on our little private mental lists, but it was something else that made me feel like, “This is my place; these could be my people.” This same thing made me want to clap and dance and maybe even fist pump a bit while at my first women’s retreat a few weeks back. The women of NLD, and honestly the whole body of the church, have shown us that they believe in a core truth that is so important to me: vulnerability.

In three days of good old-fashioned lady time filled with lots of laughter, tears, chocolate and stretch pants, we repeatedly saw the power of vulnerability. When we are willing, as children of God walking through this crazy life, to put our whole selves out there, to tell our whole stories, to give our whole selves in worship, to bring our whole burden to the table, to expose all our struggles to our Jesus and to each other, there is little more powerful than that. The whole vulnerable heap is so hard and heavy, but God made it to be dumped out in the middle of the room for us to cry over together and to get on our hands and knees and offer it up to Him, together, and to possibly pick up some of the pieces together. And because we witnessed how another let it all fall to the floor in front of us all, when it’s our turn and our load is feeling too much to carry, we feel that same freedom to just let it fall. We remember the journey we took together last time and how God took her ashes and made something so profoundly beautiful. We are learning together to trust our Father and to have faith that His hands can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, even in this heap we are drowning under.

This understanding of the power of vulnerability, knowing the promise that love never fails, is what drew us in to New Life Dresher. It is also what made us feel like family. It was so reassuring to be with all of you in April and to know we are sisters on a road together, thankful for what has come before, and trusting for what is ahead.