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Recently, I led a women’s retreat, at the beach. This particular group of women have a saying, “What happens at the beach, stays at the beach.” So, I can’t reveal much about the retreat, but I can share with you my take-aways and what I gained from this experience.
The group had chosen a “study” they wanted me to facilitate—“Uppity Women of the Bible: The Book of Ruth”. (Dr. Lisa Wolfe, Living the Questions, Center for Progressive Christianity.) Dr. Wolfe does a wonderful job with the historical context and understanding in the study, creating provocative questions for consideration. My role was to help the women engage the conversation. It was very important to me to create a structure for conversation that felt informal and relaxed, while at the same time very intentional.
A few significant themes emerged over the weekend, and the actions of the women began to flow more with the themes and they became a supportive cohort for each other. Over the course of the weekend, I felt very privileged to be a part of the support and encouragement for each woman to be the person who God calls each of them to be, to practice authentic individuality, and to even be assertive in who God calls them to be.
At the beach, I experienced the positivity and resourcefulness of Ruth, the turning from sweetness to bitterness back to sweetness of Naomi, and the judgment and letting go of judgment of the women of Bethlehem. I left the beach with a renewed since of confidence and encouragement to be fully who God calls me to be, in my professional life and in my personal life. God calls each of us, we must embrace the confidence to be who God calls us to be.