Listen to post:
Last night was magical. I danced home knowing that this is where I belong, what I should be doing and who I am.
Understanding I am was the theme of last night's Turtlebox Stories nurture group, our last of 16 sessions which we began in October. Yet it was also a beginning; this wonderful, rich, loyal and giving group helped initiate my new space. I could not have asked for a better gift. They waited through the fits and starts of me actually getting this space to hold our last formal gathering. While it may have broken the continuity of our weekly meetings, it was held on God's time and agenda, not ours.
And it was sweet. As sweet as you can imagine.
We opened with meditation and discussion centered on what "I am" means to each of us. Seems this concept, this name for God, speaks very deeply to our cores and on a level words can hardly convey. We easily fell into a contemplative tempo after some joyful celebration and becoming acquainted with the new surroundings. There has always been space for silence, reflection, journaling and speaking only when one feels led. This natural rhythm almost seems unnatural set against our cultural and societal pace. Knowing each other more intimately, warts and all, over five months tethers one heart to another, to each other, all bound by God. One of us will be physically leaving soon – for theology graduate school no less – the same one the other two have called home, but she will still be a part of us, of this, of Spirit in this space and with these souls.
"Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I AM among them."
– Matthew 18:20
We began our first discussion back in October with that Scripture and we ended knowing it at its depths, in our minds, bodies and souls.
What have you observed, learned, been transformed or challenged by in this group? Is there anything you must share?
As expected, we all took time to reflect and journal about those queries before we responded. I am not sure we even needed words; I think our hearts understood where we began, where we've traveled, where we ended and where we are heading back out into the world. But we spoke of giving form to spirit, growth and transformation, safety, deep sharing, commitment, finding ourselves and our paths.
Interesting as this all began as a grand experiment of just showing up religiously and opening ourselves.
Spirit provided the rest.
I will carry this experience, this group, these individuals, this gratitude to God in my heart as I go forward. Yes, it is bittersweet, but I have also been shown the grand possibilities for more groups like this. What if everyone had the space to be himself or herself: the person God calls us to be.
What if I could be who I AM?
• When have I felt safe to share myself deeply?
• What has facilitated that safety?
• How can I create that for myself, others?
• How is sharing in a small group grounded in Spirit different from individual prayer or congregational worship?
• Where is my heart currently calling me?
just a mom
and one with
that struggles to
get out of bed daily
that may be who
I was, but it
is not who
when I open
I am proof